My husband and I opted to hunker down on Thanksgiving with our one remaining child at home. No more immediate family. No extended family.
We were doing our part as a precautionary measure to slow the spread of COVID locally.
We informed Goopa that he wouldn’t see the grandkids face to face. Told the nieces and siblings no feisty games of 500 or Hand and Foot this year.
FaceTime worked for two of our adult children.
Another met me on the Wobegone Trail for a socially distanced walk.
Then out of nowhere, my husband went down. In bed. High fever. Aches. Pains. Headache.
For 13 days.
At the time of this writing, we are nearly three weeks in, and he is finally moving around but still has no sense of smell or taste. And, he said he feels like his head is underwater. He can’t drive or have the TV on because it overloads his senses.
We were stunned how COVID hit him because the guy is pretty healthy and prior to COVID was playing hockey three nights a week in his late 40s. We are also not sure how he got it because we’ve been pretty good about keeping to ourselves, masking up and sanitizing.
The 11-year-old munchkin got it within days and had a deep, painful cough for one day and then was fine.
I was knocked out for 24 hours and then popped out of bed like nothing happened. Again, we were stunned because I rarely make the healthiest of choices, and COVID was mild for me.
And the guy we avoided?
My dad – an 80-year-old with diabetes and heart disease – tested positive this week. It’s been brutal with the fevers and labored breathing. He is staying with my sister right now, so we can keep an eye on him and measure his oxygen levels. I lay awake at night staring at my phone, so I don’t miss a call saying we have to bring to an emergency room. Sometimes I cry, worrying that there won’t be an emergency bed for him.
During the holidays, COVID exploded in our circle of friends and family. We went from only knowing a few people who had confirmed cases to dozens of people who had confirmed cases.
I’m grateful to the fabulous medical team at CentraCare-Melrose Clinic for the drive-through COVID testing. (And, I’m publicly apologizing for grabbing your arm and flinching when you came at me with the throat swab! Involuntary reflex.)
This illness is fast spreading. It’s radically inconsistent in its effect on people. And, it’s debilitating and deadly for too many.
We were careful and still got COVID. Everyone will likely get COVID. The key is to slow the spread, so we can care for those who need it.
Please. Please. Please. Wear your masks. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Connect with those you love on digital platforms, so you’ll be able to hug them when we get through this.