The coat rack beside our back door has been repurposed to hold masks. Lots of masks.
We got hit.
On New Year’s Day, no less.
It was completely unexpected and yet not because, really, until this virus is licked aren’t we all just biding our time?
The positive COVID-19 test result* threw the whole family into a tailspin as soon as we got word. We grabbed masks to wear inside, sentenced No. 2 to isolate in her room (which truthfully, having a teenager shut herself off in her room isn’t appreciably different from everyday life), assigned bathrooms, set up meal protocol and got to work trying to find a place, any place, that could test the rest of us late in the afternoon on Jan. 1.
No dice. Which was no surprise.
The mood turned from joyous optimism over a shiny bright, new year to the grim realization that this thing isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot.
At 6:30 a.m. the next day, I hunted for available appointments that could get us rapid tests with results ready in minutes. Aside from needing to know for our own sanity, we had to know — No. 1 was due to head back to California with classes starting Monday.
We ended up dragging two out of three** kids from bed at 7:30 a.m. only to sit in the cold car outside an urgent care for a wickedly long time. Four hours and many, many, many games of Yatzy*** later, none of which I won because it was an off-brand STUPID app, we were rewarded with brain stabs way worse than any previous tests — the nurse actually left the nostril javelin up there for 27 minutes. I am not exaggerating. OK, maybe a little, but it was the slowest count to 10 ever, and she just walked away while she counted, letting our own gray matter hold the stick in place.
Then we had to wait, giving us a chance to do some bonus bonding over a game I am really good at: Who is the Bigger Hypochondriac?
“How do you feel?”
“I’m worried. I have a headache.”
“Ummm… Of course you do — it’s the day after New Year’s Eve.****”
“I think I have the chills.”
“Did you check the thermostat? It is cold in the house. Two of my toes just snapped off.”
Except for some fleeting, imaginary symptoms, everyone seemed to feel fine. Stir crazy, but otherwise, fine. Annoyingly, everyone still expected to be fed even though I couldn’t venture out to grocery shop, typically one of my least favorite chores. So, I had to figure out how to order groceries online, which sucks BTW. Even though I don’t like slogging through the grocery store, I also don’t like relinquishing control of picking my own fruits and veggies. Also, seeing things in the store always jogs my memory for all the stuff I forgot to put on my list.
In a sign that maybe 2021 will indeed be better than the preceding year, our results came in remarkably fast, in strict contrast to our days-long wait to get tested.
Negative. Every one of us.
Yay! But boo — we still have to isolate.
Such. A. Drag.
It’s not like we did that much (we didn’t) but isolating the designated 7 days takes away the one and only thing that has kept my sanity and waistline in check: parking lot CrossFit workouts. It’s not like I particularly enjoy them (they’re mostly a means to an end, a tighter end), but I do dearly enjoy hanging with the fellow psychopaths sweating masked and 6-feet away from me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so, so very thankful no one is experiencing symptoms, but it’s hard to feel super happy about being exiled when you see things like this…
Because the world is horribly unfair, I’m sure none of those idiots will catch it even though people out there masking and following all the rules will. And do. I’m also very thankful that, unlike Doug Ducey’s son, my kids all have a fully developed sense of social responsibility and none of them have complained about doing the right thing for others even when it means missing out on NYE gatherings and being stuck in the house 24-7 with their parents.
Personally, I’m not letting all this extra home time go wasted. I’m going to spend my time wisely — improving my Yatzy skills.
*And why, pray tell, did No. 2 get a COVID test? Because all the kids get them regularly: No. 1 because her school requires it, and the other two because their parents require it since one worked outside the house and one goes to hybrid, in-person school. Also, in an ideal world not run by boneheads, every person would be tested weekly.
**Testing positive came with one solid perk: Being able to sleep in.
***Not to be confused with the real Yahtzee, which must charge an awful lot for that ‘h’ and all those ‘e’s.
****Though we toasted at midnight with the kids using Martinelli’s, we drank plenty of good, ol’ fashioned alcohol earlier in the long night.