Dear Ones,

I have almost recovered from COVID. Vince also contracted it; so far the children have not. I will finish my ten day isolation on Friday, April 29 and be fine to lead services the next few weeks.
I have a couple learnings to share:

—It is really everywhere right now. In a group of 20 or so people, someone will be carrying it. I cannot be sure where I picked it up.

—Home tests are not as sensitive as PCR tests. Mine were negative for three days after mild, cold-like symptoms started on Easter Monday, and I only tested positive after I became quite sick.

—You don’t want to get this. While the “mildness” of omicron and its sub-variants are often spoken of, Vince and I have experienced it more like the kind of cold that knocks you off your feet, along with body aches, headaches, and some odd digestive and cognitive symptoms. Of more concern are the long-term health effects of having had the virus that are only just beginning to be studied or understood.

—Vaccines work; there are effective treatments. Both Vince and I described an experience of the virus “doing battle” with our vaccinated and boosted immune systems. As poorly as I felt I was never truly afraid. However, when I took my first dose of the COVID FDA emergency use authorized antiviral PAXLOVID, I felt an almost immediate response in my body and brain.

—In Napa County right now, you need to be proactive about seeking treatment. Both the 5-day antiviral course and the single monoclonal antibody infusion are available through prescription from your health-care provider. If you test positive, you need to make a virtual appointment and specifically discuss these treatments with your doctor. Only a few pharmacies in the county carry PAXLOVID, and you need to start it within 5 days of symptom onset. The infusion can be taken up to 7 days. These treatments not only protect your system from the ravages of the disease, but also mean that you are shedding less virus to potentially infect those around you.

—Masking, distance, and ventilation are key to prevention. They have been uppermost at our house for the last week, and so far have kept our kiddos from getting it.

We will maintain these measures to the extent we are able at Grace, particularly during this local upswing. Our re-gathered community, especially this Easter Season, is a delight. I am so grateful for the incredible advances of medicine in the last two years which have given us powerful tools to contend with this virus which has claimed so many lives.

In God’s peace, Rev. Amy