Unmasking, then COVID, then more COVID

It’s been August since I posted here, mostly because I was asked to return to the classroom this fall by a department head suddenly short of adjuncts and I decided I would, if only for one class. After two full years out, I had a lot of work to do to get ready, so that’s been taking priority.

My son also lost his apartment and a lot of his stuff in a big apartment building fire in August, and it took a while for him to find a new place and for us to get him and his cat moved out again. (Penny the cat is so happy to have me all to herself again. Her nemesis always hogged my lap.)

Anyway, by the time my class began, I’d had my Omicron booster for a couple of weeks. I didn’t want to wear a mask in the classroom when nobody else was, so I decided to just start living life the way almost everyone out there did already, confidently mask-free. I even rejoined the church choir when it started up.

A return to normalcy! It was lovely.

Then someone in my choir got COVID and a couple of days later I came down with it, too. Of course, I could have gotten it anywhere, but sitting one pew in front of a powerful professional singer with COVID is probably a pretty good exposure.

That COVID diagnosis meant being barred from campus for five days, and then a hjealth services interview to determine if I could go back. Luckily I had a note in the Syllabus about class moving fully online in that situation, and so it did, even though setting all that up while feeling like utter crap isn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Worse, some students either never really caught on, or didn’t want to.

Paxlovid prescribed by my doctor thankfully had me feeling better very quickly, and I had those extra days at home to try to track down errant students through email and our digital platform. Then it was back to the classroom, masked in an N95, and two normal classes.

And then I went home from that class and realized I was coming down with a cold. A bad cold. This was terrible timing, with midterm grades closing in the following week, so I was happy to get a negative COVID test. I figured my immune system was just running through all the viruses I’d missed in isolation. Just to be sure, though, I tested again the morning before the next class.

It was positive. Twice. (I really didn’t want that result!) So I took the class back online, but students hadn’t had any reason to expect my Paxlovid rebound and my emails and announcements felt like they were going out into the void (actually just out to the most engaged students, as usual, but usually in person I can hook a few more along).

I’m still hunting lost sheep out there and hoping the rest of the semester doesn’t include more exciting ways to scatter them into the hills.

As for the writing? Well, right now let’s gently (and in a safe, socially distanced way) cough and say I’m on a reading break. I hit 122 Goodreads reviews for 2022 last night. A lot of them are romcoms and Regency romances and other romances because I’m finding them very relaxing right now and also, of course, because I’m about to publish one.

(affiliate link)

I’m currently enjoying AMONG THE JANEITES, by Deborah Yaffe (affiliate link at left), which I suppose counts as marketing research since my next novel is a PRIDE AND PREJUDICE update. It’s quite entertaining if you’re an Austen fan, though this book also makes it clear I’m just a dilettante.

Yoffe records a beleaguered husband’s comparison of Austen mania (especially the balls and costume play) to Star Trek convention culture. Yep. I may have picked the wrong fandom to geek out in earlier in life. I always pretty much just hoarded Austen to myself. I’m also not into cosplay in either universe, and I’ve steered clear of Austen fanfic, unless it’s been traditionally or indie published. Not because I don’t think I’d enjoy it: for exactly the same reason, I have never tried cocaine.

Anyway. I’m still here, and feeling better day by day and hoping the grades I need to calculate tomorrow won’t be too depressing. I also hope this finds you healthy and happy and wearing only whatever costumes or work clothes or sweat pants or pajamas you want to be in.

P.S. if you ever need to take Paxlovid: I’m a big fan. It worked brilliantly! Just don’t be too surprised if you might need to circle around with the virus again, and without its benefit the second time (though in my case my symptoms were not as bad as the first time, either). It certainly doesn’t happen to everyone, but it can happen.

 

 

 

 

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