It began a week ago, with a slight cough and a little tightness in the chest.
Of course, anything is a potential Covid symptom. Anything and nothing.
But the lower respiratory part worried me. It even made it a little harder to breathe. And I had childhood asthma, so I know what that feels like. Not good. Kind of like you are dying.
But this wasn't nearly so severe. In fact, in the days since the onset, it only feels like a very, very, very mild cold. Which is sort of embarrassing.
But I can't take any chances. I'm supposed to quarantine immediately. That way, if I test positive later on, my doctor wife, who must quarantine 10 days from last contact with a person who tested positive, will get her sentence truncated, due to time served. And I won't infect anybody aside from anyone with whom I was in close contact last week, 5 to 7 days before symptoms. Only there really wasn't anybody besides her.
I called to my wife from the stairs. She asked me to choose a room. I went with the bedroom. I pulled my chair in there, and prepared to spend a week in isolation. It hasn't been too bad, really. The first time I was in this room for a long period I was going through chemotherapy and felt really terrible. The second time I had a bad case of the flu. This is cake. And I can watch Netflix. And when my new computer arrived I had plenty of files to post produce to send out to the church choir, files I had recorded already because back in November I was already worried that this might very well happen. I recorded all of the carols for Christmas Eve in mid-November. Usually I try to make Christmas wait a little, but this year...well, we could all use some extra cheer anyway.
It was a bit challenging having to stay in one small room all week, but there were upsides. My cat really missed me. Once I opened to the door to use the bathroom and she came charging toward me from 20 feet away, trying desperately to get in before I could close the door on her. I hurriedly closed the door. Help! I cried. There's a tiger outside and I'm trapped!
And may I say the room service was excellent. I would almost stay at this hotel again. Every time I needed food it just showed up at my door! I told my wife that I was going to be really bummed when this was all over and I opened the bedroom door and there was no food sitting there, waiting for me to eat it.
When I called my health providers the first day they suggested I wait a few days before getting tested because if you get tested on the first day of symptoms you often get a negative result that isn't really true. Wait a few days and you get a more authentic result. I wanted to be sure if my test was negative I could really trust it. A lot of tests seem to fail anyway. So I waited until the fourth day. Then they made me shove a large Q-tip up my nose and swish it around. I sneezed like crazy but I wanted to make sure it was accurate.
Today the test results came back...negative. No Covid detected. Waist of a quarantine?
Maybe. We are suspicious, though. So I'm going to finish out my time anyway. One more day, just in case. And when I bust out of here, It'll be a week and a half until Christmas. And plenty to do before it arrives.
Pandemic or not, have a meaningful Yule, yinz!