Despite our best efforts since the beginning of the pandemic almost a year! ago, our family caught COVID-19 right around the holidays – between Christmas and New Year, specifically.
I guess all of our diligent hand washing, my working from home exclusively, sanitizing our kitchen and bathrooms nightly and our mask wearing was not enough. At first I spent a lot of time thinking “What did I miss?” or “What could I have done better?” but by now I’ve given up that way of thinking.
So here I will recount what happened for posterity’s sake.
The Husband started feeling sick the day after Christmas (Saturday.) He complained of a headache and was off all day. We did not have a big Christmas gathering, but my father, mother in law and father in law came over for breakfast in the morning and to see the kids. We then had no company during lunch/nap time, and after that my mother, brother, grandmother and stepfather came over for dinner. So, although our house wasn’t “full” all day, we had two sets of guests come over for two separate meals. Nobody had been feeling ill on Christmas day.
Sunday, two days after Christmas, The Husband complained of fatigue, headache and body aches. Now we started to get a little worried since it obviously wasn’t “just a headache” as we thought on Saturday. Monday, the third day of symptoms, he stayed home from work (he has a job that he cannot work from home and needs to be at his physical workplace/job site) and he went for a rapid test in the morning and by noon that day it came back positive. I had taken the week between Christmas and New Year’s off anyway so was home with the kids. Once the results came back he immediately went upstairs to isolate, and thus began the longest and most draining time of the whole ordeal for me. And in my mind I knew we would all probably end up getting it, but I went through the motions of isolating him anyway. Even though the rest of us in the house hadn’t experienced any symptoms, we too had to quarantine for 14 days given we live together and were in close contact – very close contact in fact, since The Husband and I shagged on Christmas Day, the very day before he got his first symptom. So yeah, I had no hope that I wouldn’t get it.
I suppose we are lucky in that we have two floors, two bathrooms and could easily mostly isolate him. I immediately moved my and the kids bathroom essentials downstairs (after sanitizing) and washed all my pillows and blankets so I could set up my new “bed” on the couch. Lysol spray and Clorox wipes were my dear friends that day. I couldn’t send the kids to their preschool (they go two days a week), and I couldn’t have my mother and mother in law take one of them or both of them even for a little while since now we were quarantining.
The first few days felt like Groundhog Day – I would wake up downstairs, go upstairs to get the kids, bring them down to eat breakfast and then it was me, a four year old and a one year old all. day. Every day I strapped them in their car seats and took a drive, a long aimless drive, since we could not do anything and we were ALL going stir crazy in the house all day together. We typically ended up at the pond, or parked at the boat ramp, where there was nobody as far as the eye could see and we could walk up to the pond’s edge and watch the ripples and waves. And in my memories it was always cloudy and dreary most days – I guess my mind has colored it that way now. Then we could come home for lunch, and then I’d put them down for a nap and get an hour of two or piece to clean or do laundry or sit on the couch and zone out. And then they’d wake up and we’d be together again, then have dinner, then do bath/bed times. The first day I remember feeling very, very mad at The Husband – unfair given that he was sick, I know, but I felt very lonely and overwhelmed. Worrying about him, worrying that the kids would get sick, worrying that I would get sick, worrying about doing EVERYTHING by myself – all the meals, diaper changes, baths, lunches, dinners, clean up, stories, puzzles, dishes, laundry. It felt like A LOT. It was exhausting, draining, depressing. The kids did. Or understand completely why daddy was home and they could not see him. McLovin sort of understood that there were “germs” and we didn’t want him to catch them but a 1 year old just doesn’t get it.
And then, the second night of my “single motherhood”, I discovered what I now consider to be a savior during this time – BRIDGERTON! Silly, I know, but I was browsing Netflix one night after putting the kids to bed and decided to start it and it was JUST what I needed. I was exhausted by the end of each day, but I popped an edible or two, turned that on and totally, completely, zoned out. The alternate universe, this escape, was everything I needed during that completely awful, draining, time. The escapism, the story, the colors, the aesthetics, THE DUKE! I binge watched it over two nights, up until 2am to finish it. Symptoms wise I was still feeling completely “normal” at this time (aside from the fatigue from running around all day and worries) so physically I was okay, but mentally I was not. My husband was isolating, I was alone with two kids who were running me ragged and yeah… I definitely fantasized a night or two about the duke. I was totally ripe and susceptible to this type of show. And I watched it twice because getting high and watching that hot man strut around and the “gluteal cinematography” was one of the only things that made me happy that week. Sorrynotsorry.
A few days after The Husband was diagnosed McLovin woke up in the middle of the night (unusual for him) and started crying. I was downstairs and our living room is right below his room so I heard it right away and went to see him. He was hot, and complaining of not feeling well. I was, obviously, alarmed. He couldn’t articulate exactly what didn’t feel well, and I took his temperature and it came back with a fever around 102. He wasn’t coughing, said he didn’t have a belly ache but just didn’t feel well. I gave him some Motrin to make him comfortable and ended up rocking him back to sleep. Once he was back in bed I moved my “bed” upstairs to his room and ended up sleeping on the floor in this room that night, because I couldn’t not be near him knowing he was sick and wanted to be there to reassure myself he was okay. It was the worst night sleep I’ve had in a long, long time. Maybe I got 2 or 3 hours of sleep. He woke up in the morning and was so, so happy to see me in his room and was excited, in only the way a 4 year old can be, that I had spent the night in his room with him. However, he said he still didn’t feel good and spent the day sitting on the couch, very lethargic – and if you know him you know how unusual this is. He didn’t eat much but was drinking liquids. We had a video visit with his pediatrician that day and they set up an appointment for him to get tested the next day, which was New Year’s Eve. I considered isolating him with The Husband but by this point I knew in my gut he had it and that it was too late for me. I had already been his only caretaker for the days earlier and saw no way that either he or The Husband hadn’t passed it to me by then so I stayed with him and didn’t isolate him. McLovin’s symptoms lasted exactly one day. The next day he woke up hungry, energetic and wanting to play. He said he no longer “felt sick” but obviously we had him tested anyway.
Sure enough, a few days later his test came back positive. By that point The Husband was still having symptoms – mostly fatigue and cough and he had also lost his taste and smell by that time. The headaches and body aches had gone away. I wasn’t having any symptoms, neither was RBG.
That changed a few days after McLovin’s diagnosis though – one morning I woke up and everything was fine. I ate my breakfast and went about my business. It was after the new year so I was “back to work” (i.e. bringing my laptop to the living room so I could watch my kids run around and answer emails). I made lunch for us and then noticed that… I could not taste or smell anything. I ran to my diffuser and opened my essential oils, tried huffing straight from the bottle and put drops on my hands and put them right to my nose and… nothing. I grabbed for life savers – no taste. I grabbed for cranberry juice – nothing. Peanut butter – nothing. And then I knew. I didn’t have a headache or anything – I had a light cough, which felt like a tickle in my throat nothing serious but with he loss of taste I knew. I went on the Mass gov website to find a free testing location with an appointment and ended up ordering an at home test. It was delivered the next day, I took the test that day and then dropped it off at a FedEx box. Two days later my results were positive. Our pediatrician recommended we get RBG tested immediately, even though she had no symptoms, so that at least if she was positive we could begin her quarantine immediately – if not, she would have to quarantine an additional 14 days AFTER my ten day quarantine ended – since technically I would be considered “symptomatic” for 10 days after my positive test. If she did not take a test and get a positive result at that time then she would have to quarantine 14 days after my last “symptomatic” date. So really, the goal was not to have to quarantine her an additional two weeks if we didn’t have to.
And, naturally, her test came back positive too. Throughout this whole ordeal she had ZERO symptoms – no fever (I took their temperatures every day once The Husband tested positive), no cough, no runny nose. Nothing. She seemed like her perfectly normal, happy self the entire time. And McLovin had only that one day of fever and general malaise.
I, on the other hand, lost my taste and smell for three weeks. That for me was the worst symptom. I did feel more tired than normal, and had an annoying “tickle in my throat”, but other than that it was okay. I never once got a fever.
The Husband, out of the four of us, had the worst symptoms.
But now we are all “back to normal” I guess. I have my taste and smell, so does he, nobody has a cough or fever or anything “lingering” that we know of.
Interestingly enough, since The Husband came out of isolation I haven’t been able to keep my hands off him. Prior to this our sex life was okay, but I think it’s safe to say we were in a rut. I had sort of lost hope we might ever have the sort of passion we had at the beginning of our relationship – and thought it was maybe silly to think we could, since our relationship was no longer “new”, we had two kids, were older and had been through much, much more now. But maybe it was facing my own mortality when I got COVID, or maybe it was facing his mortality when he got it first and was sick and isolated, or maybe it was seeing hot people on Bridgeton having sex all over the place and making it look appealing – maybe it was a combination of it all. But we’re definitely enjoying a much improved sex life right now so I’m going to take it, regardless of how or why.
We have great family and friends who brought us anything we needed when we couldn’t get it ourselves – Chinese food, coffees, donuts, meals from our favorite italian restaurant, ice cream, even my brother dropped off breakfast sandwiches for us one morning and soda for us another day when we ran out (when I’m sick I love soda and the carbonated bubbles – yeah I know it isn’t the best for you but I feel desperate for it when I’m sick.) We really wanted for nothing and I know we are lucky in that regard. Lucky that we have a big yard and our kids could go outside and get fresh air even when we were quarantining. Lucky I didn’t have to take any time out of work since I wasn’t that sick and was working form home anyway and could still do my job.
The worst of it, for me, was the mental aspect that first week when The Husband was isolating upstairs and it felt like the weight of everything, the world, was on me. And feeling just completely alone. So thank you to Shonda Rhimes for the mental distraction + the eye candy and my local dispensary for the “candy” candy…