It finally happened. I tested positive for COVID-19.
I’m feeling fine. I was actually about to climb aboard the bike for a ride when I decided to check my temperature. I had started experiencing chills in the late afternoon and thought nothing of it, but as I headed upstairs to the stationary bike, I thought I’d just check and see if I was okay.
I was not. A fever of 101 degrees.
So I took a rapid test, and the result was positive. Elysha took a test, and happily, she is thus far negative. She and the kids will test again today.
I’m certainly not happy about this development. In addition to losing the last four days of my much needed vacation to quarantining in the bedroom, I’m aware of the possibility of long haul COVID, so I’m desperately hoping to avoid any complications.
But a few thoughts as I sit on my bed, writing this:
- Vaccination is so important. Everyone in my home is fully vaccinated, and Elysha and I are boosted as well. It’s their vaccinations that likely prevented them from also having a breakthrough infection. If you’re waiting to vaccinate your children, you risk them getting sick or making them sick with your own infection. Pediatric hospitalizations are on the rise throughout the world, so waiting to vaccinate your children is a terrible mistake. They’ve already been vaccinated against more than a dozen other diseases, so get the damn vaccine.
- At-home testing is going to be an important tool at ending this pandemic. Rather than waiting until the next day to get tested at some public testing site (and risk exposing Elysha and the kids to the virus), I was able to test less than three hours upon the onset of symptoms. If and when you can get an at-home test, please do so. I bought my tests long ago when the prices were more reasonable, so when it’s possible, purchase tests. The state of Connecticut is making millions of tests free to residents in the next couple weeks, so try to get your hands on a couple if you live locally.
- If you can also get yourself a pulse oximeter, do so. For about $20, you can test your blood oxygen in the same way doctors do in their office. I bought mine back in February of 2020, and it’s been sitting in a drawer ever since, waiting to be used. Not only does it give me a good sense of how I’m doing, but it’s peace of mind, which is important when you’re hunkered down, wondering what this disease might bring.
- COVID is scary. As I lay in bed last night, alone, I wondered what the night might bring. If I began experiencing breathing problems in the wee hours of the morning, would I even know? Did I infect Charlie yesterday while watching The Simpsons and wrestling with him? I’m still recovering from surgery, so does this put me at greater risk? This disease has killed more than 800,000 Americans, and while the vast majority of deaths this year have been unvaccinated Americans, I can’t simply assume I will be okay. I’m afraid. I’m trying my best to stuff those feelings away and assume a positive attitude, but when you’re alone at night, in the dark, you can’t help but wonder if that last breath you took was labored.
- It’s utterly bizarre to be infected with a virus that a small but annoying loud and pervasively stupid percentage of Americans don’t even believe exists. There are people in this country who would say that my supposed infection is fake. That I’m just another liberal pawn of the deep state’s attempt to control us or the WHO’s attempt to control the world. Or they might claim that I simply have a cold or flu, even though more Americans have died of COVID this year than in Civil War.
- My students wrote me many wonderful cards and notes before left for vacation, but what I noticed about them was how many kids warned me to avoid getting COVID. “Don’t get COVID!” “Be safe and wear your mask!” “Please stay healthy, you annoying man!” I was surprised by the concern of my students, but it turns out that it was warranted. I think they will be angry with me when they find out.Oh well. It’s not like they haven’t been annoyed with me before.