COVID and Surge.

Two words that are seemingly as inescapably linked as "peanut butter" and "jelly".

As we march into the third year of this nonsense, it goes without saying how infuriated I am that we're still in this position. Don't get me wrong: I loved when I was part of the RDO (Rotating Day Off) crowd, and I look forward to the potential of revisiting that old friend, but the problem that I have with it is when it comes to manning in the Navy. Or military at large—I honestly have no idea how the other branches are handling it, because they're outside my sphere of concern.

The Navy in my neck of the woods is now operating off of the CDC's most recent shift in guidelines:

Now the reason we're having problems in my own slice of this nightmare is because we've got a particularly small department. If only a handful of people are subject to quarantine, we already start facing manning "issues". I quote "issues", because the job that we perform here is nearly negligible anymore, and we could theoretically operate with a department of three personnel (for redundancy).

And making things even worse is that the folks that work for me are particularly junior. And particularly young.

And in general, my experience—and this is in no way a unique revelation—is that the "young mindset" is this:

"If there's a way I can not work, I'm gonna take it."

This isn't to say that they're all lying; or that any of them are. It's to say that even I am tempted to play the COVID card with the slightest feeling of illness if it means free time off. What keeps me from taking advantage of the system, though, is that I hate myself enough already without adding on to that self-hatred with having to look myself in the mirror and see a douchebag.

Despite how that sounds, I'm not condemning people for calling in sick. We're not in a state of emergency, and I can easily fill in myself the manning gaps for my part of the command mission.

But I'm not a doctor. And I'm ill-equipped (heh) to say whether someone is or isn't being legitimate in their complaints. However, if I make the wrong call, and person X is in fact sick—and they bring that sickness into the workplace—the ramifications can be dire.

"Why the fuck did you bring them in?"

"They're saying they told you they were sick."

Those are just a couple of the volleys I can imagine being thrown my way.

Even for the shitbaggiest of shitbags, you need to weigh whether their presence in the workplace is worth the potential consequences.


On a side note, the Chief Chat™ here mentioned that the at-home tests are different from those that you get done in the drive-thru test sites in the area. To be honest, I'd never really considered the differences, so figured I'd go ahead and do some research. The [first site that I found has this to say](

Rapid at-home COVID-19 tests can also be found at drugstores, but they’ve been hard to come by recently with the emergence of omicron and the arrival of the holidays.