It happened to us – COVID 19.
We’re not sure how, where or what.
The household had been plagued with head colds, sniffles, and green snot at the end of November. We had tested negative for COVID the week of Black Friday… so when the loss of smell hit, there was a prayer it was something else.
But it wasn’t.
It was COVID.
3 Things I Wish I Did Differently about COVID
- I wish I didn’t tell anyone that my family was sick, and that a member of our family was in isolation during this time. Our positive diagnosis would cause the end of friendships in the righteous beliefs of what I should have done. Words were said as people expected me to be someone that I didn’t know I was supposed to be. We followed the advice of nurses and doctors that we consulted with, but it wasn’t enough. They expected ABC, and I did XYZ. You can’t jump through hoops when you don’t know where the hoops are.
- I wish we had consulted with our family doctor sooner. They encourage you to use the COVID hotline, but really, we should have consulted with our family doctor and received the continuation of care and follow up that we needed. That first head cold that was incredibly draining, I should have called. The first time we lost sense of smell, we should have called the doctor and brought him into the care plan sooner – this would have likely happened had it not taken 7 days for a test.
- I should have inquired and been more demanding when we passed 48 hours without a test. In the end, it took four phone calls, and 7 days before we got a test. By the time, the second test with a positive result came in, the family member was now clear and no longer needed to be in isolation. This was ridiculous and impacted the family and our community. I’m deeply appalled at Northern Health for their answers and support during this time. I don’t understand why Northern Health took 7 days to test someone with worsening symptoms, respitorary distress, and a loss of smell.
3 Things I Learnt during our Positive COVID
- We are all mentally and physically exhausted from 9 months of living in a pandemic. I am burnt out and there are so many rules, guidelines, and policies to follow. So, when we had the negative tests, and then retesting AGAIN in early December, there wasn’t any space left to consider if what I was doing was right or wrong based on the opinions of others. I just did as the health authority advised. And the tricky thing about COVID is that your friend group is going to have a opinion about the guidelines – and if you don’t know what that opinion is, and you decide to not follow their rules, and just follow the rules on the paper given to you – then you mess up. And people severe ties, and you’re spiralling in guilt and shame while solo parenting with two kids and in complete burn out.
We can only be responsible for the safety of ourselves and our families. We have to make choices that work for us under the advisement of health authorities. Sometimes that’s going to look different than what other people are doing, and we have to figure out how to spend our energy wisely. We don’t really know what’s going on with ABC person or the people they’ve talked with, the struggles they are having, or the journey they are on.
- Every province has different protocols, and the protocols have changed in the past year – therefore, people don’t really know what’s supposed to happen. This is an interesting thing that happened – and it really reminded me that so many of us live in fear and have expectations of each other based on the latest bulletin we’ve read – and maybe that was 6 weeks ago from a Facebook friend who lives in Alberta.
The inconsistencies on the expectations of isolation vary so much.
- There is so much stigma and shame attached to COVID – and it’s not just the stigma and shame that sucks, but it’s the expectations that people hold over each other. And it was really a reminder to focus on what I’m doing to keep my family safe and informed. I can’t control the decisions made by other members of the community. And when I write or share things about the pandemic, it’s falling on deaf ears.
We are bombarded with so much information about COVID.. where do you even start with knowing how and where to do things. The information overload is surreal and has resulted in unrealistic expectations.
The small things we do in the day-to-day, made a difference.
We know that the people we were indirectly in contact with in the week of the illness, and head colds, didn’t get sick and that is most likely due to the hand washing, the face coverings, the limited time spent together, and the procedures in place that reduce the spread of droplets.
I’m burnt out.
As mama, and the one who didn’t get sick, but was solely in charge of the household and the children, I’m burnt out. I’m exhausted and I’m frustrated. I lost friendships during this past month, and experienced so much internalized guilt and shame. At times I felt abandoned by my health authority and friendships. The look on family members faces when they dropped off Christmas presents was of fear that they’d pick it up just by being near our house, and I’ll never forget that.
I don’t wish COVID disease on anyone. It was a hard month with even harder lessons.