Well, that was a weird week.
Holed up in my bedroom, having food delivered to the door, napping two or three time a day.
You guessed it, I got COVID.
Perhaps it’s silly to say given Omicron is spreading like wildfire, but I was surprised I got it.
Being healthy, double vaccinated and living a remarkably low-risk (socially boring) life, I didn’t think I fit the profile.
But profile, shmofile…And of course, the odd lapse in judgment didn’t help.
My moment of “cov-idiocy” was a couple of weeks ago driving with a friend, locked in a car with the windows up, engaged in an animated conversation — mask-free.
Two days later, I got a text from said friend that started with “Terrible news…”
It was Saturday and that evening my sister and I were planning a dinner at a restaurant that would include both of our families, as well as our 94-year-old parents.
I went straight to the testing centre at YVR, however with no symptoms, they wouldn’t test me.
But after peppering the guy at the booth with questions, he said I could park and a nurse would come talk to me.
It was a strange conversation, as the nurse tried hard to stay in her lane by just telling me the government protocols for my situation.
She used the word “technically” about 10 times.
“Technically” I’m not defined as a close contact. “Technically” I don’t need to self-isolate. “Technically” I could go out for dinner with family and elderly parents.
Finally, she added, “but I wouldn’t.”
Anyway, I didn’t go, nor did anyone from my house.
That night, I felt symptoms and the next morning was back at the testing centre.
Given that I rarely get colds or flus, I was pretty sure this was going to be COVID, and by 8 p.m. that was confirmed.
Okay, now what? I knew I was to self-isolate, but what exactly does that look like for me in my home, living with three other people?
We don’t have a spare room, so where is my husband supposed to sleep? The shower is in the bathroom closest to my bedroom, so how is that going to work?
By noon the next day I got a call from a public health worker, who spent over an hour with me asking questions and going through exactly these details.
It’s easy to rant on about public health, and often with good cause, but she was wonderful and the fact the government provides this kind of one-on-one care is no small thing.
But even with that help, it took me awhile to wrap my mind around our new reality.
As clear as they try to make the rules, personal judgment always comes into it. And where there’s personal judgment, there’s going to be debate — at least in my house.
For example, at the testing centre I was told I could use the common areas if I wore a mask and disinfected. The public health worker said, yes, I could “if I have to.”
It’s a subtle difference but can leave things open to very different interpretations.
Anyway, it was concluded (by some) that I didn’t “have to” and, with that, was banished to my room, left to stare out the window feeling like Rapunzel while a certain someone on the other side of the door kept saying, “It’s not personal.”
As for the illness, I had relatively mild symptoms, apart from feeling like an energy yo-yo.
I’m writing this on Day 10, the first day I made it to 3 p.m. without a nap.
But, strangely, I’m not tired all day. In fact, after a nap I’m feeling right as rain and texting colleagues that I’ll be working tomorrow, no problem.
Two hours later, I’m an emotional toddler past her nap time.
I’m now out of isolation, but feeling a bit like I’m back at square one as I think about Christmas.
Again, my sister and I planned a dinner with our families and 94-year-old parents, and “technically” we can do it, but should we?
Either way, this is truly a year to follow the Whoville example and make it about love and gratitude — and maybe a Zoom call.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.