At the beginning of August we had a very unwelcome visitor…one I hope stays away from your doorstep.
We had close family friends over for dinner, friends we had seen multiple times during the pandemic. The kind of friends who practiced social distancing like we did, and who were fastidious in ensuring the safety of others. We had a lovely evening, enjoying each other’s company from afar. Four days later I got a text that read, “Hey mama. Just wanted to let you know I started to feel sick yesterday and got tested for Covid and came back positive today.”
Yep. My mind was blown. I immediately mobilized the troops, and let everyone in our circle know that we had close contact with a known positive case of COVID-19. Although no one felt sick, we started looking for places to get rapid tests. Claire, Jo and I loaded into my car, and I went for my test first. Mine was negative. The girls and I assumed theirs would be too, because the nurse who administered my test told us at five days post-exposure we were outside of the two day window. “Most likely you’ll all be negative,” she said. Wrong! Both girls were positive, as were Zach and Lucas. Four positives. And now I was a presumptive positive because I was in close physical proximity to positives. Stan was out of town, away from this mess, but he got tested too…
His test came back negative.
Our friends were tested. All parental units were negative. Only the kids got it, and only some of the kids got it. Two of the girlfriends didn’t get it. Now, we had to figure out what to do…how to quarantine. Lucas came home, and then Zach came home. So I had four positives in the house.
One of Stan’s brothers was out here visiting with us and their parents, so he got swept up in the ‘Rona infection. He couldn’t go home. Stan couldn’t come home. They had to stay together and away from the true positives and me, the presumed positive.
What a cluster…
Here’s the thing, though, we had been so careful and cautious ~ or so we thought. We practiced social distancing. We used outdoor spaces and kept our gathering small. I wracked my brain on how this could have happened. I sat outside thinking. The back porch became my home, my refuge away from the positives, as I started calling them. I finally figured it out…
We had a case of wine delivered in the days before our gathering. The interior styrofoam walls were destroyed.
The cool packs registered almost 90 degrees.
The wine was ruined, but Stan wanted to see how bad it actually was. He poured a small glass for himself and tasted it. He confirmed his suspicions and poured two more, handing a glass to one of the grown up kiddos. They, in a moment where they fell back on pre-pandemic normalcy, passed it around and each grimaced as they tasted the wine.
They shared a glass of bad wine.
Those of us who stayed away from the “wine glass of shame,” as I dubbed it, did not contract the ‘Rona virus. Somehow, though, two girlfriends tested negative. To be clear, though, no one forced anyone to sip from the WGoS. All of these “kids” I am talking about are grown people and have their own free will. But they let their guards down in a time where we all knew to take precautions. We’ve been taking safeguards since sh!t hit the fan in March and the college kiddos all came home. We were cautious and guarded. We didn’t shake hands or hug. We didn’t travel. We didn’t have big gatherings. We didn’t go out to restaurants. We heeded the guidelines and mandates set by our governor. We wore our masks when we were out. We washed hands frequently and sanitized them when we couldn’t. We tried hard to be good stewards. But in the end a case of ruined wine was our downfall.
My head was spinning in so many directions. I couldn’t believe we let our guards down. I couldn’t believe four of us were positive. I was scared. Terrified, actually. I was alone in this. Stan couldn’t come home. He was a definite negative. I was a presumed positive in a house full of positives. What if one of them got really sick, like had to be hospitalized sick? My guilt kicked into overdrive. I know. I know. They are all “grown ups,” but they’re still my kids. My sister-in-law (her hubby was stuck here with Stan) called, and I lost it. I truly lost it. Fear took over. Lucas’ girlfriend, Jo, donned her mask and came and snuggled in with me as I sobbed into the phone while talking to my sister-in-law. “It’s all my fault,” I cried. Jo shook her head vigorously “NO! It’s not your fault.” But, to me, it was. I was the one who invited everyone over. I was the one who arranged the dinner. My tears fell, and fell hard. My head was spinning with fear.
I had no idea how this sickness would play out. But…
We were lucky. Symptoms in our house were mostly mild. They couldn’t smell a thing. Their sniffers were broken, they said. Claire’s tastebuds were affected. They had mild headaches. Jo had it the worst. She had a slight fever, crazy chills and body aches. But no one got really sick. I never got any symptoms, but I steered clear of them, staying outside or in my room, keeping my mask on if I needed to be around them. I’d fix dinner, but then they would bleach everything down afterwards. We worked together, and we were lucky.
All of us did our quarantine time, but coming back into society was tricky. It was like we had leprosy combined with an std. Not that I blame anyone. This is a new virus, and what it can do to each person is a crap shoot, making it tough to be allowed back into this new kind of normal life we now lead.
So, this is our story of when ‘Rona came to roost at our house. I hope you all stay well and healthy!