The COVID tests results came back today, very efficiently in right about 24 hours. We expected the results: son #2, husband and me—we are all negative.
But our daughter? She’s positive.
Now that we can see that her spider bite and allergies were not causing her symptoms of tiredness and congestion, we know that she’s been sick for three full days already. In that time, we’ve had family suppers around the dining room table. She and I have ridden in the same car at least four times. We’ve watched a movie together.
The Vermont Department of Health officials tried to be helpful. They urged as to try to contain the virus from spreading within the family. They strongly suggested we tell our daughter to stay mainly in her bedroom. She should only use one bathroom (which is not that hard to do). She shouldn’t be in the kitchen, and we should bring meals to her to eat by herself. The few times she comes out of her room would be to use the bathroom—and then she must wear a mask and not socialize with anyone.
Mentally, I get it. I understand what the health officials want us to do, to keep the other family members safe. We will follow their rules for locking ourselves down for just over a week, when we can take the next round of tests to see if we have escaped unscathed.
But in the past year, our daughter has met up with friends in person a whopping six times. She had plans to get together over this next week—February vacation week for her—and to go for a walk outside again.
At this point, we’ve been together for nearly a week while people in our own house have been, supposedly “shedding the virus”. We’re exposed. The whole house is “contaminated” and we are “vulnerable.”
On top of that, I’m supposed to now shun a fifteen-year-old girl to stay away from the only people she is allowed to see?
Sorry. Not doing it. Just… no. I can’t.
If we are going to get this virus, we are going to get this virus at this point. Putting our daughter into some sort of extreme social isolation in her own home is a step too far. Silver lining? Hard to find this today. I’m going with the strong feeling of family I am getting right now. I’m not expecting a week without challenges, but at this point, the “family unit” has been clearly defined.