Monday morning, my older son woke up not feeling well. He had a sore throat and headache. I slapped a mask on him and called MedExpress.
Yes, we have tests, the woman said, but only a limited number so come in as soon as possible.
At the doctor’s office, they ruled out strep and ran a Covid test. We should get the results in two to five days, they said. However, based on all the firsthand accounts of testing, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s closer to two weeks.
Back home, we banished my son to the clubhouse — he’s been sleeping there, but he avoids being out there during the day because of the heat — and I borrowed an AC window unit from a friend. My younger son helped him prop it in the doorway and nailed up a heavy blanket as a makeshift door. Now we’ve renamed the clubhouse “The Refrigerator.”
I spent the morning rearranging my week: canceling a dentist appointment and a pool playdate, letting the bakery know, and emailing everyone he’s been around.
It’s two days later now, and he’s almost completely normal. He had a fever at the doctor’s office but, even though I make him check throughout the day, he’s never had one since. No one he’d been in contact with has had any symptoms. Probably it’s just a cold.
I’m sort of kicking myself for reacting so swiftly. I had to miss Magpie’s opening day — I was so excited to be there, too! — and now we’re doomed to waiting, at the mercy of the sluggish testing system. Even then, he could have a false negative. I can’t help thinking: when so many covid-positive people are asymptomatic, or with symptoms so mild they don’t even notice them, isn’t physical distancing and mask-wearing our only real defense anyway?
On the other hand, if it is covid and I hadn’t reacted responsibly, I’d feel terrible.
So there you have it. Thanks to Coronavirus, I’ve turned into the sort of mother who freaks out over a stupid little cold. Next up, I’ll probably do something equally uncharacteristic, like dye my hair platinum, mount a flatscreen TV above the woodstove, or put my kids in school.
Oh wait — can’t do that.
Update: He got the test back: it’s negative!
This same time, years previous: the quotidian (7.29.19), hill of the martyrs, in the kitchen, dance party, the story of a trusty skirt, do you strew?, heading north, the boy and the bike ride, July evening.