It's been 8 days since our symptoms have subsided. We no longer feel tired 24/7 (beyond the normal tired one feels during quarantine trying to balance parenting and work), our bodys don't ache, we're not walking around with migraines and we have no more cough or sore throat.
It's amazing how much better we feel. I actually recorded a quick unscripted podcast episode last weekend which is evidence that my energy is coming back and I talked about a lot of the FAQ's we've been getting in DM's, emails and chat messages from friends around the world. Apparently once you've had Covid a lot of people come to you with questions for your expertise. I am no expert, but I can share some of our insight here as well.
1. What were your first symptoms?
As I mentioned in the blog post last week everyone is different. Our first symptoms were a sore throat for me and a persistent headache and nausea for Walter. One of the things that clued me in was that after 3 days with a sore throat, I got a fever for over 48 hours which is out of character for me, I don’t often get sick. After the fever subsided, I actually thought maybe I was feeling better, but my head was so heavy and in pain. The only medicine I took was tylenol and that seemed to help with both the fever and the headache. It wasn’t until Day 8 that I lost my sense of smell and taste, which is the trademark signal for “Covid-19”.
2. How did you know you should go take the test?
In Mexico, getting a Covid test is expensive and not as easy as it may be in other parts of the world. We don’t get sick often and the fact that I had just got over a fever and we were both having body aches and headaches was out of the ordinary. One family member asked “Why get the test? What would that change?” as most doctors recommend you simply live in quarantine even if you do test positive.
However, in our case, we needed to know. In order to mitigate the spread of the virus, it’s important to know if you test positive or not. For our peace of mind and in order to be responsible in telling our nanny and the people my husband had been in contact with over the last 2 weeks, we wanted to get tested.
We are so glad we did as testing positive confirmed that we needed to stay home (let’s be honest, we’d already been in quarantine over 90 days at that point) and inform anyone else with whom we’d had contact.
(Also the numbers in Mexico that are being reported are way lower than the reality here. But as the tests are expensive, $225 without insurance and $170 with insurance, most people can’t afford to get tested. There are a few places that are giving free tests but it takes 4 days to get an appointment and isn’t necessarily easy to make happen unfortunately.)
3. What happened to your nanny?
Many people have been messaging me about our nanny. We are one of the luckiest families ever as we’ve had our sweet nanny with us for five years since our first born was 11 weeks old. Her name is Nicolassa and we call her Nico. She is 65 years old, never been married and never had kids of her own, but she loves our kids as if they were her grandchildren. Our kids feel the same way about her.
When Coronavirus started, we were super worried and asked her to please stay home. So for 5 weeks, she stayed home and we made do without her, working and watching our kids at home like many parents around the world. After those initial weeks, we decided that it’d be safe to start picking her up and dropping her off every day at her house. Avoiding public transportation and only being exposed to us seemed like a safe alternative. So that became our new routine and it honestly felt a bit like an adventure for the kids and I to at least go for a ride in the car every day.
As soon as I started feeling sick, I contacted Nico and told her to please stay home. It’s now been 20 days since she has come to our house. As soon as we got our positive test results, we decided it was our responsibility to test her as well. Nico’s test came back positive. She has thankfully been completely asymptomatic. We have been worried about her sisters as she lives with 3 other sisters and all are over 60 years old. We just found yesterday that the 3 sisters went and got tests on their own and they came back negative. We are so thankful that all 4 sisters are healthy and safe hunkered down in their home.
But that’s the scary thing with this virus, it’s so contagious and to some people, it can be deadly. We are fortunate that our cases and our nanny’s case have been mild.
4. Where did you get the virus? Who gave it to you?
As I said last week, we have no idea. Today is the 105th day that the kids and I have been in our house. I never imagined that nearly a third of 2020 would be spent within these walls we call home.
Walter has had to continue working to help support his family. As they have a family business, if they don’t work the extended family doesn’t have an income and can’t afford food. It’s the reality of many people in Latin America and elsewhere. You work to eat and survive one day at a time. That being said, they’ve continued to have a few projects here and there, so Walter has been going to fabric stores when necessary and he was our designated grocery shopper for the last 15 weeks as well. (Can we just pause for a moment and say there are some positives that have come out of this.....in the past he didn’t even know where the bread was in the store and now I can give him a list and he can actually find everything on it! Funny how I never trusted him with some of these little but essential tasks in the past and now it’s one less thing I have to worry about - thank goodness!)
Anyways, all that being said we assume he picked up the virus somewhere. We were that crazy family that disinfected every item from the grocery store, our shoes and we wore masks at all times....so who knows? It’s a wild virus and it spreads quickly and steadily before people even realize.
5. How can I help a friend who has tested positive?
We have been overwhelmed with the show of love and support for our family. As soon as we shared our test results with our community, we received hundreds of messages from people saying they are praying for us and sending us good thoughts.
Our local community stepped up and said, “Don’t worry about food for the next two weeks.” And for two weeks we’ve been blessed with our doorbell ringing and a meal showing up each day. The simple act of showing up for someone and sending them love in the form of food is priceless. We were able to order our groceries online, which is a bonus of living in a big city with the ability to do that. But maybe, if you live in a smaller city or town, simply picking up groceries and dropping them off would be a way to help someone else.
When you test positive, you know you have at least another 2 weeks to stay inside your home. For those of us with kids, it’s another 2 weeks to keep your kids alive while you are recovering from Coronavirus. One morning a surprise package with coloring books, playdough and cookies showed up. It was a gift for Max and Zoe. I cried. Because our kids honestly were needing more activities and I didn’t have the energy to make much happen for a couple weeks. We had also tried to make homemade playdough as we normally do and because I was missing ingredients it was a goopy, sticky mess so playdough was a perfect gift.
Another friend rang our bell one night as we were getting ready for bed and dropped off 15 bottles of electrolytes. I had never cried at the sight of electrolytes before, but there’s a first time for everything.
One of the problems with Covid or any virus is dehydration so we needed all the liquids we could drink and once again, electrolytes was something we hadn’t included in our grocery order so it was perfect.
Also family who lives far away sent us money to order a few meals, this meant the world to us as we don’t have family close by to help us tangibly, but to get to order a few meals was such a treat, especially since we spent Walter’s birthday and Father’s Day recovering from Covid.
In short, Simply showing up, sending food, activities for the kids, electrolytes and messages of love and support mean the world to someone who has tested positive.
6. Are you completely recovered?
We feel so much better! We started walking around the neighborhood, pushing the stroller, ohhing and ahhing at all the flowers with the kids again this week. We started working out slowly again in our outdoor space. We are able to get up in the mornings and work again. Walter is sewing again. I am training teachers once again.
So yes, we feel so much better. As Covid is still so novel and new, we don’t know for sure if we are immune or over it or if it will come back. I feel like I can read something different every hour if I let myself go down that rabbit hole.
But yes, we have not had symptoms now for 8 days and each day we are getting more energy and feeling better.
7. What about your kids? Did they get Coronavirus?
To be honest, we never tested our kids (ages 2 and 5). Doctors have told us that they would likely test positive as they have been super exposed to us over the last month. Gratefully they have had zero symptoms, so they are asymptomatic. Eventually we can do the antibody test and test them as well as us to see if we’ve built up some antibodies to the virus.
And last, but not least, I wanted to share as I did on the podcast last week a few thoughts I had during some of the bad days. As I was drifting in and out of sleep one of the days I was unable to get out of bed, I couldn’t help but think “What if this is it?” as in what if this gets worse and if I end up in the hospital. I spiraled as we so often do thinking about the worst thing that could happen and I couldn’t help but ask myself a few questions.
I wanted to share these questions with you here, from my journal entry on Day 9 of Covid-19 when I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.
“It's true that when you're suddenly faced with the reality of your mortality given a covid result you start to think differently about a lot of things.
In this in-between time as we wait for results and feel sick and wonder how bad is this going to get I've been thinking, so if this is it, how would I feel?
If this is my time, would I be happy with how I lived? How I loved? What I left behind?
Would there be unfinished business? Unsaid words? Conversations never had?
If my time is up, was the time I had here spent well? Were my worries justified? Was my anxiety worth it? Was the fear real?
Did I speak up enough? Did I listen enough?
I don't know the extent of the questions one asks at the end, many of us will likely not get a chance or a moment to reflect when we die.
But how are we living? How are we using this time, the precious time we all crave more of?"
Those were the thoughts going through my head as I lay in my bed unable to get up.
And these are the questions that continue to drive me every single day as I feel like our encounter with Covid, though unwelcome in our lives allowed us to embrace the precious moments we have and really try to live with intention, follow our dreams and love others.
That’s truly my heart as I write and as I speak, so I hope if you made it to the end of this post, you feel encouraged to spend your numbered days with purpose as well always looking for ways to love others and follow the dreams you have in your heart with the time you've been given.
And if anything in this post resonated with you, please share it! If you’re interested in connecting and being a part of our community, I have some fun projects I’ve been working on for other women who are interested in personal growth and turning your passions into a profit, so reach out!
And if you have more questions about Covid, keep them coming! Comment below or send me a DM, I’m happy to help!
A few pictures from our walks this week, we've been appreciating all the bright colors of nature now that we can get outside again!