Sunday, August 15, 2021

Operation: Go to Your Room!


About a week ago, my Best Half had a little tickle in his throat and a dry hacky cough. Figuring it was his allergies flaring up, he took an antihistamine and went about his day. During the night the cough turned into some congestion and a little wheezing which was not unusual for Allergy Man. He woke up the next day congested and sneezing. We figured he had the start of a cold he was dealing with. By Sunday night, it had been 3 days of him coughing, sneezing and congestion. I suggested to him that when he got to work in the morning he should see about getting a Covid test. Not thinking he really had Covid, but figuring if he got tested he could get another 2 days off work and rest up. He had been dragging the day before with feeling run down and fatigued. So what the heck, he has 4 months or more of sick leave that he won’t get compensated for when he retires, so he may as well take a couple days and use it. At least that was my reasoning.

Monday morning came and he went to work. He still had the cough and when his co-workers heard him they sent him away to get tested for Covid. The plan was working just like I had hoped it would. He would be home until the results came in and then he would be back to work mid-week. It was all going just the way I had hoped it would. And then he got the results.

Tuesday morning he checked his email and there were the results from his Covid test. He had tested positive for Covid. Stupid Covid had hit our house. Fortunately we both were vaccinated last Spring. His symptoms are mild like a cold with a little more fatigue, but manageable. 

While he was on the phone with his Employee Health person going over time frames of being off, she had instructed him to make sure I get checked also, even if I didn’t really have any symptoms. I was very tired, but that comes with the territory of sleeping next to a person who is coughing, sneezing and snoring like a freight train all night. But off I went down the 35 miles to the clinic for a Covid test.

On my way down, I started thinking about all the scenarios that could happen. I finally came to the conclusion the easiest thing would be if I tested positive too. At least then we could quarantine together and just keep away from everyone else. Way easier than me isolating from my Best Half in the house and both of us quarantining from everyone outside the house. I started thinking we could even find a spot in the remote national forest for a week and go camping. I was getting excited to get my test back.

The results came back late Tuesday night and I was negative. Along with the results came a large email file with instructions on what to do and how to isolate and quarantine. I have to say that the instructions from the CDC/clinic were about as clear as an algae filled lake during the dog days of summer. The instructions discussed the amount of time needed for quarantining. After faithfully reading the first 3 pages of instructions, at the very bottom, was the one sentence that read: “if you have been completely vaccinated, you do not need to be quarantined.”. Huh? 

So there it was, the confusion setting in this nurse brain of mine. Am I free to not quarantine since I am fully vaccinated? Do I still need to be quarantined from the public as I am still surrounded by the “Big Walking Germ”? Do we need to isolate my Best Half from me and I still need to quarantine myself from going out in public? It was late when I was reading the directions, so I set it aside until morning when I was more rested and my brain was functioning better.

Morning came and I re-read it. Still I had uncertainties of what to do. I am vaccinated, no symptoms, but still surrounded by the love of my life carrying around the Covid germs. Try as he may, he isn’t the best at quarantining. And even if he did put his hearing aids in,I still would need to come close to him so he could  lip read or hear me if we needed to communicate. I needed to come up with a game plan we both could live with the next week or so.

After re-reading the guidelines for the 4th time I finally figured out that if I am no longer in contact with the person with the virus then I wouldn't need to quarantine at all since I had a negative test. But since the covid virus is living and taking up residence all over my roommate’s body, I would need to quarantine and somehow isolate him from me. 

I can remember when Covid first was coming into the mix of all of our lives, we came up with a game plan. That was close to 2 years ago. We had talked about how we would separate ourselves from each other in the house if one of us got Covid. While back then it was a real and scary reality, I have to say, I thought by now we were over all that drama. Afterall we did our due diligence and got vaccinated. But as the virus mutates and more people come in contact with it, the numbers of positive cases and even deaths have risen dramatically the past month or so. Covid is once again rearing its ugly horns at us and laughing.

During the beginning of the pandemic, we had come up with the plan that if one of us got Covid we would separate and the sick one would stay in the “Damn Camper” to ride out the quarantine days. The healthy one would keep the house running and deliver meals to the sick one. It was a great plan until the temperature dove below zero. So then we decided that we would block off the family room, laundry and small bathroom from the rest of the house. That was our plan almost 2 years ago and now we are needing to put it into play.

It has been a week since we started “Operation: go to your room”. At best it will last another 4-5 days and we can crawl out of our hole to live another day. It has been an experience I hope to never have to repeat. I have washed and sanitized everything that the Covid germ may have come in contact with. There are disinfectant wipes strategically located throughout the house, and bottles and bottles of hand sanitizer all over the house on every table possible.

We are doing the best we can to be responsible Covid positive people. The last thing we would want to do is give it to someone else. Daily we are grateful that we made the choice to get the complete vaccinations, because looking at the statistics it could have wound up so much worse. For right now we are content to look out our separate windows on opposite ends of the house and watch the corn grow in the field.

Stay safe everyone in the best way you know how!

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