‘The Anecdote’ contains my occasional musing about life. If you enjoy it, please share it with a friend. If you don’t, share it with ten.
This weekend my daughter tested positive for Covid, and as is always most important when something like this happens, I’m actively working to assign blame.
Let’s start with her.
I want to blame her for going to a high school football game on Friday night.
A place where she knew there would be other human beings walking around and interacting, each carrying with them a morass of bacteria, viruses, and assorted bio-loads.
I want to blame her for taking her mask off to eat.
What was she thinking, removing her mask at an outdoor event to eat or drink?
Everyone knows you can only do that in a bar, a crowded restaurant, or in a sealed titanium tube soaring through the sky.
I want to blame her, but I can’t.
Instead, I blame myself, as I started getting Covid symptoms earlier in the week.
Sure, they were the same symptoms I’ve had dozens of times before when seasons change and allergies kicked in.
Sure, I took a series of rapid tests that kept coming back negative and I made sure to stay away from everyone in the house, but still, I could have done more.
How tough would it have been to hire a crew to come in on the hour and sanitize every surface?
Or retrofit our house with HEPA filters?
Better yet, why didn’t I think to build an addition in the backyard where I could fully isolate?
Yes, I’d be ready to blame myself for my daughter’s Covid if my best friend Mark weren’t more to blame, thanks to his irresponsible, reprehensible decision to join a college fraternity back in the 80s.
Because that’s when he met Jim.
And after Jim recently died, his pledge brothers threw a memorial service in SoCal, which is why Mark stayed at my house last Saturday through Tuesday - the day he first started exhibiting Covid symptoms.
So I’d blame him, except he was fully vaccinated, just like me and my family.
Instead, I feel that Jim is to blame.
He’s the piece of shit who had everything going for him – smart, successful, a lovely wife and daughter – and threw it all away by becoming an addict, first to pills, then heroin, leading to an OD and the super spreader memorial that has spawned a dozen positive test results – so far.
But what about Bill?
He’s the pharmaceutical rep that passed out those free “samples” in the first place.
I should blame him.
Better yet, I should blame Bill’s mom. I’d blame his dad too but he’s dead.
How morally bankrupt was her parenting that Jim didn’t think twice about getting his brother hooked on Oxy?
I’d call her up right now and give her a piece of my mind if it wasn’t for the fact that, despite being double vaxed, she too has tested positive for Covid – a virtual death sentence at age 80.
That and the whole “having to bury your first-born” thing.
But I’ve got to blame someone.
If I don’t, how can I process my anger, frustration, and fear at having no control in this situation?
Perhaps I’m thinking too small.
What about big pharma?
Moving heaven and earth to produce a vaccination in record time and getting it distributed to over 75% of the population doesn’t mean much if it’s not 100-percent perfect?
Surely, they deserve blame.
Or the government.
Two successive administrations now have failed to stop Covid.
What good is government if it can’t wrap us up in its benevolent, protective arms and ensure that nothing bad ever happens?
And the media; there’s plenty of blame to go around there.
It’s almost as if during the past two years of Covid coverage they’ve been more concerned about ratings and pageviews than thoughtfully and accurately reporting the facts.
If I didn’t know better, I’d swear they have an agenda.
Still, maybe I’ve got to think bigger.
Maybe it’s life that I should blame? Life is always doing terrible things.
Like last month, when Steve Krueger - a much-beloved UPS driver only weeks away from retirement – was killed instantly after a plane fell out of the sky and crashed through the roof of his delivery truck.
At Steve’s memorial service, Jeff Krueger recounted something his brother once told him: “If something like this happened to one of us, everybody’s got to move forward, not to be kept down by it, move forward, continue with life, remember the person and be positive.”
“That’s how Steve was,” Jeff said. “He was very much, you gotta be positive. Things will always get better so don’t take life so serious that it gets you down.”
I don’t know about that.
You’ll never win the blame game that way.
Plot Twist: Several hours after hitting “Publish” on this post I received the results of my PCR test - considered to be the gold standard - which showed “negative” for Covid.
This, despite an increase in symptom severity and two subsequent rapids tests that screamed “positive.”
As improbable as it seems given the circumstances - and despite getting a flu shot last Tuesday - that may just be what I’m suffering from.
Tomorrow, the whole family is going to get PCR tests in an effort to solve this mystery once and for all.
One thing is for certain, no matter the results, I’ll have to start looking for some new places to lay the blame.
Extra Plot Twist: Second PCR test came back positive. I got it. Daughter too.
P..S. Thanks to everyone who reached out with well wishes for me and my family, it’s much appreciated.