We were not as careful as we should have been. Because of this, we were exposed to COVID-19. Yes, we saw the numbers climbing. Yes, we mostly stayed home. Yes, we sanitize and clean daily and make sure we are washing our hands.
We were careful, but not careful enough.
The constant isolation has been getting the best of us lately. We all thought we were being extremely cautious, so surely it is okay to do a family only birthday celebration.
We were wrong.
One of my sisters and her husband tested positive. Up until this point, it hadn’t really hit that close to home. The experience has been terrifying.
When my sister called us to deliver the news, my heart instantly dropped. My daughter and I both are in the high-risk category. I instantly started to pray. I prayed for my sister and I prayed for the rest of us. She has a two-month-old. What in the world are we to do?
The first thing I did was search for testing sites. This was a stressful task. It didn’t end with us scheduling appointments. I ended up calling the nurse hotline for my medical insurance company. They directed us to go to the clinic that was specifically set up for COVID-19 testing. When we got there, we were told that we couldn’t receive testing because they didn’t directly call us for contact tracing. Thank goodness for my boyfriend who advocated for us to get tested. Thankfully, everyone besides my sister and her husband tested negative.
Although we tested negative, there is still a social responsibility to quarantine. COVID has an incubation period, and you could test positive a few days after testing negative. So my family had to quarantine for 14 days.
For the adults, the test itself wasn’t too bad. For my seven year old daughter, it was scarier than getting a shot and not something she ever hoped to do again (her words). We received nose swabs and had results in about an hour. None of us developed symptoms after exposure, but it has greatly affected the way we are living moving forward. We don’t want COVID-19 and we definitely don’t want to be the catalyst for exposing others.
I was contacted by SC DHEC to monitor any symptoms I may have developed. They offer this by phone or email. It was about five days after we were exposed to COVID-19 that we heard from them. There are many resources on SC DHEC’s site on what to do and where to get tested.
To maintain a little sanity, I turned my quarantine time into cooking all of the things. I made chicken satay, vegetable spring rolls, and a homemade peanut dipping sauce. I even made hibachi at home, including homemade teriyaki and ginger sauces. I also baked too many batches of cake mix cookies (which are seriously addictive).
My kitchen has become my safe haven. That has been my saving grace. I had to find something that I enjoy to keep my mind off being quarantined while quarantined. If you now start cooking all the things, do not blame me for any weight gain!
A few things that have been helpful for me are audio books from Richland Library (nothing too serious), grocery delivery, and video calls with family and friends. I know that we can’t see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, but we must do the best we can at doing our part in flattening the curve. Being exposed to COVID-19 put things into perspective for me.
We are all in this together, even though we have to stay apart.