COVID has been "a thing" for two years. Part limiting risk, part living in a public-health-focused county, and part lots of luck, we haven't gotten it yet. That doesn't mean we won't get it tomorrow, or next week, or next summer... and that's where this wearing down comes into play.
|Getting Fancy to Celebrate Megan and Joe|
We celebrated two weddings this month. The first weekend in February, we got a new brother-in-law. We're absolutely thrilled for Auntie Megan and Uncle Joe. We're also relieved that the mental load of balancing family and showing up to celebrate, keeping our kids safe, and the "COVID situation" at the time is over. In a few months or years, we won't remember the craziness and stress, and we are so grateful we'll have the memories and pictures of getting fancy and celebrating love.
|Fancy again for William and Brian|
That doesn't mean every risk is "worth it" if the event itself was wonderful. The last weekend in February, we had hoped to gather with friends from Michigan and Chicago to celebrate the wedding of Elizabeth's friend of 20+ years, who stood up for us in our wedding. Unfortunately, Adelaide spiked a fever the day before, so we adjusted our plans significantly. After negative COVID tests, only Chris and Elizabeth attended - and only the ceremony. It saddens us that we didn't get to be fully present, and that we didn't get to bring the kids to another wedding. But, it was more important not to spread illness (even though we were pretty sure it wasn't COVID).
It used to be that vaccination for the girls would be the turning point - when we could exhale. That milestone gets pushed farther and farther away, making it harder and harder to keep our guard up.
Should our guard even be up? It's easy to look at the statistics showing that kids don't get as severe illness, that these variants have gotten less intense, and that most people return to normal. If we do get sick, that's what we'll put our hopes in.
Still, we remain more risk averse than risk tolerant. When you've had the worst happen, through nothing you did or didn't do, things like this just hit differently. If it was possible to give the kids the social interaction they need while keeping them isolated, we would do it. As it is, we still consider every event or activity through the lens of contagiousness.
As time goes on and things are still... like this... it feels more and more inevitable that one of these days the test will come back positive. And what then? What feelings will come when we've upended life for two years and ended up with it anyway? In one of the last places to have mask mandates, they are about to expire this week. We really hope there isn't a huge spike and we really hope that our schools and workplaces don't have outbreaks.
Is it too much to hope for that the vaccine for under 5 arrives before Adelaide turns 5? We've only got 8 months left for Imogen... and at this point hoping she can get a vaccine at 4 years old is starting to feel unrealistic.