the 7 stages of omicron by rosy rodriguez

Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by Omicron…or Regina George…also, whatever happened to Mu? You still there, girl? 

It’s been quite the rollercoaster this holiday season, and as usual, us Miamians love to be a little extra! As if we didn’t have enough to deal with over the holidays, we go on and spearhead the Omicron test kitchen for the rest of the United States. This particular variant is as contagious as she is mild, but boy did she cramp our holiday style. Most of us know at least a few people who’ve been infected, and my family wasn’t spared the fun. I had such an active holiday season planned for my family filled with daily outings and adventures over our two free weeks. But that didn’t happen at all. Nope. After just one day of fun my 5-year-old daughter started running a fever, the next day I had cold symptoms, and my husband ended up having quite the cough. 

Only my 3-year-old was asymptomatic, and honestly this only confirms my theory that that boy is indestructible.

While Omicron is a much milder variant I have to admit, after making it the entire pandemic “clean,” it was a real bummer to finally be infected. We’ve always been so damn careful! It kind of made me feel like I was going to come out of this wearing a scarlet letter. 

It was a real process getting through this experience, yet now in retrospect, I can only laugh about the insanity. 

I’ve racked my brain for a way to explain this to our readers, and The 7 Stages of Grief is what always pops into my mind. Join me now as I take you through the Rodriguez Family’s first (and hopefully last) experience with COVID-19, Omicron edition.

Step 1: Shock: Numbness. Confusion. Ok, lets just go home and get you some Tylenol. Maybe that rapid antigen test was a false positive and tomorrow we’ll throw on our masks and go to Target? OMG, if this is real I’m going to need a legal pad to get all this contact tracing straight. Can we all catch this or am I going to be able to put this kid in a bubble and still have a Griswold Christmas?!

Step 2: Denial: But I have the booster! We only hang out with the same three clowns all the time, and they don’t know anybody! 

I always wear my mask so no way it’s from me! Maybe that rapid antigen test was a false positive and tomorrow we’ll throw on our masks and go to Target! Aye please, this is just a cold. You should take that test again because that second line was barely pink. I don’t need to make soup yet, we’re fine.

Step 3: Anger: I cannot believe I’m as sick as I am and am making soup! Who did this to us, and why aren’t they here to deal with my children? Also, why am I the only one getting better?! Why was my daughter sick for a minute and I’m wearing two pairs of socks over a healthy amount of Vicks?! I hate all those people who get to binge Netflix and chill in be when they get COVID! 

I also really need Encanto to be released on Disney+ already!

Step 4: Bargaining: How many days of improved symptoms before I can bring in some help? If I Lysol the house, change the AC Filter and spray Microban into the intake after I Clorox wipe all the doorknobs maybe we could bring in reserves? If I finally listen to my grandmother and gargle with salt water and use extra Vicks can I test negative sooner? Can I just roll with this new “5 day rule” from the CDC and live my damn life?!

Step 5: Depression: How many more times do I have to watch Encanto? I’m never going to be able to fold those 4 loads of laundry. 

My home will never be tidy again. How am I supposed to clean up all this wrapping paper and put away these damn toys? I know my friends mean well but these drive-by visits keep reminding me of my putrid existence. OMG, we’re watching Encanto again.

Step 6: Testing: I’m thinking of pitching a Draft Kings type of betting system to the BinaxNow people for their rapid antigen tests. I continue to test positive despite my improvement and could be making a little cash on this. I’m finally going to mask up and run some drive-thru errands but these kids are no longer impressed with Happy Meals. How soon before I have all the songs from Encanto memorized?

Stage 7: Acceptance: I’m never going to pee alone again. These children are all over me and I have accepted this existence. I’ve taken another test and I could honestly care less what the outcome is. I’m a hermit now and have recently developed a real addiction for cheap Amazon Fashions and am going to spend so much time in January making returns. I now know all the songs from Encanto…what’s that? My test came back negative? Cool, I’m just going to go back to watching Encanto.

As we start off this new year let’s remember that we’re all in this together. Be kind and let’s do everything we can to keep each other safe. You may get stuck having to quarantine with your family for weeks on end but know that you’ll also be able to make fun of yourselves afterwards!

Rosy Rodriguez