COVID-19 Walked Through Our Door and Straight Into Our Home
Throughout this year, my fear and indifference in regard to this virus has vacillated. One day, I think the media has set up such fear mongering and blown everything completely out of proportion; the next day I’m frozen with fear and can’t put down the hand sanitizer. What I will say is this: as soon as I found out we were exposed, the paralyzing fear came crashing in. I thought of all the stories I heard about babies being hospitalized and dying. I thought of all the stories I heard about young men being put on ventilators and suddenly dying; the fear was overwhelming.
Here is a brief review of our experience with COVID-19 – the down and dirty, the truth, the rawness and the reality of what it was really like in this house during quarentine.
On our way to our initial COVID-19, PCR test, I wrote this: “one week after the event and we’re on our way to get COVID-19 tested. This is how I feel:
- Angry – for having to do this. For being in this position. For exactly what I didn’t want to happen. For not listening to the voice inside my head.
- Frustrated – that this is the world we’re living in.
- Negative – I’m assuming we have it, because why wouldn’t we?
- Mistrust – whether the results are negative or positive, I don’t trust the system. All the tests that have been retracted, the severity of this damn virus… I don’t trust the system.
- Shame – for putting our family in harms way. For the people I’ve been around.
- Wrong – I did something wrong and therefore, I am wrong.
- Not enough – what I did wasn’t careful enough. As if I didn’t wear the mask properly enough.
- Bad – what I did was bad and therefore, I am bad.
- Scared – for having it and for giving it to people that are more vulnerable. Scared of the girls getting sick.
- Embarrassed – for acting so “recklessly” which is the stupidest thing I think I’ve said, we went to a damn family event – how “reckless” of us!
- A statistic – despite following the rules.
Here is how things unfolded: We went to a family event on Saturday 10/10 and that following Friday we found out someone at the event tested positive for COVID-19. We scheduled testing for Saturday; Alex, Ella and I all got tested. The stress, the spiraling thoughts and the fear started to overwhelm me that weekend. Alex developed symptoms on Sunday: congestion and a cough. I had symptoms of a burning chest, dry cough, fatigue, intermittently nauseous and disconnected – all of which could be related to stress. On Monday, we received the results that Ella and Alex were positive and I tested negative. On Tuesday, Adalyn tested positive and on Thursday, after I had my second test, I tested positive. This week was probably one of the hardest weeks I’ve been through. On Monday, I decided that I needed to stand strong in the uncertainty, fear and anger and devise a plan to get our family through this time. So, being someone that thrives on a schedule, I determined that we needed a routine for our weekdays and we needed to have an “activity calendar” for at least one special event / activity per day. Our time in quarantine consisted of fort building decked out with Christmas lights (my favorite!), scavenger hunts, scarecrow making, airplane races, movie nights, pumpkin carving, racetrack building, dancing, a lot of books, arts and crafts and snuggles. In addition to all of these sweet activities, this week has also consisted of some serious breakdowns, I am speaking mostly for myself. Crying, sobbing, withdrawn behavior and overwhelm. It has consisted of juggling work calls, coloring, and working late in the evening after the girls go to bed. It has consisted of poor sleeping patterns with bad dreams. It has consisted of a messy house, dishes in the sink and toys everywhere.
Alex had the following symptoms: cough, congestion, headache, lightheadedness/dizziness, rash, extreme fatigue and brain fog.
Ella had the following symptoms: spiked a fever, cough, runny nose, fatigue and some clinginess.
Adalyn had the following symptoms: dry cough, sneezing, runny nose, fatigue and extreme clinginess and fussiness (lord, help us!)
My symptoms: nausea, cough, congestion, fatigue, headaches and back aches.
In case you find yourself in a similar situation, this is how we stayed grounded and healthy:
- I continued with my morning routine: gratitude, dreams and daily goal/intention.
- We ate whole foods – all the fruits, vegetables, grains and abundance of water. Minimizing refined/processed sugar to optimize our immune systems.
- We got outside EVERY DAY.
- We moved our bodies EVERY DAY.
- Sleep – We tried very hard to get enough sleep which was the most challenging with a 10-month old who was regressing. So we stuck with early bedtimes and would rest during the day as needed.
- Supplements of: zinc with elderberry and vitamin D3 (not medical advice)
- Having fun – during this stressful time, my most favorite moments were in our fort, with the Christmas lights on playing, coloring and laughing with my loves.
With all of this said, I will also say this: we did nothing wrong; we worked within the parameters of the current state regulations. We are not bad for living our freakin’ lives and celebrating with family.
This virus is here to stay. It is all of our responsibility, when navigating this time to understand ourselves, what we feel comfortable with and what we don’t feel comfortable with. For you, that may mean only being around a handful of people. For others, that may mean not wearing a mask. For others, that may mean living right at the parameters that the state mandates. Ultimately, every time we go to a grocery store, every time we go out to eat, every time we go to the MD office, we are putting ourselves at risk for any and all things – car accident, virus, freak accident etc. It is up to you to determine how you want to live your life and I just hope that we all can give each other a little grace when someone elses’ choices are not in alignment with our own.
Let’s minimize the victimization, judgement and mistrust in peoples decisions, give a little more compassion and grace during a very challenging time, we’re all doing the best that we can.