I think we have COVID-19

Posted by JK on 19th July 2020 in Blog |6 Comments

covid_girl_mask

“Have you planned what you will do if someone in your household develops COVID-19 symptoms? We hadn’t…”

Have you planned what you will do if someone in your household develops COVID-19 symptoms? We hadn’t…

We were extremely careful.

Let me begin by saying that I am a Virgo, a germaphobe, and an introvert. So, when this whole pandemic thing reared its head, adapting to the new normal came naturally. The joke around the house was that “dad is finally happy”—he doesn’t have to go anywhere or see anyone. He can just sit and write.

We took our kids out of school way before the administrators shut it down. We religiously cleaned all our groceries, which we bought exclusively online. We wore masks everywhere—which was almost never because we didn’t go out. We even had a pair of outside-the-house shoes that we left in the garage for use when leaving home. We shut down all social life and amped up our vitamin C and D intake.

And we watched as Italy, then Spain, then New York got “it” — because they weren’t being careful, right? We watched as the hospital ships were mobilized and Fauci and Birx admonished us all to flatten the curve.

Even though we live in South Florida, when the numbers began to climb here, we felt confident that we could avoid the virus by simply staying home and following the rules.

And then…

About two weeks ago, our youngest child got a weird gastro thing. Vomiting. Cramps. No fever. An anomaly. That can’t be “it.”

A week later, our oldest developed a mild fever. One day only, then gone. Again—an anomaly… surely, not “it.”

Then yesterday, at breakfast, our oldest says, “Weird, but I think I’m losing my sense of taste.”

So, we took her in for a Covid-19 test. We paid for the rapid results, which means we tested her on Friday, and we’ll get results this coming Wednesday.

As I sit here now, writing this, we don’t know for certain if COVID is “in the house” or not.

But, we kind of know. Loss of sense of tatse is definitely a COVID-19 symptom, and pretty hard to rationalize away in a healthy, athletic eighteen-year-old woman.

It’s not what you expect.

First and foremost, the list of COVID-19 symptoms is long enough so as to almost be useless.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The only one that really stands out is “loss of taste or smell.”

Different people apparently have different mixes of symptoms.

We have friends overseas—the whole family went through it. “It was like a bad flu,” they said. With the added loss of sense of taste and smell.

A guy I work with had it back in December. “It was all stomach for me. I didn’t lose smell or taste. And, I’m overflowing with antibodies now.”

And we have a neighbor, who had the full-blown respiratory version, was hospitalized, and lost his life to the disease. He was in his early fifties, and a dad.

Don’t trust the test. Trust your common sense.

Even if our daughter—or all of us—are “positive” in the sense that we have the virus, several doctors have told us that early on in the infection, testing often gives false negatives. So, our daughter may be infected (we all may be) but tests possibly won’t confirm it. We could all be spewing virus and science can’t say for sure whether we are or not.

If your case is mild, you’re on your own.

Medicine? Therapeutics? Unless you are really, really sick—like hospitalized sick—it’s basically a “treat the symptoms” game. Fever—Tylenol. Congestion—Nyquil. There is no generally accepted or recommended protocol.

The science on treating this thing is apparently still “in the works.” So, you need to be your own advocate. What do you need to watch out for? Fever. Any kind of respiratory impacts. The majority of cases are mild. But, the moment that yours or that of someone you love seems to go even slightly beyond mild, get the doctors involved.

Nobody has it, until you do.

Socially, there’s some interesting stuff going on here. Once we suspected we had Covid-19 in the house, we reached out and let close friends and family know, as well as some friends that we were planning a road-trip with later in the month (assuming everything in Florida improved). Everyone—every single person we’ve spoken to—thanked us for being up front about the issue.

But more Interesting, several told us about “mystery” cancellations that have been happening recently. A small gathering with family, or a friend, that suddenly gets put off and the reasons are “vague.”

You remember the Trump denial phenomenon? They claim that back in 2016 people would get called by pollsters and asked if they were voting for Trump or Hillary, and no one wanted to admit they were voting for Trump? Well, there appears to be some sort of similar “Covid-19 shame” thing going on.

No one wants to admit they have it, or maybe have it. But, once you tell them that you think you might, the floodgates open—information flows.

A waiting game.

How are we handling it in the house? Well, we are all healthy, young, and thinking positive. Beyond that, all you can do is watch and wait.

We are keeping the two kids that had “symptoms” in their rooms. Several months ago we added UV light filters to our A/C system, so we feel pretty good on that front. When we interact with the kids, we do so wearing masks. We are going into full quarantine for at least two weeks. Self-imposed. And we are continuing to exercise, take the vitamin supplements, and monitor everyone for more symptoms.

Pets are a plus…

We have six dogs, which I now consider a blessing. If you follow me, you may have read about Dum-Dum. I am pleased to report that I can still smell his farts—something I never in my life thought I would say I would be pleased about.

Head games.

I do detect, in myself at least, a slight level of paranoia. I am constantly evaluating my body for changes, symptoms, etc. So far, I have “detected” mild headaches, some slight gastro issues, and a bit of general wooziness. Most of that I attribute to stress—worrying that at 52 years old I may get a bad case of “it.” So, I am trying to stay busy.

I (all of us without symptoms) am/are maintaining our usual diet and routine, changing as little as possible so that we can detect whether any changes in our normal physical state are the result of some extraneous.

I’ll let you know how things are going in two weeks.

6 Comments

  1. I hope your kids feel better soon. Everything you said is true. For most treatment is just symptomatic & having a good immunity is a great investment. No one is truly prepared for COVID19 until it happens personally. My family & I are cautious too but even the most careful ones can get it. There are false negatives even with the unique loss of smell and taste. Second test is needed and I believe surveillance report is made to update public health as it’s not uncommon that people are negative yet have obvious covid19 symptoms. Stay safe.

  2. I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach at the very idea that you and your family may be facing this. My husband and I have been super careful, I won’t even let him bring in the mail, or retrieve the garbage pails after pick-up without wearing mask and gloves.

    We order groceries online, I’m the only one who leaves the house or brings online purchases in. I wash groceries and unload dry goods on a staging table where they sit for two days before I’ll move them to the pantry.

    Bob’s immune system is shot from years of fighting for his life after the hospital infected him with not one but three deadly bacteria (MRSA, Klebsiella, and I keep blocking the name of the third, all of which are deadly and remain in the body) during his quadruple bypass surgery 14 years ago. He was the only bypass surgery survivor on the floor. International CEO, brilliant, award winning Engineer. Permanently sidelined him.

    Here’s something everyone needs to know however, one of my twin sons just survived emergency surgery for a different problem but it was touch and go and he spent a week in intensive care on a ventilator.

    He said it was terrifying because he was sedated enough to prevent him from talking or moving but his mind remained sharp and he could hear EVERY WORD spoken. And the casual conversation by doctors and nurses at his bedside as they discussed just “pulling the plug” on him remains the stuff of nightmares.

    I am chillingly reminded of the hospital scene with Susie.

    Please take care. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. I’ll put a good word in with the big guy to keep all of you safe.
    Best,
    Cynthia

    • JK says:

      Hi Cynthia. Thanks for reaching out, and so glad to hear that your son is well after such a terrible experience! All is good here. Only our oldest currently has any symptoms, and that is just loss of taste. We are all feeling fine — we’re healthy, and we’ve been taking vitamins, etc. We’re going to be fine. But, please do put in a good word with the big guy. Much appreciated! Big hug to you and yours!

  3. Moira says:

    I’m sending my love to all and prayers for a speedy recovery to child #1 and #3. How do you think the virus made it into the fortress?

    • JK says:

      Hi Moira. No idea how it got in. We’ve pretty strictly limited outside contact. And we’re obsessive about mask, gloves, sanitizer. As the incubation period is between 2-14 days, and we’re not sure if #3 got it first, or #1, or whether one of the others in the family got it but was asymptomatic… it’s really impossible to know. That’s part of the frustration. And – I’m posting a blog update in a bit – the testing is pretty unhelpful as well…

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