As a preface, I am going add this: I know this might cause a little controversy because people have made it political and love to preach. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I never thought I would have to add this disclaimer, but mean comments will not be approved and/or will be deleted.
We spent a year on the road traveling to new places, seeing amazing things, all while wearing masks and trying to socially distance as much as possible. We made it a year during the height of the pandemic and didn’t get sick, not even a cold.
We did our best to keep healthy and avoid Covid. Spoiler: we failed.
When we got home from our year long journey, the Governor had lifted masks requirements. While the kids continued to wear masks out, Ben and I stopped wearing them for about two weeks until the Delta variant became a stronger presence in Ohio. We started wearing them again indoors or at crowded outdoor events. However, we were one of the few. The boys’ schools were not requiring masks. There was not a lot of space between their desks or even at the lunchroom tables. We had the boys wear masks all day at school and while there were a few others, they were not in the majority.
We got an email a few days after Will’s first day (mid-August), that during freshman orientation there was a kid in one of his classes with COVID. With Nick’s school, they reported cases at the end of the week.
We kept wearing our masks. It seems a simple enough thing to do to keep us and the people we love healthy. We have several family members who are more at-risk and would hate to cause them to be sick. There are enough kinds of masks available, that we found ones that were comfortable for us to wear for long periods of time. Ben and I have also been vaccinated. We were able to get the J&J while on the road. Of course, 3 days after getting it, the blood clot issue came out in the news. We had a sore arm, but no other big side effects.
I really debated on the vaccine for the kids. Ben and I were fine “experimenting” on ourselves. The vaccine only had emergency approval and any really long term effects are not known. What happens 5 – 10 – 15 years down the road? Rushing something normally doesn’t end up with good results, no matter how smart you may be. Add in the talk of having to get boosters too, and I wasn’t sold on the idea for the kids.
It took me a lot of soul searching to decide to get the kids vaccinated. Nick’s cardiologist recommended it, as the more severe side effects of Covid are not great for the cardio kids. Their pediatrician, who I adore, also recommended it. We had a talk at their yearly physical and even he admitted that he wasn’t sure on the vaccine for kids in the beginning. However, he felt that there was enough information out there now that the Pfizer vaccine would be safe and that his own son recently got it. Their doctor is normally pretty laid back, so this was a big statement from him. If I can’t trust the people who have helped keep my children healthy and alive since they were infants, who can I trust?
Now, do I trust everything out there and that the people in power do not manipulate what they show to the public? No, of course not. However, based on my kids’ health conditions, the fact that schools were not requiring masks and had a very lax quarantine policy, I decided to get them vaccinated.
So, back to “Avoiding Covid”. We wore masks, we were vaccinated, and it still made its way into our house. Ben said we should have just kept traveling.
We are 90% sure it came home from school, even with our kids wearing masks.
It’s hard to know if you have Covid. The list of symptoms are varied and long and can be the same as if you have allergies, the flu, or a cold. To make it even more confusing for us, there was also a summer cold going around. Will never had any symptoms, Nick had mild cold symptoms, and I had bad cold symptoms. I had maybe 1/2 to 1 degree fever for one day (which I get with bad colds) and my taste buds were funky (like when you have a cold), but I never lost any smell/taste, so we assumed it was the summer cold.
Ben came down with it several days after us. His quickly escalated and he had 100+ degree fever for 4 days. His taste buds were also off, but didn’t lose taste/smell. He did have muscle pain/aches. He was quarantined to our room. It was Saturday of Labor Day weekend and he still wasn’t feeling well. Every ad says “get tested”, but it wasn’t that easy. I tried CVS, Walgreens, and The Little Clinic (Kroger) to get an appointment and couldn’t get in until Tuesday or Wednesday. There were not any big testing sites set up for the weekend. There was one testing site open 24/7 associated with a local hospital, but they required a doctors referral. I called the nurse on call for Ben’s primary doctor’s office, and she told me she would leave a note but not to expect a call back until Tuesday when they would be back in the office. I told her I simply wanted a referral so he could be tested, but she told me I would have to wait. I finally brought him in to an Urgent Care Sunday morning that had open hours. We had to wait in the waiting area, which seemed dumb. Why not have us wait in the car to limit exposure and call when the room was ready? After a rapid test, it was confirmed that he had Covid. She stated we probably all had it, but it was too late to test the rest of us. We picked up some different over the counter medications that she recommended and back upstairs he went.
The quarantine is long past and we have all recovered from anything we had. Ben said that is the sickest he has ever felt. For any longer lasting side effects, I would say a lingering cough and being tired. The cough is pretty much gone now, but Ben and I still have just an overall feeling of being tired.