On Getting COVID Right Before Graduation

Well, this is suboptimal.

I mentioned last week that the travel gods were offended that I commuted to the AACC conference, offering as evidence the sheer number of random and ridiculous obstacles they placed in the way. It turned out their final move was to give me COVID for my troubles.

It’s a bit much, if you ask me.

My last day at the conference was last Monday. Last Thursday, I left the office early, feeling not-quite-right; that night, I tested positive. Friday was not pretty. The weekend was better, but I’m still quarantining.

All of which would not matter much, except that it’s graduation week! This is the most thrilling, and exhausting, week of the spring semester. This is when the end-of-year performances, functions, celebrations, and events pile on top of each other. Students are eager to show off and celebrate; faculty are exhausted and proud; administrators offer mutual support as our calendars explode.

You can see the issue.

Instead of going from event to event, stopping in between to put out fires, I’m dodging The WIfe and The Girl at home in hopes of keeping them safe. The in-house choreography gets more complicated than one might imagine. The Girl is particularly wary, since this is her IB exam week and makeups, she claims, aren’t until September. I do not want to be Typhoid Matt, but I still sometimes need to get from one room to another.

I’ll admit upfront that I’m lucky. Other than Friday, the case has been relatively mild. I was waxed and boosted, so that may play into it, and I’ve been relatively healthy for a long time. (The kids commented a few years ago that I typically only get sick about once a year, and even then, it’s usually for a day. They’re right.) Ultimately, what separates a mild case from a catastrophic one is largely the luck of the draw.

I worked from home on Monday, with the only real intrusion being an unnervingly resonant cough during one virtual meeting. But I had to miss a chance to see some impressive student exhibits offsite with a community partner, which I had both promised to attend and looked forward to attending. On Tuesday I’ll miss several student events, including a dinner that’s an annual highlight.


Wear your masks, folks. I’d much rather be celebrating with students than nursing hot tea all day.

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