Now I’m Mad!
October 10, 2019.
I get hit with a bit of fever and a headache. Under the weather. I take some ibuprofen and otherwise ignore it, send my kids off to school, go to work, stop by to see Mom because she hasn’t been feeling well, and then go home to bed. “You kids can fend for yourselves tonight.”
On Monday my headache gets much worse and I ache all over. I breakdown and go to the doctor. The nice doctor gives me a stronger painkiller and sends me home. It never occurs to me that I have something contagious and might be passing whatever-I-have along to somebody else as I wander around in public.
And even if I had passed something along I will probably never know it.
October 9, 2020
Now its October 9, 2020, same people, same situation, same symptoms. except for some weird reason I’ve lost my sense of taste.
I know (or should know) that those symptoms might be COVID-19. I know (or should know) that I might have infected my own children. Why? Because I should know that, if I have COVID-19. I was contagious for several days before I developed symptoms. So maybe my children have now taken the infection to their friends and teachers. Oh happy day!
Oh, did I mention Mom?
There is some background here
I apparently don’t know any of the things I should know. I ignore my initial symptoms and forge on. If I have COVID-19 I got it from somebody, somebody who likely was not wearing a mask or maintaining their distance. My coworkers and I hate the masks and we don’t wear them in the office because, after all, we aren’t sick. A couple of these women are diabetic and significantly overweight. My boss isn’t concerned which makes me very happy.
My children have to wear masks at school (which aggravates me a lot because they hate the masks too.) Outside of school I certainly don’t ask them to wear a mask. After all, they aren’t sick.
Mom never leaves her house so I don’t see any reason to wear a mask there. After all, we are “family.”
When I hit the doctor’s office they will make me be tested,. However by then I have potentially exposed a lot of people to the virus. According to the guidelines, a lot of people including me, my children, and coworkers should be required to isolate/quarantine at home. And I am now responsible for homeschooling while I’m not feeling so well.
Here is the good news. My children are healthy and even if they are infected they will likely recover nicely. The school’s guidelines hopefully prevent other children from being infected by my children.
Here is the bad news. My two coworkers may well have already been infected since they don’t wear masks or distance either. I might have gotten it from one of them but we can’t know for sure. In any case they are both very susceptible to serious illness.
Along with my visits I also allow my children to visit Mom almost every day. Mom may well be in big trouble. And if my office has to shut down completely for quarantine my boss will be so ticked and my paycheck may suffer.
Now I’m mad.
I plan to blame my boss, the school, the state, the governor, the health department. When in fact, there is only one person to blame. It’s not like this information is a secret.
What should I have done?
My whole dang family should have been maintaining distance and wearing masks anywhere outside of our home. I should have held a family “town hall” meeting within which I explained the requirements. No one should have been visiting Mom without masks and, ideally, made our visits outside. I should have explained the potential implications to my boss and encouraged my co-workers to wear masks. If I didn’t get cooperation at work, I should have added a plastic shield to my mask ensemble as protection for me.
If all that worked out reasonably well the odds are that no one in my household would have been infected. But even if it isn’t perfect my Mom, children, and coworkers would be greatly protected.
These steps are taken because they are RIGHT, not because the health department or governor said. Just meeting minimum standards is not the same as protecting yourself.
Since I haven’t done anything right
Now, since I haven’t done anything right so far, I only have three options.
- Option 1: Ignore my symptoms and pray, bearing in mind that there will be more virus exposures, including the very people listed. This is a really bad idea.
- Option 2: Get myself down to be tested the minute I get the initial symptoms and then just deal with it. If I get lucky and test negative, immediately employ option 3.
- Option 3: Take all the steps in What I should have done above. In other words, don’t let it happen again.
Yes, it all makes me mad.
I watch the number of deaths in Montgomery County go up. I know that these folks are all people who were very susceptible and not protected. I know others out there right now on borrowed time. Somewhere in this county are people who aren’t protecting themselves or others. Please stop it.
I am ready to get back to diet and health. How about you?
Pat Smith is the author of “It’s All about the Food,” a book that guides nutritious food choices as the way to avoid illness and maintain a healthy weight. Proceeds from her book benefit the Montgomery County Food Pantry. Her website is http://www.allaboutthefood.org/ She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, 870-490-1836. Her Facebook page is www.facebook.com/patsmithbooks.