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This Positively Sucks

I was in the kitchen working on a kick-ass post about some issues I am having with Little Man possessing a cell phone, when I heard a groan and a weak “Mom, is that you?” from behind the door just next to the bottom of the stairs: Little Man’s room.

Someone is grumpy this morning, I thought. I saved my progress and trudged over to see what the problem was. Writing would have to wait until after he was off to school. No news there.

I opened the door and walked over to his bed. Somewhere under the large pile of sheets, blankets, and the occasional LEGO lay a lanky preteen Little Man. He’s always been an early riser. So, I prepared myself for two possibilities: he was either going to pop up to surprise me (haha) or perhaps begin to list all of the reasons he should stay home with me to avoid his imminent history test.

I poked the mound on the bed. It moaned. I pulled back the sheets and felt a rush of warm air rise up to meet me. When I put my hand on his back, I could feel through his PJs that he was hot, very hot, too damn hot. He rolled toward me, coughed, and cleared his throat, his eyes still shut.

“My head hurts. My whole body hurts.”

Shit.

I held my breath and left the room to grab some masks, a thermometer, and a Covid test. About 15 minutes later, we knew. That sneaky bastard of a virus had snuck right past our precautions and into our home once again. And, it had come in through the only member of the family not yet boosted.

People all around us were falling ill to this new variant, vaccinated and not, so I wasn’t really that shocked. I was even less surprised when Little Man’s buddy called him a few days later to say, “sorry. I think I gave you covid.” Ah ha, the middle school lunch table. Even Little Man, who I had to remind not to wear his mask as he walked beside me and the dog on the way to his bus stop, pulled down his double-layered, filtered protection to eat his lunch. I had been in the lunchroom to help sell Candygrams pre-holiday and knew how close the quarters were when the kids ate. I would say avoiding infection there was a crapshoot, but with the number of cases mounting, for the covid virus, it was more like shooting fish in a barrel. And in the end, our fish was shot, filleted, and deep-fried, kicking off a mandatory ten-day absence from school for Little Man.

He started his bout on a Friday morning and fought headaches, body aches, and fevers through to Monday evening while the rest of us crossed our fingers. Monday night was a blissful night of sleep and tranquility for all.

Early Tuesday morning, my head began to throb. My throat ached, and every joint in my body, including the ones in my pinky fingers, decided to go on strike (not the peaceful sit-in kind, rather the type where people are throwing things at each other and cussing). A quick test revealed a deep pink “you are positively positive” line adjacent to the friendly unassuming blue control line, and we were two for five.

My husband moved to an upstairs room. And later that day, I acquired a new roommate when our eldest, my Moon, also tested positive and came in to join me, very much looking the part of one of The Infected.

Our home was quickly divided into two zones: the upstairs Covid-free zone, which became the main hang-out for the family’s healthy (and, coincidentally most recently boosted) members, my husband and the one remaining virus-free child, our Sun; and, the downstairs bedrooms, realm of the feverish, tossing and turning, shivering and sweltering, trying to shake that feeling of someone or something seated on our chests. Covid was three for five.

If you are not new to this blog, you know that we have had our share of hospital visits in the past four years. Enough so that my goto joke, “do you guys offer frequent flyer miles?” has grown stale. And, we are still searching for answers in those cases that involve lungs. So, any kind of respiratory virus is … well, scary. This is one of the reasons that we are all vaxxed to the max. In fact, Little Man was scheduled to received his booster, but got sick a mere three days before that appointment. So, now that the virus was in the house, and not just acting like “a simple head cold,” we had to hope that the shots gave those of us infected enough immunity to keep everyone out of the hospital. So far, so good. And, the two who managed to escape infection remain healthy and negative. (That furious knocking that you just heard is me rapping on the wooden table beneath my laptop.)

Can I just say I am tired? Everyone is sick and tired of the situation. It sucks. And, what sucks even more is the rancor it has stirred in the hearts of so many. The virus made every inch of my body ache, made my very breath sear down my throat into my lungs, but the hatred I read nowadays hurts my soul. It is downright disheartening.

I will make a couple of quick personal observations now that I am bringing up the rear in being on the mend (my husband has said that it’s taking longer for me because of age. Obviously, he is counting on covid brain fog to wipe my memory before I regain full strength): 1. being sick with a layer of protection is way less scary, and 2. quarantining in a warm comfy bedroom with an actual bed, windows, and real walls sure the hell beats being woken from a fever dream on a half-deflated air mattress by random bears rummaging in the construction dumpster just on the other side of a plywood barrier. (see Quarantine Ghost)

Oh, and don’t worry, that kick-ass post on Little Man (who I might start to refer to as LM in upcoming pieces because of his insistence on attempting to outgrow me) and his cell phone is still in the works. For now I’m just focussed on kicking this virus to the curb so I can properly get on with it.

Stay healthy!

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