Escaping the plague

It was inevitable, as they say. COVID19 has come home. I mean, it’s not come to my home, but it came to my youngest sister’s house where I’ve been staying since New Year’s Eve.

[Don’t worry, I haven’t caught the plague. Yet… *]

Although I had hoped to avoid it, and I may well have if things hadn’t gone otherwise crazy, I entered into that frightful period of isolation whilst waiting to find out if my close contact with a COVID-positive patient (two of them) would lead to my own positive infection.

I knew the risks of entering the house; a house with lots of (vaccinated) adults and a too-young-to-vaccinate pre-schooler. But with my Mum (back) in hospital, I am staying at my sister’s (very full) house. But we’ve been as careful as possible in a plague world where people must leave the house to go to work and school.

The day before the Great COVID Scare (GCS) began, I did feel a little tired. So much so that I took a nap. But I put the tiredness down to a lack of exercise as I’d not been running much (OK, not really running at all) because of the rest of the madness going on, coupled with the stress and the lack of sleep from the stress and from nearly 3 weeks sleeping on a couch! But on the morning of the GCS, however, I felt fine. No problems at all.

Then, my brother-in-law had a positive test. Like really positive, as the home test immediately turned red (in seconds!). He was immediately put into isolation, and everyone put on masks. After that, I began to feel a slight pressure in my chest, which I decided was more stress/anxiety than anything else – all the while knowing that it might also be COVID.

But there wasn’t time to worry about that, instead, Royann and I had to jump into action.

Setting up tests for the household

Step One was to recall the entire household so that everyone could be tested with a rapid test. Royann called her boys, and I sent a message to Daddy. My Mum had been re-admitted to hospital the week before and Daddy had been visiting her each day (spending most of his time there with her). When he got the message, he immediately left Mum’s side (she was sleeping, so he couldn’t say goodbye).

Step Two was to test the entire household with rapid test: Royann and her children (2 adults and my young Godson), Daddy, and me. Like my brother-in-law, my Godson tested positive – and the test turned up positive immediately. The rest of us had negative tests, although we were still a house on lockdown.

We’ve quarantined the positive tests, as well as the positive patients
Daddy and I are negative, which is a positive thing!

Step Three was to place Cameron into quarantine with his father. Thankfully, he was happy with this as he loves his daddy. Indeed, it’s their closeness that brought them to the same place at the same time for the exposure in the first instance.

After that, we worked to improve the quarantine space (thankfully Royann’s house has ample space and they were well removed from the rest of the household) and to improve the overall air circulation in the house.

The evening that the Great COVID Scare (GCS) began, I began to feel “off”. Psychosomatic? Really sick? I didn’t know. But it was causing me a little anxiety which meant that I had a lump in my chest making my breathing feel very laboured. My temperature was “my” normal, but I was feeling tired again. This seemed to be a common theme for others in the house, too.

The next morning, Daddy and I set off for Cle Elum early. We are both high-risk and felt that returning to the house to isolate together would mean we were further from risk if we weren’t already infected and that it gave my sister’s family more space for their own period of isolation. I messaged ahead to my eldest sister in Cle Elum and arranged for her to drop off a few fresh food items for us as we couldn’t go into the shops.

Once at the house, we decided to use the time to finish some of the projects we’d been working on since my arrival before Christmas. After all, we had time to kill since we were “stuck” at the house. Indeed, we got straight to work moving things up and down the stairs and rearranging things in the downstairs bedroom and the garage.

At several points throughout that first day, and into the evening, we would each stop and make comments about how we were feeling. A little winded; a slightly tight chest; a bit of a cough; tired… and each time, we rationalised it as symptoms of the work we were doing (which included kicking up a lot of dust, too) and our being cold to the house having been empty with the heat turned down for a few days prior to our arrival.

It only goes as high as 99, so I’m calling this a perfect score!

We took our temperatures and used Daddy’s oxygen saturation metre throughout the day, too. More from paranoia than anything else. This went on for the entirety of our isolation, but as the days went on, we were feeling more and more confident that we would be OK.

On Day Five, we made our way back to my sister’s house where everyone did their official PCR tests to be “released” into the Real World again. As expected, my brother-in-law and Godson were still testing positive**, but the rest of us were negative. We also decided that the “Plague Victims” would remain in quarantine for a while longer, just to be safe.

And as soon as Daddy got his negative test, he was straight back at hospital, by Mum’s side. Where he wanted to be all along.

After nearly 2 years, this is my only (known) exposure and I do believe that all the COVID-safe protocols have helped me to stay healthy. That, and the wonderfulness of the COVID vaccine – for which I am fully boosted. I am also sure that the reason my brother-in-law had such an easy time with COVID is that he, too, is fully vaxxed.

Anyhow, COVID19 isn’t over yet. And I know that my time might still come. But I am hopeful that I can keep it away for a while longer.

Stay safe, mask up, and get vaxxed, my friends!

* “They” say we’re all going to get it eventually. I just hope when my time comes it’s a really weak, almost “nothing” variant.
** It is not uncommon to continue testing positive for weeks or even months after an active COVID19 infection, even though you are no longer contagious.

[Note: This post was published a couple of weeks after it was written. Sadly, my Mum didn’t get better, and died at the end of January.]

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