I’m happy to report that after 12 long days, I am post COVID. However, the experience has left me with more questions than answers. Like, how did I get it? When should quarantine exactly end? And, is everyone as neurotic as I am about testing? Given that I am a caregiver to someone in a long-term care facility, I feel that some of my paranoia is not only justified…but warranted. But my experience with COVID (although a mild case) has left me feeling a range of emotions from anger to gratitude to something like PTSD.
Since the pandemic began in 2020, I have been extremely vigilant. I’ve significantly altered my life by limiting group activities, wearing my mask everywhere I go, and testing weekly. There are still certain things like eating in a restaurant or going to a concert that I’m not sure I will ever be comfortable with again.
So when one of my routine tests turned up positive after a brief exposure, I was shocked. I also felt a bit defeated. Then when I called my local Urgent Care to find out what I should do next, I felt misguided. One would think that 2.5 years into a global pandemic there would be some guidance around the do’s and don’t’s when one gets infected with COVID. But it seemed that at least amongst the local healthcare community that I consulted with, they were just as confused as I was. Should I quarantine for 5 days? 7 days? 10 days? Test after my quarantine ends? And what should I do when I’m still testing positive 11 days later? Am I still contagious? All of my very valid questions seemed to go unanswered. It also didn’t help to hear from people on social media who either were out of quarantine after 2 days or who failed to test before ending their quarantine, only leading to further angst on my end. And then there was the fear that I could continue to test positive for weeks. I should also add that a negative test is required to visit my grandmother in long-term care, so that only added to my daily sense of confusion and guilt.
In the end, I trusted my gut. I tested for 8 straight days (from day 5 on) until my positive line faded and stayed home for a total of 12 days since the onset of symptoms (11 days since my first positive test). I know I was fortunate to have a mild case and to have had the only lingering side-effect be fatigue so far. But rather than allay my fears of the virus, I am feeling more concerned than ever after having COVID.
How are you feeling about COVID with the emergence of a new variant?
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