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Zero Positive

January 2, 2022 pm31 10:55 pm

The positivity rate in my apartment is 0. That’s pretty good. As long as I don’t go out, I can keep it there. Unfortunately, my school is open tomorrow.

I should qualify that. Not the school part, it’s true and it’s horrifying. The zero percent part. I did a rapid test on the evening of Monday December 27. It was negative. I did a PCR on Sunday December 26. It came back negative on the 27th.

In the interim I went for a hike Wednesday. With one person. Who tested negative before and after. Not during, we didn’t do that. I visited a friend Friday. For maybe 10 minutes. She was sick, thought she had Covid. But after 3 negative rapids and 2 negative PCRs she admitted that it might be a nasty cold. I brought her dark chocolate, with oat milk, vegan. She took my photo. And then there was a store clerk Saturday. I might have shopped Tuesday?

And I took my second rapid just now. The results are not in, but I saw the second line darken. In ten minutes I’ll still be negative. Apartment of jd2718? Positivity Zero.

Unfortunately, outside my apartment, the positivity rate is not zero. I know this from people on the internet. Also, from this website, by Gothamist. The positivity rate if I open my door is currently 41%. I’ve been trying not to open my door.

I was thinking of walking up to my favorite testing site, one zip code and a 17 minute walk away. They may have teacher priority. They may not. But it’s where I would go first. Except they do not have positivity zero. Nope. They have positivity 41%, too. But while mine is 41.46%, theirs is 41.08% which is a difference. But not enough.

Think of it this way. I could walk there, be safe and masked and distanced and outside the whole way, but when I get there I will be in line, and with a 41% or 41.08% positivity rate, and me probably negative, there would be a good chance of having the person in front of me and the person behind me both positive (some math person might say that’s only a 1 in 6 chance, but try explaining that to non-math people), creating a viral sandwich, which, even if the CDC renames it a viral open-faced sandwich, compares unfavorably to the zero per cent in my apartment.

So here I am sitting, negative, in my zero percent positive cocoon, and reading the craziest… They have schools open tomorrow. My school is one zip code away. Positivity 44.62%. Not only does that beat my living room, it beats the street outside my building. It’s also going to be cold tomorrow, which is another matter, but a matter all the same.

If I had symptoms, I would stay home. But I don’t. If there were some other excuse… If my union led a mass protest, a strike – I would join in. If that strike were illegal – I would still join in. If a significant number of union members across the city… alas.

I polled my members. Some had good breaks. Others, well… But none of the answers supplied me with an excuse to stay home.

So there you have it. My rapid just finished. Negative. Tomorrow around 7 in the morning I will put on a scarf, a hat, a maroon winter coat, and the warmest two masks I can find. Unless a new and exciting excuse emerges in the next 8 hours, I’ll be heading from 0 to 44.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2022 pm31 11:55 pm 11:55 pm

    Hi! I really like your blog. Your mention of schools opening made me think of a Reddit/Twitter post, and I thought I’d share it:

  2. Samuel Noel permalink
    January 3, 2022 am31 4:32 am 4:32 am

    Schools are reflections of the communities they serve. There’s no reason to believe that children and staff are somehow safer in this congregate setting than others. Our classrooms were already petri dishes before Covid-19 with poor ventilation, overcrowding, and not enough school nurses. This rush to reopen schools has disaster written all over it!


  1. New Year, Problems: old, new, tricky | JD2718

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