The Narrative Of The COVID-19 Life Of Me: Part 2
You are back!!! That is fantastic to know. And now you will be rewarded with Part 2 of my journey with COVID-19.
For those of you who are new to these posts, you can go back and read PART 1 HERE.
So when I last posted, I left you, the reader, with a small teaser or cliffhanger, if you will...
I said that Day 4 & 5 are nuts and that Day 7 is a sh*t show. The thing is that those descriptions of those days has very little to do with my physical health from the COVID and more about my mental health and frustration of the situation.
So hold on, it is going to get bumpy.
Here is Day 4 - 6....
So when I last posted, I had gone into self-quarantine on Day 1, I had taken a COVID test (it was brutal), and had scheduled another test at the testing center at North Park Mall through Test Iowa.
On Day 4-- ZERO symptoms.
Also on Day 4, I had a 8:00 AM test scheduled.
This thing is down to a science. You stay in your car, show them your QR code and ID, and then you go about the testing and leave.
The nurse was really nice and I complimented her on her test giving skills. You see, this test was not anywhere nearly as bad as the one I did in the walk in clinic. This test just tickled the back of my throat-- it did not scramble my brains and give me an 8 hour headache like the previous one.
Now at this point I am in a self-quarantine and the radio show has been suspended so I don't have a lot to do with my time. So during the day I went on a long bike ride for exercise, posted 2 posts on ESPN 1170AM and stayed in the basement.
The kids (daughter 10, son 9) did have other kids** swing by the house, because that is what kids do in the Summer, during the day but I stayed in the basement and had zero contact with anyone that day until 5:35 PM**.
** That information above is going to be important later
So I have zero symptoms of COVID-19, I was in self-quarantine, and I had taken a test (that was originally not going to be given to me because of zero symptoms) but I still felt confident my test was going to be negative.
Then the sh*t hit the fan at 5:35 PM.
I got the email that SARS-CoV-2 was detected in my results.
The wife wants to know how to immediately be tested and grabs the kids to go to the walk in clinic-- I remind her that she must force her way into the room because they turned me away.
Now I need to figure out who to call about possible exposure, tell the radio station, and what to do next.
So, the wife and kids got turned away from the walk-in clinic to get tested because they have zero symptoms. Despite the fact that I have tested positive and that school is starting in less than a week, they were told to kick rocks.
After four phone calls and 65 minutes of talking with providers, I scheduled the family a test on the following morning.
The rest of the night is filled with me feeling like a big POS because I may have unknowingly infected my family of possibly someone else during my 4 days between exposure and my Day 1 on quarantine. It is not a good feeling and mental health is something that will be highlighted in these posts.
DAY 5 - THE PHONE INTERVIEW
On Day 5-- still no symptoms.
I got the phone call from a contact tracer for the County Health Department around 8:30 AM. We are just going to name her Ruth**
**not her real name.
So Ruth calls to tell me that she has gotten the test results that I am positive of COVID-19 and that she needs to ask me some questions and give me some instructions.
Ruth is very nice and I have no problem sharing information with her. Why be a dick and not help out the study of the global pandemic, right?
Ruth asks me why I got tested. I explained that I was exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19 but that it was not easy to get tested because a walk in clinic in her county refused to, initially, test me. I told her that I would have never thought to get tested if I did not feel like I was exposed to the virus in a way that cause contracting the virus.
Ruth asked me about symptoms. I told her that I had none and that my temperature has been a consistent 98.4 degrees.
Ruth pressed for my symptoms... when she got out of me that I had a headache (on Saturday) and the sniffles (on Friday evening) and told me that those were symptoms they were looking for, too. Outside of fever, diarrhea, vomitting, etc.
I had to explain to Ruth that:
- The headache on Saturday was from the 8" swab shoved up my nose at the walk-in clinic that I got tested.
- The sniffles were at 6:00 on a Friday evening when pollen was high. Up to the phone call with Ruth, I had only blown my nose twice in 2020-- once after the test on Saturday and once before the test on Monday because it was requested.
Ruth agreed to put down that I had zero symptoms.
Ruth and I talked a lot more and I gave her plenty of information but I am going to share that when I post about Day 7.
At the end of the conversation with Ruth here is what I was told:
- I was now in isolation for the next 10 days. I was from, that moment on. exiled to a room I could be alone.
- I could return to work on Wednesday 8/26.
- The wife and kids were in quarantine for the next 14 days-- that means no school for them for the first week.
- There would be follow up calls and messages to ask about my health and symptoms.
I thanked Ruth for her time and prepared for my isolation...
Still no symptoms. But GREAT NEWS!!!! The wife and kids all tested negative for the coronavirus!!!! What a great relief!
At this point, I am just trying to find experiences and TV shows to fill in the time.
I tried to get a Zoom "Don't Hassle Us We're Local" with Acie Earl ant TRoy to talk NBA and more. There were some technical difficulties but we tried.
Although I had zero symptoms, I would like to point out the incredible damage that COVID-19 and isolation can do on your mental health.
You see, during this global pandemic, we have spent time with our families more than we ever have before. Isolation ripped away time spent with my kids and the hugs and affection shared with them. Losing that was brutal. Brutal.
In Episode 1 of HBO's "Hard Knocks" San Diego Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn had some great input about what getting the coronavirus is like for a personal psyche.
The first thing, you feel a little bit like an outcast. That was probably harder for me than the sickness. I was feeling like, 'I can't go here or I'm going to infect this person. (It's stressful) When you're used to fixing the problem, now I'm the problem.
Here is my Public Service Announcement for you if someone you know has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and is in isolation:
- Be supportive-- the person who has contracted the virus is stressed and worried about the entire situation
- Try to put together some sort of care package-- get snacks and anything that will make the person feel comfortable in their isolation
- Check in-- ask them about their mental well being and if they need to talk. They are in isolation but you can still call, FaceTime, Zoom, etc.
- Have empathy-- although it may be hard for you to imagine the situation they are in, try to understand that they are not going through an amazing experience right now.
Tomorrow's post is DAY 7...
The craziest day of them all. It has nothing to do with my health but everything to do with a phone call.