Canon

The emotional toll of having COVID – Canon City Daily Record


I have been going back and forth to share this information, but I am an open book who appreciates when others share. With that in mind, please know that these are my opinions, and I do not claim to know what has been or what might look like COVID to you.

Last month my 7 year old daughter had to wear a mask to school for the first time this school year. Ironically (or not), this also ended up being the first week she got sick. She came home with a cough on the last day of the school week, Thursday. We started our usual routine of vitamin supplements and allergy medication to help control the amount of mucus her body was creating.

I’m a Type A extreme cleanliness freak, but there was no way to contain this cough. Her sister ended up with the same cough a day later. No fever, no sore throat, a bit of fatigue, and a lingering, wet, disgusting cough. I kept them at home from school the following week. I almost looked for a babysitter to babysit them but decided I had sick days, I should be the one with them.

A few days later I ended up feeling like I had a cold version of a girl’s chest. We did our best to keep our germs at home and not pass them on to anyone else. Monday night my body ached, my head was stuffed, and I woke up sweating. The last time this happened was when I got my second dose of the vaccine.

Yes, my husband and I are vaccinated. Based on his lack of spleen and the motivation of my employees that if I was vaccinated I would have an unlimited number of ‘COVID days’ for myself or my family members, we made the choice that we thought was right for us at the time. In addition, I believe that individuals should always make the best choices for themselves and their families.

Because I woke up with this same symptom I had from my vaccine, I decided that we had better get tested, a necessary step for me to continue to self-isolate at home. My 7 year old daughter and I took a test drive, my 9 year old daughter refused and I did not force her. We had our results a few days later, mine were positive. My 7 year old was negative. However, I believe she was at the end of her illness at the time of her test. She has also always been my strong carrier. Thank goodness she’s never sick for long, but she seems to be the one to bring things home.

Either way, my positive test meant I was in quarantine for 10 days, just like our daughters. My husband, through it all, thank goodness, had the same symptoms as his vaccine – nothing. I am grateful that it has stayed that way.

I missed the week before Thanksgiving with my students. My daughters missed the week before Thanksgiving with their classes. We went three weeks without our usual routine.

The part of it all (COVID) that I wanted to share the most with you is the emotional toll of knowing I tested positive.

I was afraid my husband would catch it and because he doesn’t have a spleen he wouldn’t get well. And no, he didn’t isolate himself from us because how could we really contain airborne germs by living in the same house? We do not have a guest room or a guest kitchen. He would not sleep well elsewhere either, so moving elsewhere could have been counterproductive to his health.

Another thought I had, born out of fear, because of what I saw and read was: what if I was one of the few crazy things you hear about? What if I’m fine one day and the next day I’m gone? What if I leave my daughters behind? What if something unusual happens? What if I don’t improve? What if we all have permanent symptoms? What if the vaccine causes something crazy?

So many “what ifs”. I had to remember that I am a believer. I know that despite what others might say, there is really no way of knowing how I / we got this. It is not known whether wearing a mask or not wearing a mask would have helped in our situation. There is no one to blame. If something unusual happened, I wouldn’t want someone to say “Oh, if only …” In large part, because I know if something did happen, and it was time for me to do it. go, I agree. I know where I end up. I have faith and I know my story is transparent, it has no holes.

When you’re sick and tired, it’s hard to keep your mind in the right place. Having communication with friends and family, someone to talk to, was helpful.

What if someone you know is sick? I suggest contacting them. Text them or call them to say hello. We had lovely friends who did it everyday and I really enjoyed their recordings. They give out the human interaction that one lacks when one is stuck at home.

If you can, drop a meal. While my symptoms were extremely mild, I still had a few days where I would have preferred to stay in bed instead of standing and making dinner.

Just as we are all different people, I imagine COVID-19 affects us all differently. Hope that by reading this you can get a taste of what it was like for us.

Jamie Reed is a teacher in the Cañon City School District and a contributor to the Daily Record.