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November 17, 2020


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The real answer is none of us know how many people we know who’ve had covid.

I directly know at least 5 that I’m aware of. I’m one degree of separation from eight to ten more who spring to mind immediately, not counting solely online friends or people I’m one degree away from only because a health care worker friend or relative knew them. I’m sure there are more if I gave it a few minutes' thought.

Of the ones I can think of right now, three have died. Two in my immediate circle have the long-haul variety, which is, let me tell you, awful.

We live in a remote rural area which has been reasonably lucky until now. Not spared entirely, but reasonably lucky. Two nights ago I spent an hour examining our local numbers, aggregating, averaging, drilling down on county vs. region vs. state data, because my daughter's school draws from three counties so the regional trends are important.

The next night, the school notified us that they have to "temporarily suspend on campus operations." They gave numbers as of that day. The jump in 24 hours was terrifying, and something I have not seen in the eight months I’ve been compulsively poring over the numbers trying to figure out whether the decidedly nonessential nonprofit I run could open for in person activity again.

I ran out of fingers to count the people I know who have had COVID. Many of them were young and were fine afterward. Some are dead.

My number of acquaintances with Covid has quadrupled in the last 2 weeks, yes.

Just in 3 minutes, I came up with 1 person who died of Covid (in March, with 2 asymptomatic family members around the same time), 7 known positive-but-nearly asymptomatic people (all but 1 got tested because of mild symptoms that never got worse, and the last learned of positivity through participation in a study looking at community spread in Indiana), and 8 people with confirmed Covid cases that did not require hospitalization though they were all quite uncomfortably ill. None are long-haulers, to my knowledge, though 2 are too recently recovered to probably know. Quite a large chunk of these are from last spring, so I haven't quite yet seen the quadrupling in my circles (plus the 2 most recent ones were in the UK). But what's that, 18? I'm sure there are more that I just didn't think of, plus all the people who simply never knew. Gah.

1 nephew, 2 cousins, 2 friends. I know OF probably a dozen in my extended universe of people who are 1 degree separated. My co-worker in the office across the hall's secretary, Spanish teacher who I've met through baseball, principal of the school closest to my house, a friend's adult child...

My two young adult nieces and nephew and their dad all got it in October (plus their whole extended family). In my town of 15,000, I have one friend who probably got it March (+ antibody test), one in her 40s who was hospitalized in May, and another who had it in May.

Then on Saturday I found out that my nearest neighbor tested positive, her husband has mild symptoms, and she's assuming her 4 kids have it (but isn't testing them, just quarantining for 14 days and I am judging). Another friend's husband tested positive and she and their 4 kids are asymptomatic and planning to test on day 14 after quarantining.

All of these people live in easy walking distance from me and all are under 50.

I forgot another person who had it in the spring, so the number has tripled and not quadrupled. Like many of you, I know of many more people who've had it. In my list I'm counting up the people I know well enough to send an email.

One daughter, now recovering. Three neighbors had it this summer, one died. Four friends who had it in March and are recovered. Many, many acquaintances.

Of people who I know both their first and last name without having to look it up:
1 cousin- college athlete, recovered.

A number of of families from our kids' school had it over the summer. All recovered before school started.
One family that was solely online got it a month ago, recovered, and now have their kids in in-person school.
I read today that it is estimated 1 in 6 Texans have had Covid.
1 in 10 of our neighbors we have met have had it. Recovered.
We are pretty sure we had it in the early spring but haven't been tested for antibodies.

People I personally know who have COVID now or have had it within the last month:
5 of my relatives who live in another state which has been having the highest per capita incidence in the nation (those 5 don't all live in the same town/household, though - the represent 3 different households)

6 people I personally know in my community - not including my husband who has had COVID-like symptoms and is awaiting test results

290 people at the university where I work tested positive in the past week. The university has gone to remote learning, as have the local high schools.

Many people I know are quarantining because of exposure to someone who tested positive, but those positives are people I don't personally know.

I knew 2 people who had it in March. One of them recovered; one passed away.

People who I know personally, 0 (this is where you chuckle and shake your head at my over-reactive covid response as I've laid it out in previous comments, Jamie). People my husband tells me about as close-ish work contacts, or the admissions staff (at the college my hs senior has just done an in-person scholarship competition at) tell me about.... I would estimate perhaps 6? Those little announcements that make 14 days such an exciting milestone to reach! And of course, there is also the 1 middle schooler in my daughter's (always has been online) literature class - she was sick enough to need a bye on her work for a bit, but is apparently fine now.

We're not, personally as a household, seeing a huge explosive growth here in North LA Co at the moment, I don't think....but our area never got around to opening the schools to regular students (just mostly special ed, I think), and in today's newspaper we have the news that they are closing one of the high schools entirely again because 4 staff have covid, they *think* from other, disparate sources, but abundance of caution, decontamination, blah blah.... I thought we were already as closed down as we could get, but I think there may be new ideas brewing out there, and all the toilet paper is gone again. And the cheese (why, why is my cheese gone? At least we still have chocolate, for now)

Re people who think they have had it in the spring: my sister was pretty sure she and her husband had it because he was a close contact of someone who had it, but she never got the tell-tale fever and the tests were too limited for them to get one. But as her malaise dragged on and wreaked havoc with her prenatal appts, her midwife finally got her a antibody test and it turns out her family must have just had regular spring crud of some variety.... or a testing fail.

I know two staff at our workplace who've had it and 6-8 kids. We're a residential facility and I don't remember how many were in their cottage when they were quarantined. One staff member is our age and, months later, is still having issues with her heart and oxygen levels. Kids (teens) all seem fine.

I know about 5 other people who have had it, at least one who reports she is still struggling after a couple of months. I don't know anyone who has died but have friends who report they have lost family members due to the illness.

Did you see Kevin H. post about it? Both his parents were sick. Mom was able to stay home without much trouble. Dad struggled in the hospital and eventually succumbed.

I've lost track of how many people I know directly who have had it. Currently I know 6 people who have it as I type (4 symptomatic, 2 not). Everyone has survived and I do not directly know anyone who has died from COVID. I have noticed a definite upward trend.

About nine in all that I know of (counting presumed cases that weren't tested and one that was almost definitely a false negative), but most of them actually happened in the spring or summer. I live in the blue-state Northeast and work in higher ed, so although my state's cases certainly are climbing, most of my circle can work remotely and is taking masking and social distancing pretty seriously. I'm grateful my kids' daycare hasn't had any cases among students or teachers so far; there were a few weeks in early fall where my preschooler was almost the only kid in a mask in her class, but the day after I finally complained about that, President Trump et al. tested positive, so somewhere between the two they decided to go back to vigilance, and the masking's been better since then.

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