The Positive Covid-19 test result story started before Thanksgiving and ended on our 41st Anniversary.
As my Dad jokingly said, “Even a hypochondriac can be right sometimes!”
Yes, he was referring to me and my constant worrying. But this time, unfortunately, I was correct. The answers didn’t appear immediately; there were some twists and turns.
Several days before Thanksgiving, Mitch was feeling fatigued. He had a few minor symptoms. I, of course, insisted on a test. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: “You need to get a test, or we won’t be able to see the kids (part of our small pod) on Thanksgiving
Mitch: You are overreacting. I am fine, I will be better tomorrow – and by the way, if there were not Covid, you would not think twice about these symptoms.
Me: (with a hint of arrogance) Of course, if there were no Covid, I would not think twice, BUT WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A PANDEMIC (caps intended)
It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and it appears that EVERYONE wanted a test! The testing sites were full, and the crowds reminded me of Black Friday back in the old days of 2019! (Ugh, this year!!!!)
One location told us there was a six-hour wait in their parking lot, and YES, you need to stand-by or risk losing your turn. Other testing sites in the 25-mile radius were booked solid, and the walk-in wait time was extraordinary. So, we went home.
Still ill on Monday, Mitch decided to try again to get a test. This time, the parking lot wait was 1-hour.
The technician swabbed Mitch and said to expect results on Wednesday.
Does He or Doesn’t He?
I started checking the website Tuesday afternoon. There were still no results by Wednesday evening. Mitch and I gave the uncooked turkey, old yellowed papered recipes, and all the ingredients to our daughter and son-in-law, Carly and Steve. 2020 would be the first year that Mitch did not prep and cook the turkey since his beloved Mom, Rita, passed away in 1992. Mitch begrudgingly handed the turkey baton to Carly and Steve.
Waiting, waiting, checking the website, waiting waiting, checking the website, waiting, waiting, checking the website.
Thanksgiving morning, I started my routine of rechecking the website. Finally, I called the testing site to ask , “Is the Lab open today because I need to stop checking this thing?” “The nurse replied that labs were closed, no testing results will be forthcoming today, hopefully, by Friday or Saturday.”
Ok, it’s over.
Our daughter Carly came by at noon to pick up containers that she would later fill with the delicious Thanksgiving meal.
Carly stood by our front door, and we distanced about 10 feet away in our hall. Standing in our doorway, Carly looked at our Mezuzah and told me that it was upside down. The Hebrew letters were facing the wrong direction. ( A mezuzah is a plastic, wood, or metal casing which holds a sacred scroll affixed to the right side of the doorframe. It blesses the home.) I jokingly said, “Oh, maybe I will flip it, and Dad’s results will be ready today.”
After Carly left, I righted the upside-down Mezuzah and busied myself with chores in the house. But I had a burning desire to check that frustrating website, just one more time. I knew they were closed; I knew it was Thanksgiving, I knew it was useless, but I had turned the Mezuzah upside down, and well, hey, you never know.
So, I checked again. Clicking on the site, I entered all of Mitch’s details, and the results page opened. But this time, THERE WAS A DOCUMENT! I clicked on the pdf attachment. The document revealed that Mitch was NEGATIVE (remember when that used to be a bad thing?) Oh JOY!! It was a bit of an enigma that the results appeared mid-day on Thanksgiving. Was it the Mezuzah?
We had a bit of a reprieve on Thanksgiving but still ate our dinner alone.
A Very Short Reprieve
Several days later, we discovered that we were unknowingly exposed to COVID-19 and tried to schedule another test on Monday. Again, we were unsuccessful. I left a message at a pharmacy that provides rapid testing.
I started wearing a mask in the house.
On Tuesday, our 41st Anniversary, Mitch was still not right. He was coughing a lot, and I started wearing a mask in the house. Mitch was convinced it was a postnasal drip, and the negative test from the week before somewhat boosted our confidence.
I received an appointment from the local pharmacy that provided rapid testing, and Mitch and I drove (in separate cars) to get swabbed.
Mitch was in the car ahead of me, and when the pharmacist came to his car to give results, it took longer than the other reports. That is when I knew he had a Positive Covid-19 Test Result. Yes, Mitch is a great conversationalist, and I usually would think he is just talking, but this time was different.
He drove off, and I was next in line for the test. I called him quickly to learn that he was indeed positive. Yes, Dad, this hypochondriac was right – damn, I did not want to be correct.
The news that he was positive was shocking and devastating. Even though I suspected, I was not ready to accept it.
We were so obnoxiously careful! We were the ones who sat alone outside at that party because we were keeping a distance while everyone else celebrated inside!
Is that Murphy’s Law? Karma?
Fifteen minutes later, I received results that I was negative.
So now what?
I admit that I did not race home. I needed to gather my thoughts. How was I going to sterilize the house to my standards? The reality of Mitch living in our basement bedroom ( think Chris Cuomo reporting from his basement)? Would I safely be able to make sure that Mitch gets everything he needs from a distance? How was I going to deal with the unknown of this virus?
We recently finished our basement when our kids moved in for six-months. It is now the perfect COVID-19 set-up with all the amenities. But still, Mitch is in the basement. It is lonely and isolating. Even the dogs are not allowed, as per doctor’s orders, to go down and offer a few licks and wags.
As for me, I gear up in my homemade hazmat suit and bring food and supplies. I am trying to use all disposable items to not have to deal with the infected utensils. I recently discovered that my dishwasher has a sanitizer setting – GEEZ, I should have known that! Anyway, that has eased some of my concerns regarding cleaning dishes that cannot be tossed.
And we wait. Each day we thought was day-one turned into day-zero because day-one starts the moment you get tested, not when you felt symptoms. So, we are back to counting days. I think today is day-two, but in real-time, it feels like day 200.
So far, Mitch’s main symptom is a cough. His other vitals are still stable.
And we wait and hope he recovers fully and quickly.
Wait and hope that other family members and I do not get it. Hope and wait that anybody who has come in contact with us doesn’t get it. And wait and hope for COVID-19 to be eradicated.
I am scared. Writing helps distract me so does wine, chocolate and Netflix! With Mitch’s permission, I hope to give an update next week. Stay safe, Wear a mask, Watch your distance, Wash your hands. And send a prayer….