I’m Isaac Saul, and this is Tangle: an independent, ad-free, subscriber-supported politics newsletter that summarizes the best arguments from across the political spectrum on the news of the day — then “my take.”
Well... it might be happening. This morning I woke up with cold-like symptoms and took one of the Abbot rapid antigen tests I had laying around the house, and that little pesky "positive" line turned a dark purple almost immediately. I took a second one two hours later and got the same result.
Predictably, this news has dynamited my morning. I'm hitting up some friends I've seen in the last few days to let them know, and now scrambling to move my office back into my home and make arrangements to isolate myself from my wife, who tested negative. I'm planning to go get a PCR test later today, which is known to be more reliable, so my fingers are crossed for a false positive.
That being said, it's a particularly upsetting moment because, after a long year of trying to avoid the virus and so many efforts to take proper precautions, the positive test result came just days before I was set to travel for the holidays and see so many friends and family. Those plans have been the light at the end of the tunnel for months, and now they're in doubt, which is crushing. Even more frustrating is that I just got my booster shot on Saturday (no, the vaccine doesn't give you Covid-19), which could mean I was just a week or two late in avoiding this altogether.
It's also a reminder of how insidious this virus is. We're still living in a world where I'm now resigned to partitioning my home in two and living in one room for the next few days. More than 800,000 people have now died of or with Covid-19 — a number once unfathomable (I remember the horror when former President Trump predicted 250,000 might die). I have long done my best not to add to the Covid-19 shock, awe, sensationalism and fearmongering. But this virus sucks, and it's still here, and I can't believe we're still having to deal with it.
Anyway, the way a positive test like this upends your life — the contact tracing, re-organization, planning, isolating, fears of long-haul symptoms, and the need to go ensure the test is actually positive — it turns out it's all quite time consuming. I'm grateful on days like today that I'm my own boss, but also regret that I don't have someone who can tag in and write the newsletter for me. I’m grateful I’m vaccinated, too, which has calmed my nerves and given me some extra assurances that the odds of getting really sick are extremely low.
Unfortunately, given what I’ve said about all the responsibilities a positive result creates, we're taking off today (but have some quick hits below). Assuming my symptoms don't worsen in the next 24 hours, we'll be back tomorrow with your regular programming. Your well wishes, good juju, prayers and positive vibes are very much appreciated.
Isaac & the Tangle team
- Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, plead guilty to separate federal charges that he violated Floyd's civil rights. (The plea)
- The CDC issued a warning today that the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly through the U.S., and could cause a wave of positive tests in January. (The spread)
- The United Nations' nuclear watchdog and Iran have reached an agreement to reinstall cameras damaged at an Iranian site that manufactures centrifuge parts, though a debate remains on what footage inspectors can access. (The cameras)
- President Biden is traveling to Kentucky today, the state hit hardest by a series of tornados and storms last week. (The visit)
- Text messages from Fox News hosts and Donald Trump Jr. that were sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during the January 6 riots are intensifying scrutiny of the day's events. (The texts)
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