Covid, not covid, and a nice break from a nice job
Friday, Jan. 27, 2023 - 10:55 pm.

I, indeed, got covid. Andrew and I went to get a PCR test on Saturday morning, and we spent the weekend feeling terrible. We were gonna get the results on Monday at noon.

We were gonna meet with our former boss and colleague B and a couple of other colleagues on Friday night, but regretfully we cancelled (and then B cancelled everything altogether), as a precaution. As a result, though, we ended up with lots of party food that we were gonna bring to her house.

Andrew and I then had a very comfortable lockdown over the weekend, hanging out and taking care of each other. He's the best partner anybody could ask for. It made the sickness bearable, although I felt anguish from time to time as I remembered the darkest times of the pandemic (which it's still going on, in case you're wondering!). Fun and games aside, I may be infected with this thing that killed two of my cousins and countless other people, and that has a bunch of umpredictable health consequences.

I had an important interview with Social Science PhD applicants on Monday morning. Everything is done in person now, but The Director of the program is one of the most sensible people I know in uni, and he set me up to attend the interviews online.

While we waited for our results on Monday, we were counting on the results of Andrew's antigen tests. Plural. He got one on Friday and the other on Sunday, right in between our PCR test. Both antigen tests were negative, so we thought it was just a harsh cold. I really couldn't tell. Sometimes it felt like covid (though not as bad as the first time), other times it didn't. We had somewhat different symptoms, but we both feel miserable. If it was negative for him, it would be the same for me.

Andrew got his results first on Monday past noon. His PCR test was negative. We sighed with relief. Mine would be too.

But no. I tested positive.

We were flabbergasted. But we were both sick! We started feeling like crap almost at the same time! It took a while for that to sink it, that I had covid and he didn't. Did that mean that maybe he got it first? Could he then get it from me?

Funny, though, both times we've had it, we got infected around our birthdays. First time it was near Andrew's birthday in June last year, while our symptoms began on my birthday.

Speaking of sinking, my heart sank with the implications of my positive results: My first master's student was defending his thesis the next day, Tuesday. Andrew had scheduled a surgery to improve his sight, a surgery that I'd seen him dream of since we met, for Wednesday. Both things would have to be cancelled.

The thesis defense went ahead, God bless, but I had to be there via zoom. It was either that or rescheduling for March, which would have entailed agony for my student and more workload for the evaluators and me. My student did amazing, he set the bar high for those who'll come after him, and he now has a master's degree.

The celebratory photos after his exam are a hoot. He's looking all happy and dapper while holding the laptop in which you can see my face. I did get dolled up for this joyous, nerdy occasion, so I think we look good anyway.

Andrew's surgery, on the other hand, has been postponed. He's a trooper and took everything in its stride. These things happen, he said, it wasn't anybody's fault. Even if he didn't have covid, he was down with something, and maybe it wouldn't be safe to be coughing up while someone is operating on his eyes. A lot of medical doctors go on holiday in February, though, including the one scheduled for this surgery, so now he's waiting for a consultation with another doctor who might do the surgery instead.

Moreover, Andrew got a second PCR, and his overall fourth covid test in a week, on Wednesday. Still negative. So the next day he went to see another doctor and it turned out he has pharyngitis. I mean, what the fuck.

Meanwhile, I returned to work on Thursday. I had my first Psych Department meeting(!) regarding an undergrad course I'll be leading with a colleague. All this entails a longer story that I'll tell another day, but for now suffice to say that I'm so fucking excited because I want to work with and learn from this colleague, and because my part of the course is about addressing sexual orientation and gender identity in psychology. Holy shit, I'm ridiculously excited.

And today was my last day of work until next semester, as uni closes down during February for summer recess. A full month of vacation. This happens every year and I never quite believe this. Andrew reminded me today that this is a privilege that the average Chilean worker doesn't have. But for him this month, before we left for Sheffield to get our PhD, always meant unemployment because of the precarious job conditions he was in.

I think this last year, Andrew and I have managed to carve ourselves a place in academia and get decent contracts, with a bit of luck, a lot of support from our ex-bosses B and M (may she rest in peace), and mostly with our fighting tooth and nail for research funding. After years of struggling, we're finally getting the perks that go according to our abilities and degree. Though those perks are also privileges, and the fact that we deserve these perks doesn't mean other people don't deserve them too.

But anyway, I'm grateful for this chance to unplug for weeks. I may slip in a few hours of work, but only because I'm fucking pumped with some stuff that's coming up for me next semester. Nevertheless, I need to make a schedule. Andrew and I will make a calendar to schedule activities throughout the summer because it's easy for us to let the days slip and just stay home being sluggish (which isn't bad! But it would be great to do a lot of things).

Andrew could still get covid. I could still get pharyngitis. The possibilities of summer lay ahead.

Stay safe!

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