Time and again I am reminded that either the media class is abnormal or I am. No, don’t enlighten me.
Apparently the media left all decided simultaneously to wonder why some people haven’t gotten covid. The Washington Post wants us to meet the covid super-dodgers which must have been the impetus for this Josh Marshall tweet, asking people who haven’t gotten covid19 to speculate as to why. Or maybe it was this insane nuttiness by an Atlantic writer trying to make sure her fiance doesn’t get covid. Slate asked every Novid they knew to explain why, and the answer was they gave up life as we know it.
I haven’t gotten covid19. Vaxxed, not boosted. I didn’t really want to get vaxxed, but I’m a teacher and I was certain it would become a thing, a moral demand to get vaxxed, and once that happened I’m so stubborn I’d be like oh, fuck you people and never get vaxxed and either be not allowed to teach or go through testing every week. Ick. So I got vaxxed in March 2021 caring not one bit and mildly irritated at myself for giving in. But my reasoning was sound. By summer, I would have been like oh fuck you people and then I would have been forced into covid tests every week.
I travelled everywhere. Took my dad on a fishing trip. Visited my sister several times. Road and air. The only good thing about the 20 months spent teaching remote was that I could do it from anywhere, and I did. While restaurants were legally take-out only, my sushi bar let regulars eat in and I did so weekly, all through the shutdown.
I wore masks when required and at no other time. Cloth only. My school made the KN95 masks available free, handing them out several times. They sat unused on my desk. “Why don’t you use them? They’re better than cloth,” my students would ask.
“Yeah, I don’t want to wear a mask at all and if I understand the experts wearing cloth is the next best thing.”
The first day my district ended the mask mandate, I was afraid I read the calendar wrong. Everyone was still masked. Maybe four teachers and 20 kids weren’t. Some teachers took a vote in their class to determine whether to require masks in their classroom and I nearly lost my shit upon hearing that from my class. At the sight of my fury, two different students took off their masks.
“Oh, don’t do that! I hate masks. You don’t have to! That’s my point. I don’t want people forced to wear masks but forcing you not to is just as wrong.”
“Naw,” said Jacob. “I was just doing it because everyone else did.”
“Me, too!” said Alison, “I hate masks.”
“Ah. OK. So let me be clear. I’m fine with anyone wearing masks, but if you are wearing masks because you’re afraid people will judge you, then man up, puppies.”
Last day of school, a majority of students were still masking, but increasingly kids took their masks off around me. Not sure what that means.
I have never taken a covid19 test. I have allergy attacks that are bad enough I may as well be sick, but I now take allergy meds most of the year to stop outbreaks and so the bronchial disasters are infrequent. While covid doesn’t worry me, I get sore throats so bad that strep is a possibility and that does concern me. An allergy breakthrough last December gave me a sore throat bad enough to warrant a trip to urgent care for a strep test. They made me sit outside and wait an hour for a covid test before seeing a doctor. Fuck it, I’ll risk strep. It wasn’t strep. It wasn’t covid, either. I just needed to go back on Mucinex.
At school, we get these automated emails warning us if a kid in the school or the class had covid19. The first was just a notification. The second sent out a list of actions we needed to take if we weren’t boosted. I ignored those emails, as did almost every other teacher I talked to. Students stopped calling in sick with a sore throat or sniffles; parents didn’t want to activate the protocols. Girls had cramps, boys had sprained ankles.
I have several classes of 35 kids and they sit in groups. At no point did covid sweep through my classroom, although many cases occurred randomly. Elmore and Leonid were brothers who sat next to each other and lived together. Elmore got covid, Leonid didn’t–not then and, last I checked he, like me, hasn’t had it.
I am not boosted. I will not get boosted for the same reason I don’t get flu shots. Maybe when I’m older and worried about lung function–at some point, with my bronchial history, it might be a good idea.
The official definition of close contact exposure is six feet for 15 minutes. My friend Bart, who left teaching last year, came back for the graduation and slept on my couch. We ate at the sushi bar, had dinner at my house, talked as I cleaned up my classroom, and traveled in the same car during the 36 hours between his arrival and his taking me to the airport for my flight to Florida.
Four hours later, Bart texted me frantically. He’d felt tired and had a sore throat and took a covid19 test which came back positive. He was so sorry!
Who does that? Who feels mildly sick and says oh, take a covid test! Well, Bart does, obviously. He was pretty obsessive about covid throughout, staying housebound for months. Vaxxed and boosted. Still got covid.
Anyway, I was definitely exposed to covid19. Ate at restaurants, went to the beach, went to a movie. Had a great time. No covid.
I never thought my covid virginity was unusual. My brother, who manages an elite grocery store, also hasn’t gotten it–vaxxed, not boosted. His son and daughter who live with us haven’t gotten it. My sister did get a fairly mild case in January–never vaxxed. Her daughter, a nurse, utterly and wholly obsessed about covid prevention, required every attendee at her baby shower to be vaxxed, boosted, and show a negative PCR test. She’s had it twice. My mom and her husband never had it. Most of the teachers at school never had it–some obsessive protectors, some more like me.
My explanation is my immune system.. Thank my mutt ancestry. Viruses don’t have much hold on me. Not colds, not flus, not covid. I personally attribute it to the hyperimmune response of allergies, but my brother and sister have much milder allergies and similar health. It’s certainly not my behavior. From February 2020 on I have openly mocked the cautious. It gets you or it doesn’t. I’m okay if it does. But it hasn’t.
Besides, the article already observed that only 60% of the population has gotten covid. 40% doesn’t seem like it’s worthy of superdodger status. Let me know when I’m one of the 1%.