I have news, and none of it is good.
My phone rang at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and I knew what that meant. My mom had had a Covid test the previous day. Yep, she is positive, and it's been very rough. My brothers found out that UW-Madison was administering a monoclonal antibody infusion and they got her in the very next day!
But she has been feeling terrible. She was in the ER earlier this week, where they discovered a blood clot in her lungs. She is on Eliquis now and still feeling awful. She has just about every risk factor there is, so we are very worried.
She lives in the independent living section of a retirement community, which is terrible for this situation. Her community is filled with Covid, and I have a heart condition, so we can't go in. We hired a company to send a nursing aide every day, but they are so short-staffed that they don't make it every day.
Then I got a call from my principal on Wednesday. "I have really bad news about a former student, she said. A student I had been very close to going back to 8th grade, had died unexpectedly on Tuesday at the age of 19.
My heart is broken. Isaac lived in my neighborhood so we've stayed in touch. The first time I met him in 8th grade, he said, "No teacher has ever liked me, and you won't either." Of course, I fell in love right then and there. I cannot imagine how his parents are getting through this. He was an only child, and he had an amazingly close relationship with his mom -- who is also a special ed teacher and who worked at a middle school with me.
Because I don't know what to do with my grief, I designed a unisex mitt in Isaac's honor. His mom is very active in outdoor sports, so the first pair goes to her.
Then there is the Republican legislature in Wisconsin, which wants teachers back in school in January -- no matter how bad community spread is. We are counting on the Democratic governor to veto this bill. The GOP does not have enough members to override a veto.
It is a dark time.