Okay, I Guess It’s Happening . . .

December 18, 2021

The Omicron tsunami is on its way.

Our (small) school went from 0 cases (for several weeks in a row!) to 4, though thankfully not in my kids’ classes. If camp gets shut down I am completely screwed, but I am trying not to think about that.

Honestly, I’m assuming we will probably all get it again — even if the school closes (which I am desperately hoping does not happen), it seems that it would be difficult not to get it at work (Josh OR me) and then bring it home.

I spent a bit of time wallowing in the headlines yesterday but all things considered, I remain fairly calm. At least nothing will be new this time. PPE is less scarce. Virtual meetings are something everyone is comfortable with. And I don’t think they will be as fast to do things close outdoor parks (PLEASE NO) or move clinics to all remote status, though maybe I will be wrong about the latter. And I WILL hold out hope that this surge will be a fast (and possibly furious, but fast!) one and over in a month or two. It does not have to mean 2022 is “ruined”.

Case number spike is coming; severity of illness remains to be seen – which is important.

As Genevieve just announced, “it’s a weekend!”. So will try to just enjoy it to the extent possible.

PS: The age 2-5 Pfizer vaccine news yesterday was so disappointing, but I am still grateful for those trying so hard to make it happen. Holding out hope that maybe Moderna’s trials are faring better!? Would be interesting if G is the only household member that gets Moderna instead of Pfizer.


  • Reply Sarah December 18, 2021 at 8:12 am

    I am an NP in IM in St Louis and we have had a big increase in cases each of us diagnose per day. Starting about 2 to 3 weeks ago we went from one a week to two to three per day for each provider. Our monoclonal clinic can give 16 infusions per day and is getting over 50 referrals per day. So..yikes. Our ID docs say we are solidly in Delta wave still so it’s about to get real. We were on gown conservation for two days last week also so..I’m not convinced that it’s gonna be smoother than any other spikes.

    I also am convinced my family will likely get it either from me or my vaccinated school age kids who are in a mask optional public school. Ugh.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 18, 2021 at 8:19 am

      Our kids’ school still requires masks, but in reality the mask-wearing is imperfectly executed at best (especially in G’s age group).

      Not good about gown conservation. Ugh.

  • Reply Jen December 18, 2021 at 8:53 am

    Feeling all this – so thanks for sharing. You being calm about it helps me, too. I am in Ontario, Canada where we have had low covid case rates since June so it felt really nice to be taking normal pre-cautions throughout the Fall – masking in public (and at school), getting our shots, health checks before activities – but our cases have jumped significantly in the last few days. I think for us it’s the omicron and I am feeling worried but also not worried. The pandemic fatigue is real but i also am feeling that we can take our reasonable steps and it might still happen. There’s no way to be perfect or guarantee you won’t get it this time around. Can we please make it to spring??

  • Reply Elisabeth December 18, 2021 at 9:00 am

    I’m in Nova Scotia (Canada) and we have our highest case numbers since the start of the pandemic (by far). Hospitalizations have stayed low, but everything is starting to shut down again. Concerts are cancelled, school was let out early for Christmas Break, elective surgeries are all being postponed.

    It feels…a little less dire than before since people seem to be less impacted (we have VERY high vaccination rates in the province ~90%, and things like masking in schools and all public places has been enforced throughout)…but still.

    I was so relieved the kids didn’t come home yesterday with all their online learning gear. It gives me hope schools will be in-person in January?

  • Reply Michelle December 18, 2021 at 9:05 am

    My 4 year recently tested positive, he got it from someone at his daycare. They do require 3+ to wear masks but of course they are not the best at keeping masks on.

    The rest of our household is vaccinated, including my 7yr old. I recently got my booster in November, but my husband didn’t. So far my husband tested positive, but me and my 7yr old didn’t. So proof the booster is helpful!

    We have been super careful this entire time, and I feel a bit defeated that we couldn’t keep from getting it. However I am super thankful that my 7yr olds vaccine worked, as he has asthma and has been hospitalized for breathing issues previously.

    • Reply Noemi December 18, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      You were probably super careful to protect your son with asthma and because of how careful you were he wasn’t exposed at home until he was vaccinated! That is a huge win! I think for those of us who tried really hard not to get it, the inevitability of getting it now feels like a defeat. But we were able to hold it off until we and our >5 kids are vaccinated and that is actually what winning looks like in this case. It’s important to remember that.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 18, 2021 at 12:57 pm

        Yes!!! So true!

      • Reply Michelle December 18, 2021 at 1:55 pm

        Very true… thanks 🙂

  • Reply Sophie December 18, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    I feel the same Sarah, here in Sydney Australia we finally completely re-opened this week (masks no longer mandatory, no density limits at venues etc), just as Omicron hits! We have almost 95% of our over 16s double vaccinated (half with AZ half with Pfizer) and we’ve been coasting along the last couple of months at around 300 cases a day, and then last week that jumped to 500 a day, and this week to 2500!!! Now Doubling every two days despite vaccination levels. Health authorities say it is all Omicron. At least my elderly parents have gotten boosters now in time for Christmas, but anxious about our kids getting it (both under 5) and the need to then isolate etc. Beginning to really realise that this is just the reality of our post-covid world, and trying not to stress too much. It will be what it will be.

  • Reply Katie December 18, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    Yup, I’m right there with you. Here in Canada, things are spiking wildly and fast – and none of us <age 65 or so in my province have access to boosters yet. It's disappointing and anxiety-inducing, but I like your sentiment that 2022 doesn't have to be ruined. I'm supposed to be getting married in June 2022 (and we've invited like 140 people; we waited 2 years thinking Covid would be over by then…how naive!) so fingers crossed. Stay safe!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns December 18, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Same story here in MN. My neighbor is a hospitalist and said it’s getting so bad and everyone is just sooo worn out. I think the endless cycle of variants is just so hard as it’s hard to feel hopeful, at least until my kids are vaxxed. The baby might get his before the 3.5yo with the news about the underwhelming immune response. Le sigh. I am just happy every day that goes by without a case at school but it seems precarious. We haven’t had a case since last November so it feels like it’s coming.

    It’s been a super rough weekend here as the baby had a terrible allergic reaction to amoxicillin. He is covered in hives and I got less than 4 hours of sleep on Thursday night. So I am feeling so weary and worn out. Just feels like one illness or challenge after another in our house! We had our first babysitter for tonight in 20 months but canceled since Will looks so awful and was running a fever. Our neighbors are having a small 40th bday gathering with vaxxed couples. My husband will go while I do bedtime and then he will come home and I will head over. Not the night out together we imagined but at least we can each attend for a bit.

  • Reply Irene December 19, 2021 at 7:21 am

    What a great measured take on all of this, Sarah. I feel similarly about our family’s actual risk- no major risk factors and all the adults are vaccinated and boosted. So in terms of our health I am at a place where I accept the actual risk that COVID poses to us, provided hospitals don’t have to start rationing care (and we are lucky to live in a highly vaccinated area with great resources).

    For me though the feeling of dread and deja vu is from seeing stuff close. My daughter has had to quarantine starting last week so she just won’t have school until January. And a neighboring school district has declared they will be virtual for a couple weeks in January (but no restrictions on bars, restaurants or anything like that)! The lack of prioritization AGAIN feels scary. We are debating whether we can still do our Christmas gatherings including a car trip to see cousins; I really really hope so especially since we will have been isolated for over a week by that point and have recent negative tests for multiple people….

  • Reply Rinna December 20, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks for this, Sarah. I don’t know what the right answer is exactly, but I feel like the wrong answer is what we are doing here where I live (near Toronto, Canada). People are panicking, booster shot appointments ran out in like an hour, and there’s already talk of school closures. I am worn out. We have been “good soldiers” about covid, and at this point, I’ve become resigned to getting it. I think that, at least for kids, the effect of covid lockdowns have been worse than covid itself. And I don’t want my kids ending up as one of the statistics. I feel it’s time for reasonable people (and not the tin foil hat folks) to get up and say “enough”. Covid is never going away, and we can’t sacrifice an entire generation because of it. Second to school closures, my next pain point is the fact that anything against the “covid dogma” cannot be said without fear of reprisal. For example, a friend’s husband got bell’s palsy not long after his second covid vaccine. At emerg, she asked the attending if it could be related to the vaccine, and the doc told her “it’s possible, but I’m not allowed to say so”. When did following the science begin to mean that you can’t ask questions. Isn’t that what science actually is? Asking questions? So, yah, that’s my rant: HARD NO to any school closures, pretty much ever (and I include university/college) and STRONG YES to encouraging all forms of scientific pursuit, not just vaccines.

    • Reply Grateful Kae December 21, 2021 at 2:32 pm

      I sometimes think, “am I bad mom or something because I’m not FREAKING out worrying that my kids will get COVID?” I mean, they are healthy, they have no risk factors. They are both fully vaccinated now, but even before that I honestly never lost a minute of sleep worrying about it. I guess I feel like if they get it, they get it at this point. Not that I would be happy about it or desire it, obviously. But it does not seem like in our case it is worth freaking out bat shit crazy about. The statistics don’t support it either. I worry much, much more about them dying in a car accident or getting hit on their bike. I know some people who have expressed “finally being able to breathe” again now that their child is vaccinated… and while yes, it’s wonderful for kids to be able to be vaccinated, I could breathe just fine before that. (Again- we are lucky to be lowest risk group , but the people I’m talking about are too!) Not trying to make light of it at all, because for some people it is very very serious, of course. I am a nurse- trust me, I get it. But the numbers (for kids) just aren’t there to warrant the extreme panic/extreme measures that some people with normal, healthy, low risk children seem to be taking at this point in the pandemic. As you say Rinna, there are other important factors of children’s well being to take into account too.

  • Reply Abby December 23, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Covid immunity just doesn’t seem to be very sticky; even less so in children. I guess that’s lucky since the virus itself isn’t that “sticky” in children

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