I’ve been writing about COVID-19 since February and have been covering it extensively on New Bern Post since it first showed up in Craven County in mid-March.
Until Tuesday, I never knew anyone who had it, and like many, I was starting to wonder if it was really a thing.
Then, on Tuesday, my wife Sarah tested positive.
That came as a surprise. I was the one with a fever, scratchy throat, and increasingly relentless cough, but I tested negative. Sarah just felt a little under the weather.
Just to be sure, a second test was sent off for a more detailed look. It came back today, and unsurprisingly considering how I feel, it was positive.
I planned to write about my experience if I tested positive. If I tested negative, I would chalk it up to the worst fall hay fever of my life.
I’ve grown used to planning for hurricanes and other natural disasters, but this one caught me unprepared.
I had to think back about where and from whom I caught it, and who I may have exposed it to.
I have my suspicions about who I caught it from that I won’t share here, but fortunately, the people outside my family who I may have spread it to total just three people. It was fairly easy reaching out to them and letting them know.
Next I looked at our medicine cabinet and the kitchen, because it will be a week and a half before I can go shopping again.
Between delivery services and friends, we were able to fill in gaps and keep things running, but for a full day, I had my doubts.
Fortunately Sarah was still feeling well enough to be functional. She spent Tuesday cancelling appointments and making arrangements, or as she describes it, putting away the porch furniture before the hurricane arrives.
Worrying about who you may have gotten sick and where your next medications and meals are coming from can be a challenge when you are fighting off a fever, are dizzy, hurt all over, and are subject to coughing fits that leave you exhausted.
Sarah tells me this is the worst she’s ever felt. For me it ranks fifth. I don’t get sick often, but when I do get sick, I get very sick.
So far, COVID-19 hasn’t threatened my life. But I worried about Sarah. She slept fitfully during the night and by 4 a.m., she was having trouble breathing.
I know I wasn’t supposed to, but I drove her to the emergency room and dropped her off. We just can’t afford an ambulance bill right now.
Fortunately, Sarah’s situation was treatable. They gave her steroids and sent her home a few hours later.
I wear a mask and limit my time out in public to essential trips. I maintain social distance and bump elbows instead of shake hands.
Still, after six full months of living in the world of COVID-19, I was having my doubts. Surely I was exposed to it by now.
And surely I was.