I guess it was inevitable after two years that I would finally have contact with the dreaded virus, COVID-19. It wasn’t, the I had contact with a guy that may have had contact with a guy that had definitely been in contact with some one that had the coronavirus, sort of contact. No, this was the, sit in a small room, for 30 minutes, with an infected person, kind of contact! Considering that I have been receiving immunity destroying chemotherapy drugs for the last four months, this is not a good thing.
“I’m not staying,” IT Genie told me as he came into the house after digging me a goat trail through the snow, “Company has Covid. She tested positive this morning. We both took tests and mine was negative.” I invited him in to get warm. I know, right??!! What was I thinking??!! I should have sent him packing at that very moment!! But the poor guy was an ice-cube! I’m his dad! I didn’t have the heart!!
In my defence, he sat on one side of the room and I on the other, about 10’ apart. We talked ‘softly’ so as not to disturb my wife. We weren’t facing each other directly, and both of us are fully-vaccinated and I have been boosted. IT Genie has been part of a very small circle since the beginning of the pandemic, and has been the crutch I have depended on, since I was first diagnosed with cancer. I think that this is a very good defense for the risk I took, except for the small crack created when I didn’t think to put a mask on. Even though he just told me that he may have exchanged bodily fluids with a covid infected person! We sat for 30 minutes like this talking, and then he left.
“I know it’s not the best job,” he said as he went out the door, “I’ll come back tomorrow and fix it.” He didn’t come back the next day.
On Tuesday, he sent me a message that he was ill. He had taken a Covid rapid test and had tested positive for COVID-19. ‘Are you sure?’ I asked. ‘I think so,’ he replied. ‘Did you read the instructions?’ ‘Yes.’ He sent me pictures as proof! One of the test result, and one with the instructions on how to read the result!! It looked positive to me too!! This was not good at all. My contact with the Genie had been Sunday morning, 48 hours had passed. I felt okay at that point.
It’s hard for me to do self-diagnosis for covid because in my current state, I already tick most of the boxes on the Covid questionnaire. Pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of taste, I’ve had them all at some point in the last few months. Trying to decide if I feel worse today, when I already feel generally crappy, is no easy feat! With health recommendations changing almost daily, it is also hard to figure out what I should do next. Three months ago, were I to have had this kind of contact, I would have had to go get a PPR test, but today, with Omicron being the dominant strain, not so much. Today, it is recommended that I assume I have the dreaded bug, isolate as best possible, and to self-monitor for 5 days for symptoms. I didn’t have to isolate unless I developed symptoms, but if I did go out, I should wear a mask in enclosed spaces. Sounded reasonable to me, maybe I’ll heed the advice this time.
It turns out that it was a good thing that my wife and I were showing no symptoms, because the next day IT Genie contacted us with a grocery list. That’s right!! We were the only people he knew in the area that weren’t infected!! He told us his symptoms were mild, he was just feeling dragged out, had a sore throat and a slight fever. The rest of the family was already recovering, vaccines had helped them to mitigate the virus’ severity. The same can’t be said for their unvaccinated friends down the street, that they had been socializing with on the Saturday previous. The flu was hitting the neighbours pretty hard. They’re young and healthy, and will no doubt beat back the flu, but they’ll be bedridden for the next week at least. All because of some kind of misguided belief, that they were invincible.
The only thing good about this news, was that its timing worked in my favour. I was between treatment segments, and I was able to wait five days before I had to have a blood test. I spoke with a nurse at Cancer Care and informed her of my contact. She told me that if I was symptom free, it would be fine to come to them on Friday and have the test done. She didn’t seem too worried, so I went for the blood test last Friday and did a second round of shopping for IT Genie and family.
This shopping was much larger. We had to use two carts!! They’re a family of four!! I paid the bill at the check-out, knowing full well I was never getting that money back! Why was I having to pay because he got infected?? And I still had a goat-trail to deal with!!!
It’s been nine days and neither my wife or I have shown any flu-like symptoms. I guess we dodged a bullet. My cancer treatment remains on schedule, unaffected by my near miss. I’m told that my next dose of chemo medicine Tuesday, is the hair killing dose. This means you may not hear from me for a bit… I may be a bit too busy trying to glue each hair back in place.