As I write this, I have been in quarantine for 24 hours, and it is not my idea of a good time. One week ago, I had a little headache and cough, and my body hurt. Because we are in a hotel room for my husband’s outpatient medical care, I thought I should get a COVID test. Even though we’re in the middle of several massive medical centers, I had to find a testing site because I am not a patient. The search took two
I made an online appointment at a drive-through CVS within walking distance. Yes, I walked. There was only one car ahead of me, and once at the window, the sweet young woman gave me a swab, a vial of clear liquid, a bag for trash, and a smaller sack with orange letters. She told me to put two inches of the swab into each nostril and twist it around for 15 seconds. Then I was to put the swab into the vial and move it up and down, remove the swab and place it into the trash bag, screw the vial lid on tight, and then place the vial in the orange sack and return it to the swab receptacle box in front of the pharmacy window. I understood.
Since I was walking and couldn’t figure out how to stand in the misty parking lot and complete the directions, feeling contagious and guilty, I went into the store’s bathroom. All went well, and I looked forward to getting the negative results.
Two days later I received an email. A red POSITIVE was the first line in the message. After reading it over and over, I thought, Oh, no, now what? I knew the CDC protocol for isolation, but what about my poor husband?
The next day, we found out. He wasn’t allowed into the hospital for treatment. My husband now needed a COVID test and was redirected to another building with Yellow (been exposed) and Red (has COVID) zones. I cannot begin to describe my angst. A typical day flipped to quarantined, stressed, afraid, depressed, and victimized.
I received several text messages and answered a 25 minute interview from the Colorado Department of Health.
When the hotel manager quarantined me to the room, I asked, “What do I do if I get incredibly sick?” He didn’t know. He said they would probably call the EMT’s.
“What would they do with me?”
He didn’t know. “You are the first one to ever quarantine in the hotel.”
‘Where did the others go?”
He answered in a long-drawn-out flat tone, “Home.”
I hung up, stared at the wall, and mumbled, “In my dreams!”
I ordered a salad from room service, and a mystery person set it outside the door, knocked, and ran. Housekeeping was the same—bags of sheets and towels magically arrived.
I then lost my taste and smell, but the good news, my husband’s test came back negative. Whew!
For all of you, dear friends, caught by the COVID — what’s YOUR story?
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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