My family has been in quarantine for 30 days. Of the seven of us, the four who tested positive have been officially “released” from quarantine and considered “recovered”. The three who tested negative for having been “exposed” to the rest of the family, have 6 days of an additional 14 days left. Don’t ask… I’ll explain why later in the post.
I appreciate all the well-wishes and virtual love coming my way. The encouragement is strengthening my spirit and giving me the courage to know this imprisonment of quarantine will be over soon. A 100 square meter apartment for seven people isn’t enough space to be all together for 24/7 for over a month with no respite. When the whole world was on lockdown, we were all in the same boat. But when you’re stuck home and everyone else is out living life, it’s very depressing.
Thank G-d we had mild cases, it could have been much worse and I can’t compare our experience with anyone else’s challenges. Noted, in no particular order, is a bullet list of how I’m feeling and what’s different since I came down with Covid-19 in mid-July.
- Loss of smell. The sense is returning, but there’s no pattern for which things I can detect and which I can’t. When I had some motivation to make soup. I hardly noticed the chopped onions, yet I was able to notice the aroma of mango in a smoothie.
- Reduced energy levels. The recovery process is taking more time than it “should” (as compared to a common cold). Since there is so little knowledge about the recovery process, I don’t know what to expect other than hearing it “takes a long time”.
- Low motivation. I’m not motivated to get things accomplished. There are no “extra activities” in my day, only essentials.
- Craving nature. Too much time on screens, virtual existence, and time indoors has me craving green space. The kids and I started container gardening and have daily time on the patio caring for our plants. I would love a Beach Day or a getaway among flowers and trees. I want to be in nature, not indoors.
- Perception of time. Life outside of quarantine seems to have moved on and I still am incredulous that August is coming to a close. Wasn’t it just May? I know the year, but don’t ask me day or month. There was no schedule, no appointments, nowhere to go. The day had a pattern to it, but nothing specific to mark the hours. It was either “not Shabbos” or “Shabbos”. I’m not in the “back to school” mode because “summer vacation” proceeds back to school and summer hasn’t happened yet (for us).
- Thirst. I’m very thirsty. I wake in the middle of the night to drink 12 ounces. When I awake in the morning, I drink the same amount, as my mouth is parched. I drink frequently throughout the day.
- Reduced hunger. I have little appetite. Not being hungry should, in theory, have a silver lining of shedding a pound or two…however this hasn’t happened. I may have lost my sense of smell as well as my appetite, but I didn’t lose my sense of humor.
- Reduced sugar cravings. In all the “diets” being promoted, the common denominator is to reduce things like sugar, refined flour, animal products, etc. By default, this happened. This isn’t a bad thing, only something to note.
- Mental health awareness. All we’ve heard about are physical symptoms of Covid-19, but the mental health challenges aspect of this pandemic has been overlooked. There is anxiety, loneliness, stress, worry, and frustration. This is a holistic illness, not just a physical one. The nurse would call daily how we were feeling (physically) but nothing in the realm of asking about fears or feelings. It’s a very isolating experience. Those in the mental health field need to do a media blast of resources available if someone needs support and someone to talk to.
- Live-in-the-moment attitude. If I want to put on purple lipstick or paint my nails some wild color, I’ll do it. If a book bored me, I’ll quit and break the “rule” of “finishing what you start”. I don’t care what everyone else is doing, I just want to be me and enjoy my time on this planet. I’ve come to appreciate the attitude of living in the moment because things can change in an instant.
- Giving it over to G-d. Whether income, health, or some other challenge, I’ve given up worrying about it (for the most part…). I pray for the best but I simply don’t have the mental energy to sit and worry about things I thought “I” could control. I’ve concluded I can only control my attitude and emotions.
- Social media. In addition to losing my appetite for food, I lost my appetite for social media. For one thing, scrolling made me ill. Second, I got bored.
To explain the additional days of quarantine: from the time when the last person was tested, there are 10 days they could be contagious and healthy people could “still come down with symptoms on day 10, so two additional weeks are added.
What’s really maddening is that the last person who tested positive had symptoms for nearly a week before the test administers came to our home. For my test, I was tested 24 hours after the request was made. For the other family members, the request was made on the same day but it took 6 DAYS to be tested, which is an additional four days of unnecessary waiting. The 10-day count started from the test day, not the day the symptoms appeared, as it had previously been done. (Note: My family is on two different health plans, so that is why all the tests were not administered on the same day.)
That’s the update. This is a process without precedent so we’ll see what happens next and what’s around the corner.
Thanks for reading.