We Got the 'Rona

 Well....we got it. We wash our hands, wear our masks, keep to our bubble of friends and Pat and I still managed to get the Corona Virus. 

We aren't 100% sure where Pat got it, likely during one of his weekly trips to the United States, but he did bring it home. Pat's initial symptoms were very flu-like, a mild fever, headache, and he felt 'off'. After a few days of that, we thought he was getting better. Then he was hit with a fever, chills, body aches, fatigue and he felt just awful. We were still unsure as to whether it was the flu or Covid. But then we read that researchers found a key difference between the flu and Covid (Link HERE) is that people are generally sickest in the first week if they have the flu. Whereas with Covid, people tend to feel sickest in week two. Then, when Pat lost his sense of taste and smell, we began to think it might not just be the flu. So we kept him hydrated and lying down and gradually he started to feel better. All together, he was sick about 10 days.

As he was starting to feel better, I discovered I couldn't smell my favorite lavender lotion. I felt fine, maybe a little tired, but I couldn't smell. THAT is a weird sensation. I decided to take a PCR Covid test the following day at a hospital in Puerto Vallarta, just to confirm if I should cancel my English classes and my work with the food bank. The PCR test was administered by an actual doctor. She was in full PPE and was very informative. While she checked the oxygen level in my blood, she asked about my symptoms: Fever? No. Cough? No. Fatigue? A little. Shortness of breath? No. Body aches? No. Headaches? No. Loss of smell or taste? Yes, now both. Increased appetite? No. Decreased appetite? Also, no. Toes or fingers swollen? No. Nausea? No. Brain fog? What's that? No, I don't think so. Then she swabbed way up my nose and in the back of my throat. 

Even with all of my 'No' responses, the doctor said that with the loss of senses and the fact that Pat had been sick the week prior, that she expected my test to be positive for Covid. So, I went back home to isolate and cancel all of my upcoming events. Fortunately, by now, Pat was free to join society again, based on CDC recommendations. It had been a little more than10 days since he showed the first symptoms, it had been more than 24 hours since he had a fever or used a fever reducer, and he was beginning to feel better. So off he went to get me some Gatorade, soup and the doctor's prescription of Vitamin D (4,000 UI) and Vitamin C pills that she wanted Pat and I to take 1 a day for 30 days. She also prescribed a 500 mg Paracetamol (acetaminophen) that she said I could take two of, 3 times a day as needed for pain and fever. At that point, I hadn't had pain or fever, but we got it just in case.

Sure enough, over the next few days, it hit me. I was completely fatigued for about 6 days and that was accompanied by extreme body aches in places like my knees and hips. I've heard it described as a temporary arthritis feeling. I also began to understand what the Brain Fog is. I felt disjointed and removed from everything. Kind of like being buzzed, I felt 'spacey' and sometimes couldn't even put sentences together coherently. Strangely, I remained hungry much of the time even though I couldn't taste anything. It turns out I even had an increased appetite. I never got the fever, cough, shortness of breath, nausea or swollen digits, so I consider my experience with Covid to be very mild and I feel extremely fortunate. 

I have gradually recovered and, while still a little tired, I am able to resume 'normal' life again.  Having had Covid, I have an odd sense of freedom - at least for the next few months. Since there is so much unknown about this virus, researchers still don't know if people can get Covid a second time. There is one man in Hong Kong who appeared to get a different strain of Covid six months after recovering. But his immune system seemed to be able to fight it off and he was asymptomatic. The World Health Organization says that reinfection likely won't happen regularly and health experts generally believe people who had Covid-19 will have some immunity against repeat infection. But they don't know how much protection, or how long it would last. It is also not clear whether people who may get reinfected would be able to spread the virus to others. So scientists say that people should continue to wear masks, social distance and practice good hygiene even after recovering from Covid.  

As far as the rest of our family, it has now been well over 14 days since I have dropped Hailey off at college and spent time with my mom. Hailey has shown no symptoms and has taken 2 Covid tests, 2 weeks apart (as required by campus policy) that were negative (YAY! Hailey failed her first college test!). I checked on my mom often and she stayed close to home. It has now been well over 14 days since I've seen her and fortunately she is healthy as ever. Jack, who unfortunately was in isolation with me, has shown no symptoms and we will continue to keep him isolated until he is 14 days past his last exposure to me when I was contagious. This is an easy task as he HATES going outside in the extreme heat and humidity down here.

Well before I had any symptoms, I watched a Seahawks game with a small group of friends after I delivered Hailey to campus. By the time I had results, it had been 14 days since I had seen them. However telling your friends and family that you had the virus comes with a sense of shame, not necessarily earned, but still a strong sense of guilt.  Another two friends had picked me up from the airport in Puerto Vallarta (days before I showed any signs of the virus), since Pat wasn't quite out of quarantine, and a few days later one of them became sick. Not sure if he has Covid, but did he get it from me? Maybe. Do I carry a lot of guilt? Definitely. But to be the first ones to bring it to our 'cruiser bubble' sure carries a lot of weight. Sorry guys!

So we will continue to wash our hands, keep our distance and wear our masks like good members of a caring society and hopefully that is the last our family has seen of the 'Rona.

Stay safe and wash yer damn hands!

Lots of masks made by locals for us to choose from!

Gilligan has his own personalized mask (thanks Mikayla!)

Read more at www.mvnoeta.com


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