The Outside Mother [Part 3 of 5]

2021.11.29 11:58 _no_children_ The Outside Mother [Part 3 of 5]

It was about this time that I met Terry at the supermarket. He was a few years older than me, 40, clean out of a noisy divorce, new to town. He had moved so that he could work as a mechanic for his brother’s car dealership, and when I think about our time together, now, the first thing I think about is how it ended, but the second is the loose change smell that he carried around after a long day underneath his brother’s cars.
He was forward and a little brash, and he walked up to me and said “hi.” I said hi back. I had no idea he was flirting; my first instinct is that I was somehow in his way, and he was going to ask me to move. He was strongly-built, and his mustache reminded me of Robbie’s father. He wore jeans, tight against his muscled legs, and his white t-shirt was clean and new.
“Well hi,” he said again, settling on his back foot. “I’m Terry. I’m new in town and I’ve never done this before, but I see you don’t have a ring, and I’d just love to take you out to a nice dinner.”
I could see clean through the “never done this before,” but it still felt a little like an imposition. That part of me had gone dormant, I’d gotten off the horse. When I thought about things being better in the future, I wasn’t thinking about dating or sex, I was thinking about rest and regularity. Being able to compose myself whenever I needed.
“And it’s very nice to meet you, Terry.” The way smelling salts apparently revive someone who’s fainted, Terry’s little flirtation in the cereal aisle had reminded me that I had been a person who liked things, who had lived a slightly-riotous life, that I was a woman of agency and will. I’ve always overthought first, but (past the initial shock) my response to Terry’s inviting me to dinner wasn’t an effort to reevaluate whether my needs were being met, wasn’t a pros-and-cons list about Robbie’s having a male figure in his life (Terry or another), it was a great gasp of wanting, it was an oh god, yes.
Terry would pick me up tomorrow. I told him there was a boy, and he said “aw, sounds real nice; can’t wait to meet him.” I gave Terry my address and I told him the directions. And we went our separate ways after checking out at the supermarket, and I felt a little bit well again. When you wake up, that first day after your fever breaks.
I told Robbie that night that I was going on a date, that I met a very nice man while I was doing the shopping. “Wow! That’s great!” he said, enthusiastically, enormously. But there was the downbeat, the little sag at the end. I try and I try to remember his face, but I don’t remember what it looked like.
My mom would watch Robbie, the next night. He would have been fine on his own, but I wanted Terry to see me lining up a sitter, having a support network, doing things the way they were supposed to be done. But Terry was on time and my mom ran late, and so my first date in a decade began with Terry, me, and Robbie, sitting around the kitchen table for half an hour. He was writing in another of his journals. I could tell Robbie was seized up in knots, that the story was changing, that things might be different now, but Robbie nonetheless did his best.
Terry came in and looked around and ran his hand through a spiderweb in the corner of the living room, dusting it away. After the usual “good to meet you, kiddo”ing, Terry attempted to draw Robbie out, to be friendly, to make nice, but Robbie was perfunctory and gray. What’dja learn at school today? Nothing much. More about fractions but I know all that already. You like any sports? Not really. You like video games? Not really.
Terry tried to talk about his day in a way that would engage Robbie and me both, I remember, talking about how mad he wanted to be at his boss, but he couldn’t, because they’d grown up together, Terry remembered the boss when the boss was Robbie’s age. No response.
“What’s, um, your favorite restaurant around here? I want to make sure I know all the best spots.”
“Mom and I usually eat in.”
“You like hamburgers? I love hamburgers. Burger, fries, a milkshake.”
“I’m a vegetarian.”
Terry didn’t miss a beat. “Aw, well, that’s real sweet of you. Taking care of the animals.”
I should have prepared Terry better for this first meeting, I realized, as Robbie responded as only he could. “The real tragedy isn’t that the animals die; it’s that the animals have to have been born and lived.”
“Well, okay.”
Understandably, I felt like I was having dentistry done, and as soon as possible when I saw my mom’s headlights rolling up the drive, I kissed Robbie on the head and told him I’d miss him and that he should have a good night. My first date in a decade was pizza, a beer, and a walk through a public park with a playground and some tennis courts, a warm hug goodnight. None of the awkwardness from that evening lasted (Terry wasn’t the type to interrogate a conversation after-the-fact), and it was sweet, and fun, and appropriately romantic.
Terry was simple and unpolished, and he may not have been the one, but he was fun enough to consider considering, and a follow-up plans were made.
When I came home, my mother was still awake, reading a magazine. I could see from the entryway the light to Robbie’s room, still on, though the door was shut. I asked her how babysitting had gone and she said fine, “but I had made Robbie dinner, spaghetti and sauce like you said, and he wouldn’t eat it. I could see… I don’t know, I think he doesn’t like how you were going out. He tried to eat, I really think he did, but only ate a couple bites. He’s not feverish, he says he’s not feeling ill. He was eating like he was already full. I let him go after a couple bites, it’s not like him.” She continued about where she put the leftovers in the fridge, made a few relatively-minor suggestions about cleaning tricks I might like to explore and departed without asking me how the date had gone.
I knocked on Robbie’s door, let myself in. “Hey buddy,” I said. “Just wanted you to know I was home.”
Robbie smiled to see me, but looked sheepish nonetheless. “Hi. How was it?” There was none of the high-rising inquiry of a question, he was going through the motion of asking, nothing more.
I leveled with him. “It was nice. I want to see Terry again. That’s ok with you, right?”
Robbie gulped. “Yeah,” he said, insincerely.
“He really wants to get to know you. He already knows that you’re one-in-a-million, one-in-a-billion-billion.”
“That’s nice of him. Okay.”
Robbie was so small under his blanket, with the bedside lamp on, a spindly little boy who could see the world changing all around him. I tried to smile warmly. “You want to hang out, or you want to go to bed?”
“I can go to bed,” again, all the affect of a flat soda.
“Well, sure. But I know you didn’t eat a lot, so if you get hungry during the night, you can get the leftovers out of the fridge or wake me up to reheat them for you. I won’t mind.”
“Okay. I love you. Good night.” He separated “goodnight” into two words, like someone reading aloud. It had a childish finality to it. In another context, it would have sounded like an exhausted attempt at dignity.
“Night, kiddo. I love you.”
Terry and I saw more of each other, and Robbie trotted behind when we invited him. Saturday afternoon movies, trips to the ice cream parlor. Robbie was always knotted and grim. He tried to have fun, he laughed at jokes, he held doors, he was always so kind, so polite, so good, but he was clearly out-of-body, enduring. I remember we were watching Free Willy at a drive-in theater, and Robbie spent the whole movie shifting in the backseat, humming, “nnnn, nnnn, nnnn” to himself, looking back and forth through the windows like he was expecting to be attacked.
I realized, eventually, that Robbie was acting like there was a contagion to Terry, something untoward. Robbie washed the dishes when I asked, but he washed Terry’s in the hottest water, steam coming out of the sink, his little hands turning red as he tried to avoid the scalding water. That said, he held Terry’s plate in his fingertips nonetheless, like it was vile. Robbie wouldn’t even sit someplace Terry had recently sat – Terry had placed himself in Robbie’s traditional spot on the couch, one board game afternoon, and Robbie wouldn’t sit there the rest of the night.
Terry didn’t try to be Robbie’s new father, to upbraid him or ever suggest that Robbie’s conduct was out-of-place. I could tell Terry was bothered by Robbie’s unmanly suffering, when Terry was there to see it; I wouldn’t be surprised, what’s more, if Terry was having a hard time seeing a future with the writhing, uncomfortable little moppet, whose mother (bizarrely) speaks so highly of him, his academic achievements and even – once, though in no detail – his love of hiking through the woods.
For my part, though, I slowly, slowly, starting to like Terry more and more. Terry was imperfect, a little unprepared for Robbie’s whole deal, but I looked forward to seeing him grow into the role, in the manner of a real father. There was hope there. He was warm and sincere, and the forwardness that could have seemed brusque, I came to realize, was his notion of showing respect through common sense.
More than once, I looked far into the future – waking up some morning soon to see Terry cooking breakfast in pajama bottoms, listening to music on the radio, before taking me in his arms and leaning me back for a kiss; Robbie would roll his eyes at his parents’ love for one another.
It felt like promise, like hope, like things were finally getting better. I looked forward to distinguishing myself as superior to Terry’s first wife. We’d go to raucous barbeques with Terry’s brother and the rest of his family. I liked to imagine my father being sweetly annoying, telling the successful owner of the car dealership how to run his business, and Terry’s brother politely listening, my father’s well-intentioned clichés the sort of running joke that family can always deploy for a chuckle.
Terry was killed on a Sunday afternoon, and I would never meet any of his family. Terry had stopped-in, surprised me, asked if Robbie and I wanted to go to the park. But Robbie was out in the woods, away, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to find him. I estimated that he wouldn’t be back in time enough to go to the park, that day. Terry and I made some coffee and talked; it was amiable and quiet. We made plans to make plans, to decide where and when to go on a small vacation, the three of us. Terry smiled as we discussed it. He was excited, looking forward to a trip, he really was. I’m sure of it. Terry and I sat and talked for an hour or so, before he said that he should amble on.
Terry had parked towards the bottom of the long driveway; he always did that. It was a sporty little dealership car, and he didn’t want to risk its being gunked-up making the climb uphill to the front porch. I watched him, smiling. He bounced down the hill with his hands in his pockets, self-consciously a lad. I expected him to turn around and wave enormously, or blow me an arm-waiving kiss. I looked away from him for a moment, something caught my eye, a spiderweb in the corner of the porch had blown at me. .
When I looked back down the driveway, Terry was dead. I swear I heard something fall to the ground, a hand, part of his midsection, but I don’t know for certain. He was tatters, a bloody heap a few feet in front of his car. I couldn’t see, I thought it was a prank. I remember, momentarily, silencing my cognition, unable to comprehend what I saw, knowing that it was aberrant and wrong, that it was something that could never be understood, only, at best, taken in. I squinted and took a step forward, before I saw the blood that had been inside him, inside his legs, soaking through his blue jeans, making them purple, almost black. It was brown and grim, as his wet insides seeped out. Ripped-apart, he resembled offal, but there was an arm, and over here was an ear.
I had only looked away for a second.
I ran inside and called the police, called 911, told them that something had happened, someone is injured, they need to send an ambulance immediately. I remember feeling sick, feeling terminal, like nothing would change anything, that there was no longer any place to hide.
“What happened?” the 911 operator asked me, not unsympathetically. “What’s going on?”
“I, I don’t know. I looked away. He’s hurt, I don’t know. Someone, someone took him apart.”
“Ma’am, you’re doing great, but I need you to take a breath, you’re okay, and tell me where you are, what’s going on, what you see.”
“My boyfriend was attacked. He’s outside. He’s hurt. He’s dead. I don’t know.”
I was on the porch again. I knew I had to be there for when someone arrived. I’m sure I was crying, staring out to the side of the porch, watching the spiderweb blow in the wind. The ambulance came first, it parked on the street and the medic jogged up toward me, past Terry’s car, before seeing the pile that Terry had become and turning away with a barking “Jesus!”
A moment later, a police car behind the ambulance, its lights flashing but no siren, surreal across the cloudy afternoon. The policeman conferred with the paramedic for a moment, by the street, before methodically stalking up the drive, along the passenger side of Terry’s car, bracing himself to see Terry on the ground. The officer spoke into the handset clipped to his shoulder, and looked up at me. The police officer was older, probably in his early sixties, and his open mouth made him look jowly and pumpkinlike. He stood closer to Terry’s body than anybody had gotten so far and gaped, looked at me, looked at Terry, before deciding to approach me, a faint glimmer of hesitation visible under his command presence.
“What happened?” he asked me, straightforwardly.
“I don’t know.”
I’m sure that I told them the story, told them who the man on the ground had been. Told them that I’d only looked away for a second. I didn’t hear anything. I didn’t see anything. My son was off in the woods somewhere. They have to find him. They have to make sure my son is safe. More police officers materialized and they jogged around the house, into the woods, looking to find Robbie.
Bear attacks weren’t common in our area, but not unheard-of. I know that it wasn’t a bear attack, but nobody would ever want to hear how quick it was, how complete (but I’m trying to tell you, I’m trying to tell you everything I know, because I hope that somebody knows what to do). They found Robbie, making little pyramids of stones in the clearing in the woods.
“Mom, mom, are you okay?” he bounded up to me. “These policemen came and told me I had to come home.”
“I’m fine, darling, I’m fine.” I kissed his forehead and held him close to me. “Something happened to Terry. I think… they’re saying it was an animal, something had attacked him.” I knew that it wasn’t, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell Robbie any more.
“Oh no, oh no. I’m so sorry.” He hugged me, tight and warm.
By the time Robbie was back, Terry had been photographed and then, piece by piece, taken away. When I think about it, it sits alongside a Wallace Stevens poem I had studied, “Here are the lips, the bundle of the body and the feet.” They searched the woods, they searched for miles and miles, looking for the bear – probably sick or injured, to have acted so madly – that had done this, that fit the only explanation they could conceive for Terry’s death.
They didn’t find anything, and then they left Robbie and me alone. Terry’s car was still in the bottom of the driveway; it would be towed the next day, I’m not sure by whom, or how or why, but it would no longer be there, the next morning, when I woke up. I had never met any of his family, and I would not be invited to the funeral.
What I remember realizing that night, though, is that after the police have asked you their questions, after the flashing recedes into the distance, after they pick up the parts – they just leave you alone. You return back from where you had briefly found yourself. Your son will still need to be fed, and he’ll eat in silence because he sees that you’re sad, and he wants to respect your sadness. Thereafter, you will sit on the couch in silence while the evening turns into night. You won’t move, you’ll forget sometimes even to breathe. “Would you like to turn on the TV?” your son will ask, but you won’t respond. Your son will put his little arms around you again. "I'm here, though. You still have me." You won’t think about Terry’s death but his absence. Your son will ask if you still want him to sit with you and, at a loss when you don’t respond, he’ll go to bed several hours early, because he doesn’t know what else to do.
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2021.11.29 11:58 LarryLovestein824 Confirmed: Tom Holland is getting another MCU Spider-Man trilogy!

Confirmed: Tom Holland is getting another MCU Spider-Man trilogy! submitted by LarryLovestein824 to Spiderman [link] [comments]


2021.11.29 11:58 Keyknot3640 Saw this in a Genshin post....

Saw this in a Genshin post.... submitted by Keyknot3640 to iamveryrandom [link] [comments]


2021.11.29 11:58 Charming-Panic-2397 Nacho is just a little boy

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2021.11.29 11:58 Jznvh please help vvvv

i recently returned a car i got from carmax within their 30 day limit & i put down $2,000 cash & they told me that they’ll return that $2,000 in a check that will take 3-4 weeks, so i waited the 4 weeks & never got anything in the mail so i called & they said i can come in the following day & pick up a check from them in store which i did & i deposited the check at my bank ( chase ) & the check got denied a couple days after i deposited it & chase suggested that i contact carmax about that. what should my next step be & how should i go about this?
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2021.11.29 11:58 Beans507 [OC] I like Joe Pera so much I made a video about it [9:55]

[OC] I like Joe Pera so much I made a video about it [9:55] submitted by Beans507 to videoessay [link] [comments]


2021.11.29 11:58 NightmareSmith Vaush is racist 🤢

Vaush is racist 🤢 submitted by NightmareSmith to okbuddyvowsh [link] [comments]


2021.11.29 11:58 flippingtimmy Maybe he's born with it? Maybe it's Duckylene!

Maybe he's born with it? Maybe it's Duckylene! submitted by flippingtimmy to duck [link] [comments]


2021.11.29 11:58 NYuser1107 Looking for a regular Darumaka any level

I’m looking for any level Darumaka non galarian form
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2021.11.29 11:58 RutbaIsBored What is up bw umar and ritesh in LF ?(the fight)

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2021.11.29 11:58 DustyHound Don’t sweat it yet.

Long holiday wknd, some not on Twitter or Reddit, don’t know what NFT is and our just reading all about it. I think today will be reactionary of the ones who are not as deep as us.
NFT effect may take a couple days. …That’s how I watch this ‘thing of ours’.
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2021.11.29 11:58 Evan-Gogh Lube question *giggle

Greetings fisherpeople!

Any decent quality, decent priced fishing reel lube you can recommend?

I see all the variations and reviews on Amazon and such, just wondering what the Redditers have to say :)
submitted by Evan-Gogh to FishingForBeginners [link] [comments]


2021.11.29 11:58 AJKS10 World Chase Tag Meet Up Indianapolis: Team Colgate v Hoosier Warriors 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🏃 #WCTMeetUpIndi #WorldChaseTag

World Chase Tag Meet Up Indianapolis: Team Colgate v Hoosier Warriors 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🏃 #WCTMeetUpIndi #WorldChaseTag submitted by AJKS10 to WorldChaseTag [link] [comments]


2021.11.29 11:58 cbvv1992 🔥30% Price Drop – $13.85 Makeup Kit for Girls with Beauty Cosmetic Case with Cosmetic Bag for Birthday, Christmas

🔥30% Price Drop – $13.85 Makeup Kit for Girls with Beauty Cosmetic Case with Cosmetic Bag for Birthday, Christmas submitted by cbvv1992 to DealAndSale [link] [comments]


2021.11.29 11:58 bullishoneth Thoughts on NFTS?

Thoughts on NFTS? submitted by bullishoneth to ethtrader [link] [comments]


2021.11.29 11:58 beefy164 First Eintracht game questions.

Hello, my family and i will soon be attending my first Eintracht game and had a question about the stadion. In pictures it looks like all seats are under a roof is this correct? In some pictures it also appears as though the roof is closed. If this is the case is it heated? I would like to know the answers to these so i can have my family wear the appropriate clothing. Vielen dank.
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2021.11.29 11:58 JungKyoJin Korean Clothing Sizes & What does R mean? PLS help 😣🙏

Hi everyone
I want to buy a jacket from a Korean website. But I am not familiar with the sizes. I already did some research and they recommend size 105-110.
But now I realized, that the jacket is listed two times. The second one is named additionally with "R" (only difference I saw). I know that regarding sizes, this would mean "Regular". But in this situation the first option is whether called "S" nor "T". Therefore it would be confusing.
Does anybody know what "R" really mean?
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2021.11.29 11:58 JBizznass Woman shoots ex-boyfriend in face as he tried to break into her Philadelphia home: Police

Woman shoots ex-boyfriend in face as he tried to break into her Philadelphia home: Police submitted by JBizznass to philadelphia [link] [comments]


2021.11.29 11:58 l0vedct When can I claim the trading rewards of epoch 3 ????

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2021.11.29 11:58 LLH837 Locked Up and Married

With Pest’s trial looming I’ve been wondering what his prison sentence will be like for his family. We know that they’ll probably tell his kids and younger siblings that he’s involved in some prison ministry or that the Biden administration was persecuting him. Hopefully they just tell the truth and stop harming the kids any further but I digress.
I was wondering what everyone thinks his family’s relationship will be with him going forward? For example: - Anna divorces him and goes to live with one of her siblings. OR she packs the kids up and moves to someone else’s warehouse near where Pest is incarcerated. - They visit him ever chance they get but over time they visit less and less. - Will the rest of Pest’s family even acknowledge he’s still alive? - Anna writes him letters twice a day but Pest only write her once a week. - Meanwhile Pest takes this time to relax and be free of his family (at least as relaxed and free as you can be when you’re incarcerated for child related crimes). - Will any of the Duggar’s write letters or visit him? Will family members document each visit with him once the media attention dies down in a few years? For example, posting that they went to see Joshy this weekend! He’s doing great but is really struggling with the dementors and the food is awful. Any donations are welcome and can be sent to…. - Most of the Ms will escape the cult and one of them will write a tell all. But it won’t be that great of a tell all. Despite everything they went through they are still incredibly loyal to their mother and don’t want to disgrace her. They are still seen as fundie royalty and they are always welcome back
Some more imaginative possibilities: - JB puts a hit out on Pest for disgracing the family and causing them to lose their shows not once but twice now. Are we looking at a potential Cult King documentary (play on Tiger King). - JB or Anna will file for bankruptcy or do something else shady to save more money. - The trial causes a massive fracture in the family that eventually leads to other children/couples leaving the cult and becoming less conservative? - Jill and derick discuss the trial or Pest’s incarceration on their vlog and derick try’s to give pointers using his law degree but fails miserably. - One if the Duggar’s becomes a Democrat gasp
Give me all your thoughts real or imaginative!!
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2021.11.29 11:58 Admiral_Vandenbos COMEDYSPORTZ ST. LOUIS - Joke Line - Suggestion SugarCubed - CSz St, Lou...

COMEDYSPORTZ ST. LOUIS - Joke Line - Suggestion SugarCubed - CSz St, Lou... submitted by Admiral_Vandenbos to improvcomedy [link] [comments]


2021.11.29 11:58 Humuturi Cayo b2b panther 4 gold

Online right now Need the same loot Add T_Schuurman to send message
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2021.11.29 11:58 caligalus When individualism goes too far

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2021.11.29 11:58 ronster230 It has been supposed that covid19 different from bat covid by the insertion of 12 base pairs to its genome. If so, what’s the difference between delta and omicron, or any other variant?

I’m assuming all variants must be sequenced and that there is data which can be used to “show” or “define” a new variant.
submitted by ronster230 to biology [link] [comments]


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