Last week I wrote about the trials and tribulations of my immediate family. I’d love to brag about how much better things are this week, but…eh…not so much.

While we were contending with my mother going from a hospital to a skilled nursing facility, we had some more news about COVID-19. My first thought was that COVID really is the gift that keeps on giving, but that seemed irreverent and insensitive. So I’ve amended it to “the reaper that keeps on reaping.” And of course, living in southwest Florida, which once again has high COVID levels, practically guarantees that the pandemic will go on and on.

My lovely wife and I have managed to avoid infection over these past two years by a combination of wearing masks, social distancing, and outright avoiding socializing. 

In short, I didn’t want to take a chance on getting COVID and passing it on to Mom, especially since she has multiple co-morbidities like asthma and chronic bronchitis.

But this week I found out that the skilled nursing facility where she’s been less than two weeks has a COVID outbreak. First six patients, then nine.

And during the same time frame, my wife got word that both her parents and her 11-month-old niece tested positive, literally on the other side of the world. Fortunately, they’re vaccinated, except for the babywho fought it off immediately. Hooray for young immune systems.

I visited Mom today, masked and trying to stay five feet away from staff. Of course, anyone bed bound and in need of skilled care isn’t wearing a mask, but I doubt she’d get COVID and still be around…vaccine or no vaccine. This virus, as a friend of mine says, is one nasty so-and-so.

And there we have the update for the week—still on a bit of a caregiver treadmill, still navigating our complex healthcare system, and still surprised neither my wife nor I have gotten sick. We’re doing what we can to stay healthy. As I often tell her, “If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to do anything for anyone else.”

Stay safe, friends!

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