A lousy holiday season

35 comments on A lousy holiday season
3 minutes

Christmas Day was nice, but then overnight Christmas night our younger daughter had a diabetic emergency and had to be rushed to the hospital, where she spent two days recovering. And then on the day after Christmas our son’s girlfriend came over for a couple hours. Monday our son texted us the bad news: she had tested positive for COVID. Turns out she came over to our house while not feeling well — she left our house that day to keep her appointment for her COVID test.

I’m glad Margaret had the talk with her about how unwise that was and how much risk she exposed us to. I was so angry that if that talk had fallen to me, I couldn’t have held back the unkind words. Margaret was a lot kinder than I would have been in telling our son and his girlfriend that they are not welcome here if they have so much as a sniffle. Be fully well or stay the hell home.

I didn’t spend any real time with the young woman while she was here. Our youngest son did, however, and he got COVID from her. Fortunately, he was double vaccinated — he had a couple bad days with it where all he could do was lie in bed, but he’s been sicker in his life. He’s almost back to normal now.

I bought a bunch of in-home COVID tests while we push through this. I was fortunate to find some still available to be shipped here from Walgreens.com — I must have got the last of them, as they’re now out of stock everywhere. Our son tested positive, of course, but the rest of us keep testing negative. Margaret and I are triple vaccinated; perhaps that’s helping us. Margaret is his direct caregiver and she’s so far avoided catching it. We’re being extra cautious — Margaret and our son are largely isolating upstairs, and I’m largely isolating downstairs, sleeping on the pull-out couch.

And then of course on New Year’s Eve, my oldest daughter was found dead in her home. So we’ve had a straight-up terrible holiday.

Because our son’s positive COVID test was done at home, it doesn’t register on the official count of cases. Have a look at the stunning post-holiday case spike Indiana is having.

Source: https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/2393.htm, January 5, 2022

News reports are saying that COVID-19 is on its way to becoming endemic — a new normal, and something we will have to live with forever. I hope that along the way, they find better vaccines and more effective treatments.

At the moment I’m out of grace for people who won’t be vaccinated, like one of our sons. I know the arguments against it. Most of them don’t hold water. The ones that have some validity are not strong enough, in my opinion, to overcome how much better off we’d all be today if more people had done it the minute it became available to them.


35 responses to “A lousy holiday season”

  1. Ben Cotton Avatar

    I’m sorry to hear that, Jim. That is an unspeakably cruel holiday. I hope the year gets better from here.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Ben – I appreciate you saying so.

  2. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    Seasons…..part of life but not always what we expect, or welcome. And the world has changed, more than we are perhaps ready to admit. Blessings from New Zealand my friend.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Admit — or recognize. I hope the new year is treating you well, Steve.

      1. Steve Mitchell Avatar

        So far so good. Not without challenges, but ours seem small compared to yours this year. Keep going, when I used to fly the quickest way out of a storm into clear air was usually straight ahead!

  3. Graham Lanceley Avatar
    Graham Lanceley

    Sorry to hear of your troubles over the holiday period. May 2022 bring you and your family peace.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

  4. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Same spikes here, larger than the worst part of the previous 18 months! There’s really zero excuse for not getting vaxxed, I’m tired of soft-soaping my response to the idiotic part of the nation that has no good reason not to be vaxxed other than their own stupidity. About time we started calling out the uneducated in the U.S. for their lunacy. The fact that your sons girlfriend came over while feeling bad is the grossest negligence as well as a prime example of “not getting it”. How is someone allowed to walk around spreading the illness so un-tutored about the situation? Whose parents would allow them to do that? I don’t care if you won’t get vaxxed, I do care if you’re walking around spreading it. Stay home and Darwinism will take care of you!

    My brother recently told me he is getting passports for his 20 something kids because between the Trump years, and the stupidity of the general U.S. population, he wants his kids to be able to leave at a moments notice. I feel the same way. We have family friends who were in the educational system as teachers that read the hand-writing on the wall about how it was going for the U.S. in the 60’s, and decamped for Australia back then. She wouldn’t allow her kids to be raised in America. They’ve never been proven more correct than the last five years.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I want to do some research about all of the reasons people refuse or resist vaccination. I’d like to really understand those reasons — and be able to refute all of the ones refutable. I expect most of them are refutable. Like you, I’ve had about enough of people not getting vaccinated.

      1. DougD Avatar

        I’m so sorry to hear of your multi-disaster season Jim. Hopefully in 2022 your families will gain some traction toward a stable and positive existence.

        Yes, I think Covid is here to stay, but hopefully it continues to mutate toward being less dangerous and becomes like the regular flu. Flu has always killed a half million people per year, and we’ve always accepted those odds. Most people don’t get the flu shot either.

        I’m not as hopeful with your idea to refute reasons to not vaccinate with logic. As you know my wife is an NP, her unit annually contacts former patients who had bone marrow transplants to see how they’re doing. One additional task this year was to ask if they’d gotten the Covid vaccine, because this population remains vulnerable. She found it was about 50/50 between those who had and had not been vaccinated. Of those who hadn’t, she was able to convince most of them to get the jab. But remember, she’s a medical expert, these are people she had a long term patient relationship with, whose lives were saved by destroying their faulty immune systems and replacing it with that of someone else. All paid for by the government.

        The remaining patients are maddening for her. They are so indoctrinated in the anti vax talking points that they talk in circles, she could refute all their objections but they would circle around and start over with the same points. But then they could add a little extra armor to their defense by claiming the lack of evidence was simply part of the conspiracy, that the evidence for vaccine efficacy was fake “That’s what they WANT you to think!” then ultimately fall back on the idolatry of personal rights.

        There is no logic to them, my own sister in law is a pastor’s wife, we can point to Philippians 2:3-4 and she’ll counter with 1 Corinthians 1:27. We have lost hope that they can be reached with logic and critical thinking. The ignorance and hypocrisy is staggering.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Helpful perspective, Doug. I guess you can’t convince someone of something they don’t want to be convinced of.

  5. Khürt Williams Avatar

    Hi Jim, if this happened to me, I don’t think I could have a civil conversation. Your wife is a very compassionate person.

    I hope your wife and son recover quickly.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks – our son is 90% there and so far Margaret’s avoided getting it. I think her booster shot did the trick.

  6. Katie Yang Avatar

    I am very two minds about whether to fly to my parents’ home for my sister’s wedding. I’m not eligible for the booster yet and currently feel that two shots of vaccination is definitely not adequate for Omicron. There is currently a bout of cases going around people who work at the airport and at some of the quarantine hotels (and I will have to quarantine if I leave and enter Taiwan again). On one hand I am confident I will not fall too sick even if I do contract it but on the other, I’d rather not contract it at all. It’s very frustrating.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your terrible, terrible holiday week. It’s going to take some time to recover from that.

    1. Lee Avatar

      I do not understand people who visit(ed) other people while feeling punk, having a cold or maybe the flu. Even before COVID you could make someone sick or even kill. Could be an ill person, elderly and for others, people needing to go to work. Days off to recover meanings using holiday time or days completely without pay. Who is that dim or selfish? Yes I would have been screaming & frothing. Now back to my love & peace meditation

      1. Jim Grey Avatar

        Right there with you, Lee.

    2. Jim Grey Avatar

      Will you be eligible for the booster in time for the wedding? It’d be a shame if you had to miss it. But I understand, these are unprecedented times and we have to keep ourselves healthy.

      1. Katie Yang Avatar

        Unfortunately, a booster will only be available to me in mid April, which is not soon enough. Most people who have contracted it have had two shots of vaccinations, at least here in Taiwan. I would love to feel brave enough to just “get on with life” but that is not really how I work. :(

  7. Christopher May Avatar
    Christopher May

    What an awful holiday season at a time that should be filled with joy. I hope that 2022 brings you and your family better times than 2021 did.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks so much Christopher.

  8. Darts and Letters Avatar
    Darts and Letters

    Hmmm. Usually one tries to impress and ingratiate oneself with the family of the s/o……..not infect them with a dangerously virulent virus. Not a good way to get in good. Oh my gosh, that is a really frustrating situation all the way around, it’s hard to believe that kind of carelessness. I emphathize with you one hundred percent, Jim. Perhaps she wanted really badly, so badly to believe she wasn’t getting sick, to the point of deliberately fooling herself into a sort of delusional state about it. If your son and her stick together for awhile, I hope she can redeem herself with other acts of goodness and common sense.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I know, right? She remains dense about why what she did was so wrong. My wife is going to have one more, even more direct, conversation with her.

  9. M.B. Henry Avatar

    I’m so, so sorry about everything – your daughter, the Covid, all of it. Praying for some light in the darkness for you and yours.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks so much. I’m so glad my company gave me some time off to grieve and recover.

  10. Paul Hoppe Photography Avatar

    I understand you are angry. But don’t be angry at people who don’t take the vaccine. Be angry at the people who promised that vaccines would protect us or end this pandemic.

    These new vaccines don’t stop the spread of Covid19. They were never designed to do so. If you really want to hear some arguments and refute them feel free to contact me privately.

    I am personally sick of being made responsible for just because i don’t take these vaccines. I am sick if being the scapegoat of your fears and disappointments concerning covud19 and the vaccines failure to prevent infections.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      In Indiana, the people who are landing in the hospital because of COVID are overwhelmingly those who aren’t vaccinated. The vaccine does slow transmission and make cases that do happen less severe.

      1. Paul Hoppe Photography Avatar

        Believe what you must. We are all in the same boat…vaccinated or not. The vaccine does not stop or even noticeably slow transmission. Even if it does slow transmission to some degree…it would not make on a larger level. There is no need and no reason to be angry towards the “unvaccinated”.

        I stopped counting my vaccinated friends and aquaintances who got Covid19. Hating or being angry on people who are skeptical and unvaccinated is neither right nor helpful. I understand your anger and frustration..we are all sick of the pandemic….but please dig into the topic and get some facts straight before writing such a diatribe. I expected better of you.

        If you want to hear some arguments, if you want to refute them, we can have a polite conversation in private.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          In the comments on my blog I welcome differing opinions, respectful debate, and examinations of facts. I do not, however, tolerate shaming statements such as “I expected better of you.”

      2. sas1947 Avatar

        It is not that the vaccine slows transmission, it just causes the vaccinated to not have such a severe case. For EX. I am 74, Obese, have COPD, Accordingly, I should of died from the Covid. I had 36 hours of a scratchy throat and low grade temp that tylenol took care of. The vast majority across the world who are hospitalized or dieing are the unvaccinated. Or the vaccinated that just think they will get better and don’ seek treatment at the first sign, of Covid. I did seek treatment. I pray your son, wife and son and girlfriend are doing well, so sorry to hear about your daughter.

  11. Paul Hoppe Photography Avatar

    If you write such a blog post you should be willing to debate it. For me it feels you just wanted to vent your anger. And with that I have a problem because I believe you are wrong on a factual level and expressing such anger is wrong even you were to be right. Therefore I offered you a polite and private (because a comment section would not be the right place) debate because you said you wanted to hear and refute all the arguments. You did not take me up on this offer nor did you decline. I intended no shaming…I really just did expect better from you because I have a high opinion of your standards and morals….even though I might disagree sometimes.

    There is enough anger and division in our world. I do not wish to fight or antagonize you. If my words did hurt you I apologize but I still stand by what I said. And my offer still stands too. If you are interested just send me an email. If not I will let this topic go. I do not want to harbor any hard feelings.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      This has been on my mind the last few days and so I’m coming back to it. This is a personal blog, not Die Zeit. While I write primarily about photography and transportation history, there is also a personal journal aspect to this blog. Sometimes I write opinion, and sometimes I even rant. I do not believe I am accountable to anyone for my opinion, and I keep my rants reasonable. I welcome comments that respectfully disagree with me, but because of personal preference I am unlikely to enter into debate with anyone. I’d rather work on my next blog post.

      I wonder if we are having a culture clash. I remember from my time living in Germany that if I held a personal position and expressed it, I had better be willing to defend it right then and there, because someone was sure to challenge me. Sometimes the challenge came from someone who agreed with me — they were just seeing if my opinion was well supported, and that calibrated their respect for me. I was surprised by that — and learned to keep my opinion to myself unless I was willing to enter into debate over it. Frankly, even then most of the time I wasn’t.

      I choose to trust the CDC as a source for information about COVID and the vaccines. The CDC says that people can get COVID after being vaccinated, but in much smaller proportion than those who are unvaccinated. They further say that when a vaccinated person becomes infected, they are far less likely to have a severe or even symptomatic infection than someone who is unvaccinated.

      You may have information that contradicts the CDC. Your task in a debate over this would be to get me to no longer trust the CDC. That will be a tall wall to climb.

      1. Paul Hoppe Photography Avatar

        Maybe it is indeed a cultural thing. Maybe I just dislike it when someone rants and is dismissive of other people’s real concerns.

        It is so weird to be constantly blamed or attacked by vaccinated people…was the vaccine not supposed to protect you? So why the worry or anger? It baffles me every time. I can’t continue reading your blog for a while…I hope you understand. I don’t feel welcome here.

        Maybe I’ll check back in summer when this is hopefully all over…I still want to recreate your old Berlin pictures as soon as I can do some weekend trips.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I’m sorry you feel pushed away, and I hope you will return in time.

  12. sas1947 Avatar

    I to got Covid, hubby and I did. The morning after testing positive, we went to get the monoclonal treatment. Hubby is the one who got Covid first so he took longer, but I felt good the next day. All I had was a low grade temp and scratchy throat. Have tested neg twice since. I highly recommend the monoclonal or regeneron therapy if come down with covid, it is also recommended that you get it if exposed. It neutralizes the virus.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m glad you got treatment and that it worked so well for you!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: