At the end of October I started feeling miserable- stuffy nose, sore throat, pressure in my head, & body aches. I assumed sinus infection, but to err on the side of caution I got a COVID test at our county health dept.
Two days later I received a call telling me I was positive for COVID-19.
You know the scene in Monsters Inc. when they called Code 23-19 on the monster?
That’s what it felt like the moment I hung up with the health dept. K whisked Moo away to get tested, then to my parents, & he scheduled a test for himself the following day. He then moved out to the camper to quarantine. I felt awful.
Actually… in that moment I felt fear, disappointment, guilt, shame, embarrassment, anger, resentment, failure, sadness, anxious, overwhelmed, furious, confused, alone, terrified, isolated, etc.
I wear my mask, I avoid inside gatherings, we don’t go out to eat, I didn’t take M to any orchards or pumpkin patches this fall, we often have groceries delivered… Honestly, I felt so betrayed to hear that I was positive for the coronavirus.
Then my mind spiraled… who had I seen recently? Had I been anywhere that I could’ve exposed people? Is K going to get sick? Does Moo’s cough mean she already has it? Will it get worse for her? Will there be long term repercussions for her? For me? Who do we need to call? How did I get it?!
I’m grateful because the worst part for me wasn’t the actual sickness. I was fatigued and achy for 48 hours, but after that it felt like a mild sinus infection; easily treated with some Tylenol. The worst part was being away from M and K. Moms want an hour or an afternoon to themselves- not six freaking days. She was away from me on her first Halloween. I turned off my porch light and sat alone, crying for the holiday we lost.
K quarantined away from the house, but he called several times a day to check on me. I know he was terrified; the stories that people tell about their COVID experiences are heartbreaking. He was so worried my health would take a turn. I feel very fortunate that I never had trouble breathing, a loss of taste/smell, or even a fever. It was a mild case.
A positive test followed by quarantine was mentally taxing. I fretted over K and Moo’s health. I worried about every interaction I’d had in the last two weeks. I wondered how this diagnosis would affect me in the future. I missed my family and drowned in guilt for 6+ days. Turns out I now run out of breath pretty quickly- which didn’t used to happen.
We learned that a negative test doesn’t take the place of quarantine. We didn’t understand the specifics of COVID-19 and the non-symptom spreadability. I now cringe when someone says, “I got tested before going to that (party/vacation/etc.).” Turns out that doesn’t matter- you can still be carrying and spreading coronavirus.
It’s confusing and we’re all navigating very uncharted waters on an uncharted planet. My experience with COVID has given me more grace for other, appreciation for what I have, and caution for what I do. It was not a positive experience, but it was an educational one.
Please wear a mask. Please stay away from other people. People rethink travel & holiday plans.