COVID birthdays have become the norm this year, especially for those who had spring birthdays. I knew this going into mine last weekend, and I understood that I wouldn’t have the same ol’ birthday as years past.
I had come to expect it, and I was ok with it.
I had it all planned. My official birthday was on Sunday, the party planned for Saturday, and I took Monday off for good measure as I wanted to go to bed later than 8:30 on the day of. Done!
Sure, the party was going to be rather reserved with only a few close friends, but my wife went out of her way to make sure it was something special.
I woke up that Saturday and started my day as usual, and when I called down to my adult son to see if he wanted coffee, he announced he was feverish with a massive headache, and he was exhausted.
Normally I wouldn’t have blinked at this news, considering he leaves his room only when necessary, but he has been working a few shifts a week in the service industry.
So, I got to swap out my birthday party for a COVID test.
Considering my son and I share living space; it was in my best interest to test as well since I had to worry about my wife and young daughter.
So, off we went to the test center.
According to medical professionals, the wait times were much shorter than days prior. That said, in my brief conversations with a few of the other line mates, reasons for testing were varied. One woman was there so she could prove she was negative to babysit. Another group of young men were already talking about the party they were going to after they got their results.
It was an odd feeling being there with someone who was symptomatic, waiting for others in front so they could hammer down their weekend plans.
Once we did get past the several stages, the test was administered, and while you may hear differing opinions, I can honestly say this. It really isn’t painful, but in the same breath, I can’t for the life of me understand why people would go through it willingly without medical reasoning. It is uncomfortable like taking water up your nose, but you are doing it on purpose, and willing to sit through ten seconds of it.
But hey, it’s all good. At least we will now get a definitive answer. Yes or no, covid or not!
While a lot of people have bragged at test results in 24 hours, it was made rather clear that the test results could take up to five days. Something about the number of tests being done.
And this is where the worst part of the ordeal started.
I had to self-isolate in the basement away from my family. The scant contact I did have was while wearing a mask sitting up on the top stair, chatting from afar.
My wife was up to the challenge and got to work on turning our house into a bleached fortress. But my 8-year-old daughter didn’t take it too well.
You see, she still sees her parents as infallible and indestructible. But she isn’t ignorant of all the happenings in the world.
She knows exactly what is going on.
And she was not happy.
She wanted hugs from her dad, and cuddles and reassurances that could only come from me. And I couldn’t give them to her.
In the days that I was waiting for a result, I was powerless to give comfort, or even to be comforted. It was an alien feeling. One that I am positive I would never go through again.
Just yesterday I got the news that both my son and I tested negative.
Cuddles and hugs have been restored.
But if there was one takeaway from all of this, it is this –
WE ARE NOT DONE.
WASH YOUR HANDS.
WEAR A MASK.
Rinse and repeat.
My 8-year-old daughter thanks you!