Seriously? There must be some mistake. I am Queen of Covid Avoidance and have followed all the CDC guidelines to stay healthy in this pandemic. I’ve been known to chide others to wear masks and stay socially distanced, and I avoid those who are unvaccinated like the plague that it is.
This result was from a Rapid test and was followed up by a call from a nurse at the testing site who recommended we both get a PCR-24 hour test as soon as possible as it is more accurate. I had already gotten a PCR test at Kaiser upon the advice of my doctor and Aaron suggested driving through the airport Rapid test site on our way home. As soon as I got the Rapid test results, he went and got a PCR test. His results came in before mine and he is positive. So there’s now no doubt that we are both infected.
This is no joke. My symptoms went from lethargy and a mild cough and low grade fever to a hacking/wheezing cough that leaves me completely exhausted, whole body aches and a raging headache. All I want to do is sleep. Oh, and I’ve lost my sense of taste and smell! I realized this when I put a drop of pure peppermint essential oil under my tongue to help with my congestion and didn’t taste a thing. I won’t go into detail on the stomach issues after eating a fast-food cheeseburger. Oy vey!
My first thought upon getting the news via text was embarrassment and disappointment. I wasn’t supposed to get sick. I’ve been fully vaccinated and had an appointment for my booster shot. Break-through cases aren’t rare, but aren’t common either. And they are becoming more frequent due to the variants, which are more contagious than the initial Coronavirus.
According to the John Hopkins Medicine website, “A study in Washington state gathered data from over 4 million fully vaccinated people. The data showed a rate of about 1 in 5,000 experienced a breakthrough infection between January 17 and August 21, 2021. More recently, some populations have shown breakthrough infection rates of approximately 1 in 100 fully vaccinated people.” I guess we are over-achievers!
Why should I be embarrassed? It’s not my fault, but there is such a stigma associated with the virus that it makes me feel like a leper. We’ve let those who were in contact with us pre-isolation know of our diagnosis. Our dad, daughter and Grands are getting tested and I pray that their strong immune systems have let them avoid getting sick. None of them have the symptoms that we are experiencing.
So how did it happen? Most likely, Aaron and I were infected either on the shuttle from La Paz to Los Cabos Airport or in the airport itself, on our way home from a month of sailing in Mexico with our friends. Although we were fully masked except when eating or drinking, the shuttle was close quarters and passenger from Texas was trying to figure out how to get tested at the airport prior to flying and took offense to being asked to mask up by a local. Another passenger from Michigan had recently recovered from Covid and had a doctor’s letter allowing him to fly. We had tested negative the day before and felt fine. The airport was very busy and people were not maintaining six-foot social distance in the check-in line, going through security or at the shared tables in the crowded food court. And then, of course, there was the hour of sitting on the tarmac and the two-hour flight on the plane, which wasn’t full, thank goodness.
Aaron started feeling bad two days after our flight home and was down for the count in bed for four days, finally feeling a bit better on the fifth day, which is when I started to feel lethargic. I’m on day five now and hoping that the symptoms let up and we can “enjoy” the sunshine in the cockpit while we isolate. Thank God for Thanksgiving leftovers and take-out … we haven’t starved. Today we placed our first-ever grocery store order for pick-up and have asked them to put the bags in the trunk to avoid contact. It was easy and I’m thankful for this technology and convenience.
Boat life can be challenging and it’s even more so in a pandemic. We live in less than 400 sq ft and when one of us gets sick, the other is soon to follow. We’ll isolate for the next week and will miss Hanukkah and holiday celebrations with friends and family, but will be clear to interact outside the boat in a week. It’s a good thing we really like each other!
My take-away from this is that we need to continue to do all we can to avoid spreading the virus. Get vaccinated, get boosters, eat well and exercise to give your immune system a fighting chance. Wear a mask when around those who you don’t know are vaccinated. Wash your hands often and use anti-viral (not anti-bacterial) wipes on any surface that my have been infected (shopping carts, gas pumps, door handles).
The good news for us is that once infected, an immunity is developed for a period of time. According to the CDC, “Although the immune correlates of protection are not fully understood, evidence indicates that antibody development following infection likely confers some degree of immunity from subsequent infection for at least 6 months. However, it is not known to what extent emerging viral variants could impact protection from subsequent infection.” But trust me, we’re taking no chances and will be using all precautions to avoid re-infection.
The bad news is we still don’t know the long-term effects on our body and especially our organs. While many people recover in a few weeks, others have long-term loss of taste and smell and fatigue. We can only pray that our lungs don’t have long-term or permanent damage.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever live through a pandemic, let along catch the virus. Since there is no magic pill to get over Covid, we’ll follow the advice of our doctor and stay hydrated, eat well, get plenty of rest, and pray for a quick, full recovery. And wait for the miracle of our body to heal itself.
3 thoughts on “It’s Not Just a Cold This Time”
First Heidi I am wishing you and Aaron the quickest recovery and return to normal that can be.
Secondly, your report on your days during and after your return from Mexico have stung me and amazed me more than a little. Its your spirit and your graceful and brave perspective to all this that you tell here. I have forwarded this writing to some friends who will, I am sure, appreciate what they read and will be reminded to manage their health in smart ways. I think it won’t be long until you and Aaron return to “living the dream.”
Are you doing supplements?