*This article is a 7 minute read
We Did Everything The CDC Recommended
We sheltered in place for most of 2020. We wore our masks until the mask mandate was lifted. Both my husband and myself are fully vaccinated, but our son who is ten, was too young for the vaccine. This is his story...
We felt pretty confident resuming our lives when California reopened, and made up for lost time. My kid participated in activities and play dates. Like the rest of his generation, Covid had stunted his personal growth during those important formative years. I was looking forward to an overdue home renovation, and we were planning a family vacation in the summer. Things were progressing "Back to Normal."
My Son Had A Persistent Cough
I thought his cough was sinus related, but later that day he begged me to take him to Urgent Care.
"Mom, I don't feel well." He said looking frightened.
At Urgent Care he tested negative for the flu, but had a temperature of 102.7.
"This is looking a lot like Covid," said the ER doctor. "We'll get the test results tomorrow. If it's Covid positive, you are going to have to lay low for awhile, ten days of quarantine for the entire family." The physicians words felt like a hammer pounding a nail into a coffin.
"Ten days attached to each other, Oh man I can't do this again," I thought.
I had just gotten rid of all of my emergency supplies. We were coming out of Covid two weeks ago, but the Covid nightmare wasn't over yet. We had no choice, but to hunker down yet again if the results were positive.
We went home with some over the counter medicine; which thankfully brought down the fever, and alleviated the cough. My child had lost his sense of smell and taste. He also lost his appetite.
When we got the positive test results, we experienced a little bit of the blame game.
Parents, don't do this, you never know how your kid got Covid. You will go batty trying to piece together the last two weeks of your child's life. It's pointless, just focus on helping your kid heal. For my son, an active child who has ADHD, the quarantine was harder than his mild Covid. He felt well enough to go out, but couldn't, and fresh air alleviates ADHD symptoms.
Here's What Happened During Our Family Quarantine:
Day One- My child was online all day. This is exactly what I don't want him doing, but he refused to do anything else. At night his cough returned even after taking his medicine. I gave him some throat spray, and really strong cough drops, and thankfully that worked. It was scary for a moment.
Day Two- My child was feeling better, but he was already stir crazy. He started to cry and begged to go anywhere. So we went for a car ride. He told me driving through our neighborhood felt like a trip to Disneyworld. "Thanks Mom for doing this for me."
Day Three- I took my son to an uninhabited outdoor area. We read "The Call of The Wild." It was great to breathe fresh air, and be in nature. It really lifted his spirits.
Day Four- He no longer needed cough medicine, or Ibuprofen for his fever. He was talkative, and energetic. We went to another secret San Diego spot, read our book and picnicked. This really was a special day. We were in this beautiful setting. It felt like heaven, reading a great American novel, and watching cottontail rabbits pass us bye. Someone pinch me please!
Day Five- We finished "The Call of the Wild," and started reading "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe;" which is fantastic by the way. We read in our quiet outdoor space. Monarch butterflies flew overhead, we basked in the beauty of bougainvillea, fragrant jasmine bushes, and the friendly shade of fig trees. There was privacy, beauty, and C.S. Lewis hello! Our spin on quarantine wasn't so bad. We experienced peace and calm.
Day Six- Back at our secret spot, enjoying a great book. Although my son lost his sense of taste and smell, he is craving extra spicy tacos from a drive-thru Mexican restaurant. "I just want to eat tacos." We ate carne asada tacos al fresco. I secretly pretended my favorite outdoor space was my backyard, and I am living in the 1800's. Don't judge! It's better than thinking about Covid!
Day Seven- One of my son's friends dropped off a gift and homemade get well card, and he smiled. I can't tell you how much a gesture like this means to him. I remind him that the quarantine is almost over. He said he just wants to be healthy for his upcoming birthday. "Mom, good health is the best gift!"
*At the time this article was published we were still in quarantine.
Get Ready For The Critics!
I opted to be tracked by The California Department of Health. I alerted neighbors, friends, and basically anyone we had been in contact with for their own well being. Most people were gracious and understanding, a few panicked, and some unfortunately were judgmental. I stand by my decisions as a parent, and as I mentioned before, I followed every CDC rule, and this still happened.
What We Lost/What We Gained
We lost a week of music camp. During the summer my husband is usually at work and my son is at day camp. I was looking forward to getting organized, but I had to get over my loss of personal time. So what if my bathrooms needed to be demoed! So what if there's a mountain of laundry, and clutter! We're all healthy. People have lost their lives to Covid, their businesses, their homes, and I could go on.
If you are someone you love gets Covid, don't loose hope. Most people recover from it. Stay busy reading good books, create art, play board games, get into a new show, or some program you've been putting off watching. Basically, find something to occupy your time during that 10 day quarantine.
What did we gain? There were some tense moments, but as parents we gained perspective, and maturity, my child learned another lesson in gratitude. This has been a frustrating year, but what were the pre-covid years like? They were pretty awesome, and my kid didn't even know it. He took those days for granted, but now he knows the beauty of a good day, and true friends. He tells me this often, and he is anticipating his return to life with a renewed spirit.
I don't want to say Covid is a gift, that sounds cliché, and if it's a gift where the heck is the receipt?
Covid is a lesson, with open eyes you can learn and grow from it. It has impacted our lives in so many ways, but we got through yet another minefield together.