Friday evening, Petunia told me one of her best friends at school had tested positive for COVID. Her friend had a scratchy throat so had worn a mask to school, but went home early and by evening tested positive. I opened more windows, turned our main air filter up a notch, and moved our little air filter into Petunia's room. We tested Petunia the next morning - negative. But her luck did not hold. By Sunday evening her throat was scratchy and Monday morning she tested positive. She went into her room and the rest of us nervously hoped for the best. It had been about a year since our last boosters so we knew we were probably vulnerable, but maybe we'd get lucky. Just in case, my husband moved to the guest room since the way our weekend plans had worked out, I had spent the most time with Petunia over the weekend.
I woke up Tuesday to a scratchy throat, so I tested myself. Negative. But something was off, so I decided to stay in my room after work, close the office door while working, and wear a mask when I came out to the common areas. My husband decided to work in the garage. Wednesday, my throat hurt more and I was getting tired, but I was still negative. Same thing Thursday morning... I was clearly fighting something but I wasn't feeling terrible and I was still negative. But Thursday afternoon I got achy and developed chills so I tested again and this time I was positive.
I emailed my doctor to see about getting Paxlovid. I spent most of Friday sleeping. My husband found the pulse oximeter I'd bought in the early, panicky days of the pandemic so I could check the value before my call with my doctor. I was surprised to see how low my oxygen saturation was - it was down to 94. I normally read at 98. When the triage nurse who called to set up the appointment with my doctor asked how I was breathing, I told her I thought I was doing fine. The pulse ox said otherwise! I told the doctor the reading and was encouraged to get Paxlovid, use my albuterol more, and to keep monitoring my pulse ox. If it goes to 92 I am supposed to go to urgent care.
I started the Paxlovid last night and definitely feel better today. My oxygen saturation is up to 96. I am still tired but in a "I want to stay in bed and read" sort of way instead of a "I think I'll just take my 5th nap of the day" sort of way.
Petunia has felt fine since Thursday and is hoping she tests negative tomorrow so she can go to her volleyball clinic. I suspect she'll still be positive, but we'll see. So far, Pumpkin and my husband are testing negative, although both say their throats feel a little off. We've all scattered to separate rooms. We meet up for dinner outside, sitting far away from each other.
I'm sad to see my "no-vid" status go, but glad I avoided it for as long as I did. Remember at the beginning when we all just wanted to avoid it until we were vaccinated and there were treatments? I do wish they'd have gotten the new vaccines out in time for the start of school but also acknowledge that it was unlikely I could dodge COVID forever since I have two children in school and am also out and about more myself.
On the bright side, I've finished two books since exiling myself to my room: A Half-Built Garden, by Ruthanna Emrys and The Alarmist, by Dave Lowe. The first is a first contact story set in a future in which at least some humans have started to deal with climate change. It is interesting and ultimately hopeful about the future of humanity. The second is a memoir written by a New Zealand scientist who was involved in some of the early research into how we humans have been changing our atmosphere. It is a sobering reminder of our wasted opportunity to heed the early warnings about increasing CO2, but also a great look at what it took to set up some of the early experiments that demonstrated the impact we were having on our atmosphere and an honest memoir of a life in science.
And with that, I think I have used up my tolerance for being upright and will lay back down and start another book.
(Here is the write up of our first experience with COVID, also courtesy of Petunia's classmates!)