Greetings from the Omicron epicenter! I imagine lots of people in other parts of the world, and even elsewhere in South Africa, are wondering what’s really happening with the Omicron variant in Gauteng. We’ve got some first-hand experience at the Blogitect (blogger + architect) household, so here it is. (If you’re curious about the recent covid stats in South Africa, click here.)
This past Monday my partner Thorsten tested positive for covid. His symptoms started on Saturday night. He had covid once before in June/July, presumably the Delta variant, and got vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson in late September. We assume he has Omicron this time.
Thorsten had mild to moderate flu symptoms for three or four days — sore throat, congestion, body aches, and a general malaise — but started to feel better yesterday (Thursday) and continues to improve today. His range of symptoms has been similar for both Delta and Omicron, except he lost his sense of smell/taste with Delta and that hasn’t happened this time (yet). In case you’re wondering about Thorsten’s age and health status, he’s about to turn 50 and has no underlying conditions.
We have no idea where Thorsten contracted covid either time; we attended two small, indoor events the week that Omicron started, but I suspect that was too long ago. There’s not much point in speculating though; people are getting covid left and right and contact tracing is impossible.
I have not had any covid symptoms. I tested negative (with a PCR test) on Wednesday, and hopefully I’ll stay that way. I haven’t had covid at all yet (as far as I know), despite my partner getting it twice — go figure. (Back in June, Thorsten tested positive just a couple of days after I traveled from South Africa to the United States. So theoretically he had it before I left. I tested three times during the ensuing weeks and all the tests were negative.) I got vaccinated with Pfizer in June/July.
So the Blogitects are both isolating at home for the next several days, which is kind of a drag mentally but also not that bad. We really enjoy each other’s company, we can both work from home fairly easily, and we just spent three months making our new house in Brixton a really nice place to spend time. Also there is very little to do outside the house anyway, as all the fun December activities we’d planned to participate in are either canceled or postponed.
Passing the Time During Isolation
Here are some of the things we’ve been doing to kill time at home:
- Sketching (Thorsten). See above.
- Knitting (me). I took up knitting just before the pandemic, but I’ve become an absolute knitting fiend during Omicron.
- Cooking (Thorsten and me). We’ve cooked a few nice things during isolation and we’ve got a few more nice meals planned. (Luckily we did a really big shop just before Thorsten got sick, and we placed a big order with Munching Mongoose after.) My favorite isolation meal so far was the pumpkin fritters Thorsten made for lunch yesterday.
- Thrifting (me). I’ve blogged about this multiple times already, but I am obsessed with buying second-hand clothes from my friend Ryan, a.k.a. @ThreeDogsThrift. I’ve procured three new items during isolation.)
- Admiring the cat (Thorsten and me). We spend hours each day admiring Trixie, the Brixton Cat, assessing the cuteness of her every move and feature. Wouldn’t you?
- Admiring the beauty of our home (Thorsten and me but mainly me). See below.
Our Omicron Home
We’re so happy in this house and I’m incredibly grateful we were able to move in and get settled before Omicron hit. The biggest new development is a deck off the back of the house, which was finished last month (thank God) and has completely transformed our relationship with the outdoors.
And since we don’t have a ton of outdoor space, I’ve made a conscious effort to populate both the inside and outside of the house with plants. I’ve really never been a plant person before this, but I sure did decide to become one at exactly the right time. These plants are preserving my sanity.
Here are a few pictures of plants and other home furnishings that have made me particularly happy this week.
And that is my update from Omicron land. Life could be better but it could also be a lot worse. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading this rambling post.
How are all of you feeling? Give me a shout, as they say in South Africa. I have lots of time on my hands this weekend and would love nothing more than to read and respond to your comments.