Sunday, December 26, 2021

The difference an Omicron makes...

Ramblings Post #400
Life comes at you fast. We always think we have time. But things happen when we aren't looking. And we have to adjust, figure out a new plan, and move forward because time doesn't stop. So do what you gotta. And don't forget to have some pie. Sweet Potato. Because it's good, and the world it makes the world right.

Let me say this...medical clinics need a one diagnosis or less lane.

Anyway, the day after Christmas this year myself and forty other hearty souls, properly socially distant of course, gathered in an urgent care facility in hopes of being seen. I was about number seventeen or eighteen in line, but only because I had arrived an hour before they opened. I was grateful that they were open, offering same day PCR testing, and hadn't already booked up online...because they weren't taking online appointments. Such are the holidays in the days of Covid.

I haven't done a crowd of any kind since my running partner's birthday drop in last summer when we all had gotten vaxxed up and thought that the 'Rona was on the way out. It was a fun evening, live jazz on the deck, folks having a good time, dancing, cards, food on the grill, etc., but I've had a couple of scares since then so I've become a bit of a homebody. Okay, that last part is an understatement. I leave my house to get groceries and pick up food to go. That's it. But as luck or fate would have a week ago some old partners of mine came into town for the Celebration Bowl and I broke with routine and went by their hotel to see them. My plan had been to drop through, say hey, revel in some old memories and then excuse myself and take it to the house. I ended up in Downtown Atlanta because their hotel was in Buckhead and they would still be lost on a side street if I hadn't served as street guide. My fault really, should have stuck to the plan, but I hadn't been social in a minute, so there I was.

In any case, my plan had been to ride down to the folks on Christmas Eve, spend the day and then ride back on Sunday. I had my bag half packed, the few gifts (most of which I picked up from my brother) ready to load into the car and went to sleep with visions of highway driving in my head.

I awoke with a cough and sneezing. 

Now, I never did develop the fever or lose my sense of taste, but better safe than sorry and my parents are old, so I called and updated them and realized I needed to get tested.

Let me back up a bit though. My last test before this one was at the beginning of the month. I'd felt a tingle and started coughing so I decided I needed to know. I decided this after ELEVEN in the morning and jumped online to see what I could get. Well, the drug store around the corner had an opening. A bunch of openings. Really, they could have just had a button that said "I'm on the way." I chose the time slot at ONE to give myself time to clean up the house first. I drove over, got in the drive thru line, gave the attendant my name and check in code, she sent out the kit in drive thru slide, I did the swab, dropped it in the box. Leaving the house, test and drive back took all of twenty-five minutes, but only because there were two cars in front of me in line.

The experience has changed.

To start, I went online but the drugstore had no slots for Christmas Eve. Or the day after Christmas. Or the week after Christmas. I expanded the search and the nearest branch with slots was on the other side of the city. On the next Thursday. At 5pm. And by the time I clicked refresh they were gone. My brother searched his neighborhood for the at home test kits, which were in the stores last week but have disappeared with the surge. I checked another drugstore chain, and then looked to see what the county was offering. I finally found this clinic, open on Christmas Day where I decided my Christmas present to my mother would be easing her mind about my status. They opened at 8:30am, but I didn't get there until almost 10am. I figured it was Christmas, what other idiots would be out here like this? As it turns out, quite a few.

The nurse was kind enough to give me the skinny on the proper time for arrival, so we return to the beginning of our tale, with me in a parking lot with a growing crowd trying to get a test to set my mother's concerns to rest. I got there an hour before they opened. I was checked in fifteen minutes after they opened. They didn't test me until almost noon. Same test as before, the ID confirmation and actual swab and what not took less than three minutes. But they had actual patients with actual issues not related to Covid, so there was a bit of a wait. And I sat there and waited. Because that's what you do.

I tested negative by the way.

But damn. Now watch the scalpers do the at home tests the same way they've done the PS5s, which I still can't get.

Barkeep. The good bourbon, your boy is gonna live. Well, at least so far.