Love in the Time of Corona: Literally

So the other day I was hanging out on the couch with Chief and, as I like to do, I grabbed his paw and took a whiff. I happen to love the way his paws smell, like corn chips. I was feeling a little under the weather and thought that would cheer me up.

Oddly enough, they didn’t smell like anything. That never happens.

Micah, who had joined me on the couch, grabbed his paw and said, “They totally smell like corn chips, Mom.”

Uh oh.

“Quick, find some smelly stuff to me to test!”

So he went around the room and grabbed Lonny’s coffee that was sitting there. Nothing. Then the super strong lavender balm, nothing. I got the fish sauce out of the pantry – and if you have ever cooked with fish sauce you would know that it is the smelliest condiment on the planet – nothing.

I was making an appointment to get a COVID test within the half hour.

Naturally this didn’t happen without some pushback from Lonny, whose response to all things potentially urgent is that it’s probably nothing. Maybe the headache is nothing, maybe the fatigue is nothing, but loss of smell? That has never happened to me before.

A friend recommended a clinic in Westminster, I checked in on-line, pulled up, got swabbed and was on my way. The PA who administered my test said that I should consider myself positive because of the loss of smell/taste and start isolating.

Back at home I immediately started contacting people because my rationale was that it may take up to three days to get my results and people ought to understand that they are at risk, which might change how they act in the near future. Maybe they won’t go to that birthday party for their 90 year-old grandma with cancer.

Cue the next argument with Lonny.

I called my BF and broke the news to him, his response was to have me come to FOCO and isolate with him given that it would be better than trying to do it in Boulder where I share a bathroom, kitchen, doors, etc., with four potentially uninfected people So that’s what I did. While he didn’t have a positive test yet (he’s getting tested Monday), he had been feeling run down and our, um, activities pretty much guaranteed that he would be positive, too.

So my test came back positive the next day and the guys got tested shortly thereafter. Micah came back positive, Casey and Lonny not. However, Micah is not a careful person and no matter what anyone said, he would not keep his coughing to himself. So I’m guessing that Lonny and Casey could get it, too. In the meantime Micah is restricted to his room on the off-chance Casey and Lonny dodged a bullet.

Micah’s room is a good place to quarantine. It has a private bathroom, a balcony for fresh air and sun, and it’s large. I kicked around several possibilities for quarantining, including having him come to FOCO, but he has everything he needs at home. Truth be told, he hardly comes out of his room except for meals anyway.

His room also has this …

So my plan is to have food delivered to both my house and the BF’s through Instacart so no one will be in public. Micah is busy pretty much all day with on-line school activities so I’m going to show up at lunch time with lunch for the both of us, which we will enjoy together.

We’ll tidy is room every day to keep it from becoming a depressing cesspool and I’ll keep it stocked with snacks and quick food so he doesn’t have to come downstairs. Lonny will leave dinner at his door and clear dishes. I’ll keep my movements in the house to a minimum and continue sleeping/cooking at the BFs. The ten days will be over before we know it.

Now on to the question/answer portion of my post.

Q: What does it feel like? How sick am I?

A: The worst part of it is the body aches, which may actually be lung pain. It’s in my upper back and can radiate to my chest, sometimes arms. It’s uncomfortable at night when the ibuprofen wears off, it keeps me up. I can’t smell anything, which is so odd, and my sense of taste is blunted. I can taste salty and sweet but not much else. There is no nuance to food; blue cheese dressing just tastes salty. I’m currently at day five since the onset of symptoms and it’s not getting worse, so I think I’m in good shape.

Q: Do you know where you got it?

A: This is the most frustrating question. I mean, I get why EVERYONE asks it, but if I had any idea I would have announced it immediately. What I can say is that I have NOT attended public events indoors, I have NOT been to any large parties, I have NOT gone to any bars/restaurants/concerts. I have been to a private screening of a film with 19 other people, all people I know, none have tested positive so far. We were all wearing masks, we all sat far from each other, I was in the front row with everyone behind me. I had dinner with a family outside at my house and they have tested negative. I went to a park with two other families where we wore masks at least part of the time and were socially distanced the entire time, they have tested negative. Hey, masks work.

The only thing that really worries me – from a spreading to others perspective – is my visit with Marcia. I am absolutely terrified that I exposed my 90 year-old friend with cancer. It is literally my worst nightmare. And my BF’s mom, who I saw when I was contagious but we were both wearing masks the entire time.

So that’s what’s going on. It sucks. The endless conversations about it are exhausting. Absorbing other people’s stress and fear is exhausting. People want to be reassured, they look for anything that will let them off the inevitable quarantine hook. I get it but also, grow up. We are dealing with a global pandemic which is by nature inconvenient.

In the end I feel like I am something in-between a celebrity and a pariah. I’m a strange object of curiosity and the rumor mill is exhausting. I suppose most everyone will get their turn eventually and at some point it won’t be new and interesting anymore, just unfortunately routine. But I sure am tired of having people talk about me. I guess I should be used to it by now.

I’m done with my quarantine on the 19th but am managing to provide support to three households. I’m making and dropping off meals to Lonny and BFs mom (no you can’t catch COVID through food) and arranging for all needs to be met via delivery.

I’m driving to Boulder every day to spend time with Micah and keep him from getting depressed and no, I’m not stopping anywhere. I’m working closely with the health department to do contact tracing so if you are wondering if you’ve been exposed and you have NOT heard from me or the Health Department, the answer is no. Mostly I’m really, really tired.

If anyone wants to drop off dinner foods at Lonny’s, that would be awesome. Otherwise, I got this.

11 thoughts on “Love in the Time of Corona: Literally

  1. This: The endless conversations about it are exhausting. Absorbing other people’s stress and fear is exhausting. People want to be reassured, they look for anything that will let them off the inevitable quarantine hook. I get it but also, grow up.

    I am so sorry you have COVID Vivienne and hope you and your family and loved ones have mild cases that resolve quickly. Your quote above hit close to home as it is 100% true in my life currently, for different reasons. But for that reason no questions from me just me sending you love and healing thoughts 🙂

  2. Hang in there, Vivienne! This too shall pass. I’m sorry you are sick, and also sorry you are having others’ worries transferred onto you!

  3. Oh dear, I’m sorry you’re sick. As always, I’m amazed at all you do to take care of everyone. I’m glad you have BF and I hope you all have mild cases. Big hugs to you!

  4. Well that sucks! The first thing I thought of when you posted that you have it, besides feeling bad for you, is Marcia. Hopefully she doesn’t get it. Then I was wondering about the camping trips and fun things that you have been enjoying with various people. Hopefully they are the people that you know have been tested. My BIL had a group of friends hanging out together, they all were doing their social distancing..but I must say I don’t think most people know what 2 yards looks like. Anyway, at the end of the day everyone was hugging good bye, except for his one friend. Well that non hugging friend was the only one who didn’t get it. One of the woman had it and gave it to every single person she hugged. She had no symptoms. So sorry for this sucky time.

  5. I am so very sorry to hear, Viv. I know what a naturally careful, thoughtful person you are, i can’t imagine the weight of it on you. I know you’re taking care (of 3 households no less), hoping to feel better – so I’ll just say I am thinking of you. I live very close to where BF lives, if you need me to drop anything off or run errands in town or even stand outside your house and yell nice things at/to you, let me know <3

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