Here & there: Welcome to the COVID-19 cone of shame

Person handling a COVID-19 test swab, Sept. 11, 2020 | Photo by Antony Robinson, public domain via Scopio, St. George News

FEATURE — This writer has COVID. Three tests say it’s official.

Man holding virus, undated | Photo by Ian Ransley, public domain, via Scopio, St. George News

But then again, last week, when my husband was miserably writhing with fever and body aches in every joint, begging to be smothered with a pillow, three tests officially told him he didn’t have COVID.

That was before a new test this week told him he did. Have Covid that is.

He got the positive Covid test ten days after symptoms arrived. He’d gone back to the doctor to find out what, if not the omnipresent virus threat, had left a great pressing in his chest and him without his “all-spark.”

That’s what my boys call it – when you’re lackluster and don’t have the normal twinkle in your eye – and have since they were little. Their love of Transformers led to the extrapolation; if the sentient robots from Cybertron were powered by the all-spark, so must we be.

So, my husband and his missing all-spark went back to the doctor. It must be walking pneumonia. Or maybe bronchitis? Or was it a negative reaction to that seasonal flu shot his work required of him last Friday?

No wait, what about influenza A or swine flu? The sky was the limit.

Enter Covid stage left. That sneaky jerk had crept into the gamut of tests because a covid test is always on the sample platter now.

It was all very confusing. How could it be Covid now when it wasn’t Covid before? When he was significantly sicker.

As my husband cheekily put it, “wow, I feel way better now with Covid then I did last week without it.”

The late-night Tuesday discovery dominoed the rest of the household. Luckily, my husband had brought home with him test kits he and I were supposed to use two days later for a Covid-free Christmas party. We’d only have to whip out one of the home tests I’d been stockpiling for such an occasion.

Two were positive, one was negative. My youngest fled to the basement, isolating himself from the rest of our infected lot.

Then, I read that the test brand my husband had brought home – the one that produced two positive results – was wracked with online reviews complaining of false positives, unnecessary quarantining and missed Thanksgivings.

The next morning, we did the only thing we could do: my son and I went to a Test Utah site to get definitive results. Whatever definitive was at this point.

My test was positive. His was negative.

He joined his brother in the basement and I returned home to quarantine on the second floor with my obviously contagious spouse.

But at least he and I were in it together. I might find him feral after ten days upstairs alone. He knows it too. As was indicated by the happy dance he did when he knew I was joining him in the Covid cone of shame.

The lesson I’ve learned in all of this? Covid is an unpredictable, confusing mess of a jerk. If you think he’s invaded your life, he probably has. And if he hasn’t yet, he probably will.

But you know what else I’ve learned, or rather been reminded of? Even in all this Covid mess, we are still surrounded by a community of amazing, generous, and lovely people. They’ll take your non-Covid kids to school and bring them home. They’ll buy you gallons of 1% milk at Costco, they’ll buy you fresh raspberries and blackberries at Trader Joe’s, and they’ll deliver hot enchiladas to your doorstep.

Which is pretty amazing. Even if Covid is not.

Kat Dayton is a columnist for St. George News. Any opinions given are her own and not representative of St. George News staff or management.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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