Officially Cleared

Dearest Rachel –

I suppose it’s a sign of the times
to say something along the lines
of how there’s nothing so relieving to see
than a chance to rejoin society…
because your Covid test came back negative.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that Daniel is noon too keen about the Covid vaccine (geez, I am just not able to avoid rhyming today, am I?) in any of its forms. And from what I understand from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), his concerns are not entirely without merit – several of the vaccines do have correlations with heart problems in young men. Essentially, he is of the demographic most likely to be adversely affected by them, assuming a possible causative link. By ‘most likely,’ I mean ‘not likely at all,’ but it’s still a greater than zero percent chance. Every choice has its risk factors, and to insist otherwise is to live in denial. So he’s more concerned about what the vaccine might do to him than what the disease itself might, because he believes the risks of the former have been significantly downplayed, while the risks of the latter (especially for a young buck like himself) have been grossly exaggerated by contrast.

And to be honest, I’m old enough to remember the swine flu ‘epidemic’ from the Ford administration, and the fact that the supposed vaccine caused a shocking number of cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, especially when compared to an illness that barely made a dent in the population, despite being treated at the time like the second coming of the Spanish flu. For all the lessons we took from the events of a century ago, it is astonishing how much we seemed to have ignored those from forty-five years back, and not tried to balance the two sets of lessons. Granted, the swine flu was an extreme case of the cure actually being worse than the disease, but the apparent collective insistence that what we have now is absolutely beyond reproach, with no flaws whatsoever, and don’t you dare say anything against it lest you be banned from society as a spreader of misinformation… that doth start to sound like someone who protesteth far too much.

At the same time, Daniel’s reaction to this dogmatic insistence that one way is right and no argument will be brooked has been… disheartening. You and I have always been of the understanding that raising children is like handling wet soap: hold it too loosely, and the soap slips out of your hand and under the floor; but squeeze it too tightly, and it shoots out of your hand. In our attempts to raise Daniel, we always feared the possibility of ‘squeezing the soap.’ What I don’t think we ever counted on was the possibility that the soap might be squeezed for us by outside forces without our realization or consent.

My dad is amazed at how Daniel has decided to disregard the word of people he knows and loves and at least used to trust, for a collection of folks out in cyberspace that he will never know personally and will never know him. All thanks to a dogmatic insistence from the Powers That Be that ‘this is The Truth,’ when it quite clearly isn’t. Once one lie is spotted, and then another, and another, he seems to have decided that everybody in authority is either lying or mislead, and therefore not to be trusted. Which, of course, begs the question as to why he trusts people he does trust. That is something I have not obtained a reasonable answer for.

But I digress. What Daniel cannot deny is the fact that both he and I have been less than fully healthy. We might disagree as to what it was we’ve had, and that’s fine – after all, I was certainly under the impression that I had a cold rather than Covid (because, after all, the whole point of a ‘vaccine’ is that it prevents you from getting the illness, like polio or measles or smallpox. Henceforth, I believe I will refer to the Covid shot as just that – a shot, like what we get for the flu. It might mitigate against the symptoms, but it doesn’t necessarily prevent anything, as viruses will do what viruses do, and mutate beyond the shot’s ability to completely prevent infection).

And while we are both feeling better – certainly on the mend – we need to reassure others that we have broken through. Hence, the tests.

Daniel actually asked me about the chemicals that were included in the test, not wanting to have any of them put in his body. And while I did read off the list that was included in the text box, it occurred to me that none of those chemicals would even come into contact with us. They were all part of the reagent that we were to set the swab we collected our nasal samples from, pulling whatever viruses and bacteria that might be on it into the solution, and then set the test strip into the contaminated solution for said organisms to work their effects on the treated paper.

For his benefit (and actually, for mine as well – I’ll explain in a moment), I went first. I’m not going to force him to do some thing that I’m not willing to do to myself, and to be honest, I was concerned that – assuming that we both had had Covid – we would both still wind up with positive results, regardless of the fact that I had already been officially proven to have recovered from the ailment, since I would have antibodies and viral ruins in my system that could be taken for the illness.

So I followed the instructions, setting the swab in the reagent for a minute, and then the test strip for ten or so. And I got a result: a blue stripe only, with no trace of pink. Negative. Which was what I was expecting, but still relieved to see.

Now, it was Daniel’s turn. He swabbed himself, and followed my lead. After another ten or twelve minutes, we checked the strip, and…

The top one is mine, and the bottom one is Daniel’s. I suppose this was a foregone conclusion, considering the title of this letter, but there you go.

And that’s it. It seems that we have both broken through, and are officially antigen-free. So while we had to miss out on dinner with Meema and Poppa last night, we are for all intents and purposes cleared to join the family for our various Christmas celebrations. I don’t need to tell you what a relief this was, both in getting them to participate, and then getting the results.

I often sign off these letters, honey, by asking you to wish us luck. And while we always do need it, for once, I just want to express my gratitude for that which we’ve had. This could have gone so much worse in so many ways, and yet here we both are, on the other side of this ailment. Our bodies are primed with wanted posters of the virus, at least for the time being, and we’re not shedding anything that would make us a danger to others either. Now all we need to do is to prepare for and enjoy the coming holiday season as best we can without you.

Remember us, honey.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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