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Point of View: Positive You’re Negative?

Wed, 01/04/2023 - 17:40

Though it was icy cold on Christmas Eve, the thought that hockey players at Buckskill would be delighted with the deep-freeze weather buoyed my spirits. “In fact,” I said to Mary, who had been quarantined with Covid for more than a week (but who didn’t mind the fact that she couldn’t go out of the house that day), “athletes, despite the weather, are probably always happy somewhere on the globe. Surfers, you know, love hurricanes, runners don’t mind the rain, skiers welcome blizzards . . . that kind of thing.”

Speaking of Covid, it’s a real puzzle. She tested positive one day not long ago, a negative result for her, who likes to be among people. Then I tested negative, though could I be positive I was negative? I had no symptoms, but that apparently, according to what I read, wasn’t necessarily a cause for celebration. I could be an asymptomatic carrier. After five days, I suggested that she test herself again, her case being a mild one. But Mary demurred since two of our daughters had told her that testing negative didn’t necessarily mean she wasn’t positive. By the same token, could she be positive she was positive should the test turn out that way, I said, adding that I didn’t mean to be negative.

I’ve concluded it’s a crap shoot; nothing’s certain except uncertainty, it seems. The only thing I’ve learned lately is to wear a mask when shopping. I don’t mean to come across as a cynic; we’ve had all the shots, all the boosters, and we know that having done so will probably pull us through. This enforced separation we’ve had to undergo, I sleeping upstairs, she downstairs, has been depressing. On Christmas Eve, we were closer together than we were the last nine days, sitting at opposite ends of the dining room table, about 10 feet apart, knowing that we’ve been doing our best to keep the negative vibes at bay and to assure a positive — a negative, if you’d rather — outcome.   

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