Just a quick post to let you know what it’s like in Texas right now.
So if you live in Texas you already know that covid has been spreading through schools like wildfire and most schools are unable to require masks so of course when Hailey started feeling sick last week I immediately panicked slightly because that’s what I do. We’d never had to do a covid test before but I know tons of people who have, so I assumed I could find a test easily but all of the normal places that were walk in were now booked for days. Urgent care and walk-in clinics were full. I couldn’t even get a call back from my regular doctor. The clinic near my house gave an estimated waiting room time of ELEVEN HOURS.
I was pretty sure it was a cold but I wouldn’t send Hailey back to school until I knew for sure so they had to go on the quarantine list until they could get a test. The school is full of covid cases so the school district has started doing rapid tests at the nurses office but there are so many they are having to open an overflow building just for testing sick kids and employees, and they won’t even test your kid until they’ve been sick for at least 5 days. So that means no school for every kid with covid, suspicious allergies, summer colds, and the schools are not funded to do virtual school this year so your kid just misses their learning while being exiled to their room and parents stay home to watch them (from a distance) as they miss work. Unsurprisingly, lots of people just send their sick kids to school because they can’t afford to have them stay home for days so that means sickness rips through the school even faster, which is probably how Hailey ended up with their cough.
I was able to get them an appointment for a drive through test at the pharmacy after a few days but the school doesn’t accept the rapid tests (and it wouldn’t matter because the store was out of them) and the nurse was like, “Normally we get the response within 24 hours but the labs are so overwhelmed right now that it’s taking up to 4 business days for a result so you might not be able to return to school until next week even if you’re negative.”
Luckily our regular doctor finally called back after days of being too busy to even answer phones and they were able to fit us in for a test that they could do in their office much quicker, but everyone in Texas is so full of covid that the office was basically closed for safety and the doctors were in full zombie-apocalypse-wear doing back-to-back exams in the parking lot, which was weird as hell and honestly something I’ll probably remember forever.
And, thank the lord, the summer cold we suspected Hailey had was…a summer cold. So today Hailey can go back and only missed a few days of school and we will cross our fingers that they don’t get the other upper respiratory thing being passed around, or the stomach flu, or actual covid, because all of them mean at the very least missed school and worry and mental havoc.
We are VERY lucky that we are vaccinated and have the ability to have healthcare and stay home but tons of people don’t have that and it means that this can be devastating to them even if it’s not covid so that’s why I’m writing this. I’ve lost family and friends to covid. I promise you it’s real. If you haven’t yet gotten your vaccination yet, please consider it. Wear a mask when you can. Please. For you. For me. For the healthcare workers. For your family and friends who may be affected in so many ways you can’t even imagine…even ones as small as people sick with non-covid things who aren’t able to get medical care, or education, or work because this pandemic is making even the easiest things hard.
And if you’re immunocompromised talk to your doctor about getting a booster now. I just had my third shot and it was basically the same as the second. Tired and a bit achey but 100% worth it.
Be safe out there, y’all.
PS. I won’t argue with you in the comments about vaccines and masks. You do what you think is right. I’m just asking you to think about it one more time. Sending love.