When Positivity Isn’t Such a Good Thing

Elliot became slightly congested on Wednesday. He developed a little bit of a headache, too. But he didn’t have a fever. He didn’t have a cough or any difficulty breathing. So while we naturally wondered about COVID-19, we thought it was more likely that he was dealing with some seasonal allergies. The congestion and headache persisted through Friday, into Saturday morning. So he scheduled a rapid test for himself. And in the middle of the afternoon today, his test result came back: Positive for COVID-19.

The rest of our household has definitely been in close contact with Elliot over the past few days. So we took some time to send out a bunch of texts and make a bunch of calls to cancel or rearrange plans for the next couple of weeks. Church events… a woodworking class… driving lessons… The nice thing about a pandemic is that other individuals and institutions are very understanding! After covering our bases, however, we decided to schedule COVID tests for the rest of our family. Just to get a better sense of how to best approach the next couple of weeks in our household.

Olivia had started to experience some of the same symptoms as Elliot when she woke up this morning. So her test was a top priority. Fortunately, we got three rapid tests scheduled at the end of the afternoon in Twinsburg. So we cracked a window, and Olivia wore a mask on the half-hour drive from Kent to Twinsburg. At the CVS Drugstore in Twinsburg, we waited in a designated parking area until we got a call with instructions to enter a small booth, me plus one kid at a time, for testing. Olivia went first: a few questions, a body temperature scan (normal), a pulse-oximeter reading, and then a few instructions about the nasal swab. Olivia did the nasal swab herself and handed it back through the tiny window in the plexiglass barrier. Then we repeated the process for me and Cor.

We drove back to Kent and waited to get a phone call with the test results. 45 minutes after the conclusion of our tests, we learned that Cor’s test and my test both came back negative. Olivia’s test, however, was positive for COVID-19.

Honestly, I feel strangely grateful that Elliot and Olivia get to be “COVID buddies” together. (It certainly helps that neither of them are feeling all that sick, either!). They can watch TV in Elliot’s room. They can share meals together. And I might even bring an old mini-fridge up from our garage to allow them to get their own snacks (at least to a certain extent), if our family holds with just the two positive tests. The rest of us are doing just fine, except for the emotional discomfort of hyper-analyzing every physical discomfort. We’re not excited about another round of quarantine. Still, we really can’t complain.

It was way scarier when we went through a similar situation last Spring. We’ve got experience now. We’ve got all the most essential supplies. Friends have already offered to help provide external support. So we’re staying positive. Even when positivity isn’t always such a good thing.

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