We’re in a new world where the country’s leadership is emphasizing masks and social distancing.
But tomorrow is that holiday so universal that even we celebrate: the Super Bowl.
In light of that, I thought it useful to share a recent case study that is close to home.
Two friends of mine got together to meet a long-time friend they hadn’t seen in a while. Everyone felt fine. I don’t know if they validated “health” using thermometers and pulse oximeters, but they had every reason to know they were OK. They shared some time in the our mutual friends’ home. And since this wasn’t in public or on Federal property, everyone felt free to unmask.
A couple of days later, the long-time friend started feeling unwell. A couple of days after that, the long-time friend was truly feeling terrible. The day after that, day five, they got tested. On day six they got their result: they were infected with COVID.
Since the evening with friends fell just inside the danger window, the long-time friend called their buddies. Just to be on the safe side, they should get tested.
Our mutual friends both tested positive for COVID infection.
Now, it’s several days after learning they were infected before my friends let me know about their diagnosis. They are lucky that they “just” feel sick. They’ve been self-isolating since they learned the long-time friend had tested positive. They can still smell and taste.
Now, I happen to know at the time these friends met with the long-time friend that risk in their community was high. Kinsa Health Weather can show you the current risk in your community. For example, right now in Richmond, Virginia, the risk is 99 (very high). A couple of weeks ago, I had just learned about the Health Weather website, and was having “fun” putting in zip codes for folks I know. At the time, my local risk was a concerning 54, but it was lower than the risk in other counties for any of my family and close friends.
As we all prepare to celebrate that favorite holiday, with munchies (no masks) and lots of yelling and screaming (or at least laughing at the funny commercials), may we think about whether our respective counties are “safe” or not.
We’re late enough in this whole thing that I expect many are already set in their patterns of life and opinions regarding COVID. But I felt it was worth sounding a note of caution. So I’ll now go up on my mountain and sit under my leafy vine and wait for what will come. 1
[Actually, I’m going to double-mask and go help another pair of long-time friends move.]
- Jonah 4:6 ↩