Confession

Last Saturday, Gabe asked if he could spend the night at his friend’s house. I said yes. I asked how many kids were going to be there, but just because I wanted to know. He said most of the freshman football team.

I drove him there. I let the dad show me around the property. I saw the theater room where they were all going to sleep. I made a joke about what that room would smell like come morning.

I never once thought about COVID.

The first kid tested positive Monday afternoon, when those 14 kids were at weight-lifting, baseball, basketball and track. By Tuesday, the host kid was sick and two more had been tested. When Gabe slept until 10 am on Wednesday (he was quarantined from school), I had a sinking feeling. Sure enough, his temp hovered between 99 and 101 all day long and yesterday the test came back positive.

He is the 7th positive from the party.

We have been so careful. I have been loud about those who were not careful. I counted the months of vigilance proudly, and when it came time to vaccinate, you know we did.

In fact, Gabriel got his first shot Saturday morning.

No matter. COVID came anyway, because we were dumb. We didn’t see it through. Like we climbed Mt Everest, but jumped off the Hillary Step.

Yes, the grown ups in our family and circle of friends are all vaxxed and that’s a blessing. But our county is currently rocking a 44% vaccinated rate so there are plenty–too many–unvaccinated folks out there.

I have opinions about their choice to not vaccinate, but I do not want my teenager to carry the weight of someone’s death because he went to a sleepover.

It’s enough that his other friends are mad that because they sat next to him in class on Monday, they have to quarantine–and miss baseball playoffs and track districts this weekend. We had to postpone Annie’s already postponed birthday party and she’s missing her last soccer game. Kate’s friend–whose brother was also at the sleepover–postponed her birthday party. It’s more than the fact that Gabe got COVID–his fever already broke and he feels fine again–but that the implications ripple out and out and out.

We are so, so close to being done. Heading into the big holiday weekend, it will be tempting to throw caution to the wind. I’m saying don’t. Listen to Yogi: