Coronavirus Outbreak: Part 3

DS14 got mild cold symptoms yesterday and was worried b/c a friend he spends a lot of time with says his family all has covid (but, as far as we know, not the friend). I tested him as soon as I found out and he was negative; this was yesterday around 4. When should I test again? He stayed home from school today with the same mild symptoms, but seemed so well that I felt awkward letting him stay home. In The Before Times I would have sent him to school. He also has a school activity he’s supposed to attend tomorrow and it’s sports where nobody wears a mask. I’m going to check with the school if that’s even allowed if he misses the Friday. I’m leaning towards him missing it even if feeling better, but am unsure.

You might think about getting a PCR test today. If you get it ASAP, you might get results back by tomorrow morning. They are still more accurate and pick up infections around 1-2 days before rapid antigen tests will. I suspect they are also picking up some whose viral loads never quite high enough to trigger a rapid test. (They still don’t know the viral load needed to be materially infectious.)

If you have the tests available, with him having a known (2-degree?) exposure and symptoms, I would be rapid testing every morning. (Unless he’s going to be home by himself during the day, then I’d test before the rest of the family arrived home.)


I would just follow the letter of the school rules for a child with his level of symptoms and not overthink it. The rules are there to guide you and otherwise you will drive yourself crazy trying to think how responsible you should feel for others. Given how many colds are out there too (we have had three since November, none Covid). My two cents.

FWIW My 6yo’s best friend (they are practically glued to each other when they play, right long hugs all the time) had it in December and they’d been in school all day together during infectious period and my kid didn’t get it. We’ve had tons of exposure letters over the past few years and didn’t get it. Just picked it up randomly having a particularly risky vacation week out and about, the one time we’ve had it.

(I’m not discouraging testing as directed by school policy of course or just with symptoms generally even without a policy. I’m just advocating for don’t keep your kid out more than other kids are kept out if they’re basically feeling pretty good and are allowed back. Or you’ll miss a lot of school and activities other kids aren’t, which I think has impacts.)

I am from the school of we don’t push through illness in my house so if someone feels like staying home because they’re unwell, we don’t push them to participate in anything. Usually this means we really only interact with people if we’ve truly just got residual light symptoms.


The one thing I would add to this is adding a same-day rapid test if possible, even if the school doesn’t require it. Not sure if you were already assuming that, but it’s such a fairly easy thing to do to try to identify infectious cases.

Also, just a PSA to everyone… Currently most insurance companies cover 8 at-home test kits/person each month.

It’s a little unclear if that will continue if the national emergency declaration is allowed to expire, which could happen as early as April. So you might want to stock up on kits in the meantime, particularly those who want to continue testing before interacting with vulnerable people or in case of symptoms.

The ones I’ve gotten in the last few weeks from CVS have randomly had expiration dates ranging from May to October, so I’m making sure to use the earliest expiration dates first. It looks they have a home delivery option as well:


It’s very tricky and I would follow school policy. DH and I have it and we’ve been testing the kids every other day and it’s been negative. Our school has no isolation policy in place anymore and in fact, if you keep them home as a precaution it’s now an unexcused absence so everyone brings them in to school if someone else in the house is positive. I wolf just send them masked.


Another option … we know some families in this situation who have sent their kids to school and activities but had them wear a mask.


Yes - that’s the best option in my opinion.


I tested negative on Wednesday - because my symptoms were improving the DOE expected me back then anyway, in a mask unless I tested negative on 2 tests 48 hours apart.

Tested yesterday to make my sister happy (she goes by ship rules which is 2 negative tests 24 hours apart).

Tested negative today to be able to be mask-free if I chose today.


We never took off masks in crowded public spaces, so he’s been masked, although I know he’s tiring of it and was definitely using it less at school earlier in the year. My DH has had a series of surgeries during the pandemic and it’s not over so we’re not planning to stop masking anytime soon. But his activity for tomorrow is basketball where nobody wears a mask and I don’t think he could play correctly with one one, so we’re fine with him being unmasked for that (when well). I don’t really think he’s going tomorrow b/c he missed school today. This was a packed day with no time for a PCR test. I’m planning to retest him with an antigen test tomorrow unless symptoms disappear. There is some possibility the symptoms could be related to a massive braces adjustment they just did. That happened before, and they symptoms are pretty mild.


So how many days were you positive?


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They’re not bad. I’ve heard too many people testing positive ve for 11 or more days.


Yeah, my parents were about 14 days when they had it in August. Granted they had paxlovid rebound, but… My dad was getting super frustrated.




Update: DS tested neg on home tests 48 hrs apart so we’re no longer worried about covid for his mild cold. He didn’t feel up for the game yesterday anyway. This cold is his 5th upper respiratory illness of the school year and my kids are usually pretty healthy.


Good overview from YLE this week on the latest overall safety profiles of the vaccines.

TL;DR - there are some rare possible complications, but even for those low risk for Covid, these complications are more likely and/or more severe following a Covid infection than vaccination.

Yes, the vaccines are no longer as powerful at preventing infections as they were against the original variant, but they are still significantly reducing severe illness and death. Unless someone is taking extreme measures (i.e, 100% isolation) to prevent infection, they are better off getting the vaccine. The data clearly supports that.

ETA: And Eric Topol gives an in-depth review of the bivalent boosters. Which is very helpful, since he originally wasn’t convinced it was the right call, but it looks like it was.

TL;DR - The bivalent boosters are clearly more protective against current variants than the first generation vaccines, but protection wanes after 4-6 months.




Well this is a cute headline.


As someone 50+, this is not reassuring. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I guess at least it’s honest?


But how long will the booster last? I know they are trying to reach the ~85% that ignored the bi-v booster, but what about the rest of us that are all up to date? I guess mask and distance is all we can do?


Yes, I am interested if it will be an every 6 month booster for me. I will do that.