hacker emblem
Search | Tags | Photos | Flights | Gas Mileage | Log in


Started: 2023-06-04 15:03:56

Submitted: 2023-06-04 17:01:02

Visibility: World-readable

Raise the flags of quarantine while we recover from the plague

When Kiesa and Julian tested positive for COVID-19, they quarantined themselves in our guest room in an attempt to reduce my and Calvin's exposure. (Here's Kiesa's blog post about it.) We spent the rest of Memorial Day weekend that way, which was an anticlimactic start to the summer. I drove to Bonny Doon to pick up a large glazed ceramic pot that was advertised on Craigslist. Calvin and I rode the redwood forest steam train in Felton (which was supposed to include the whole family plus my in-laws, but that part of the plan did not survive contact with reality). I set up a drip irrigation zone in my front yard to water some of my landscaping, especially the fruit trees I planted in the front yard. I passed another home antigen test on Monday, so we stayed in quarantine to limit my exposure.

By the time I went to bed on Monday night I was beginning to sniffle. I moved the air purifier right in front of me in case there was anything I could do to purify the air I was breathing. By the time I woke up on Tuesday morning the sniffle had intensified, accompanied by a stuffy nose, a sinus headache, and a fever of 101.0°F. (To actually take my temperature I had to remember where the thermometers were in the house; we have apparently decided to distribute the medical equipment throughout multiple rooms in the house without any breadcrumb navigation to the other stockpiles.) This was enough that I thought I ought to take another antigen test. I watched the wave front of the solution pass through the space under the "T" on its way to the "C", and for a moment it let me believe the test would remain negative, but the next time I looked there was a thick dark line under the "T". My home antigen test gave me a positive test result; my clean run through the pandemic was over.

My first thought was, "Well fuck." Given my symptoms and exposure it seemed likely, but I've spent more than three years trying to avoid getting Covid and I finally caught it. It's not like I've been hiding in my house for much of that time; I've flown across the country (twice), I went to London, and I go to restaurants and watch live music. I still mask most of the time indoors, where practical; so I held out hope that I might be able to entirely avoid getting infected.

My kids were in school, in person every day, for two years. If I were going to get COVID I figured it'd be because they were in school, or because I was doing something fun or interesting. I didn't expect it would be because my in-laws visited for the weekend.

For three years my house has been a refuge against COVID-19; now that fortress had been breached and the COVID was coming from inside the house.

After failing my Covid test, Calvin admitted that he was also feeling symptoms and tested positive himself. This meant Kiesa and Julian got to leave their own isolation within the house; we entered a new phase where the whole family was sick together.

Yellow lupine on the bluffs above the beach
Yellow lupine on the bluffs above the beach

I claimed Tuesday as a sick day; I along with my normal cold symptoms I felt tired, so I read my email and mostly tried to nap for the rest of the day. By Wednesday I could do a bit of work, but the couch in my home office gave me the opportunity to nap as needed. My symptoms stayed in the "mild cold" range, so it could have been worse.

Today is five days after my positive test, and it's unclear what my exit strategy from quarantine is supposed to be. The most recent public health advice seems to be that I only need to isolate for five days and, as long as my symptoms are improving, it's probably fine to do whatever. This feels like another noble lie that the public health community is trying to tell me: they're not giving me the best actual medical advice because they're trying to triangulate what they ought to tell me in order to get the result they think they can get away with. It's easy enough for me to stay in some form of isolation until I'm no longer infectious, but it's not clear what that point is (or what information I can derive from a home antigen test). My symptoms are almost all gone now, aside from the feeling that my sinuses are still congested. I still don't feel like I have the energy to go very far out of the house, so maybe that's as good of a limit as any formal medical advice.

I finally got COVID and I guess it could have been worse.