Our COVID Christmas

Well, it finally happened. COVID made a run through our house.

How it Began

Late last week a couple of my kids had low-grade fevers for a day and just generally felt crummy. They bounced right back and didn’t seem any worse for the wear. So we kept them home for at least 24 hours after they ran a fever and made sure they didn’t have any other major symptoms and went about our lives. In a house with six kids, we’re always passing something around. We did have two kids diagnosed with strep throat just a couple of weeks ago as well. We thought they were passing around a mild cold or still getting over the last gasps of strep.

Then on Monday night this past week my wife, my oldest son, and I all got sick. We all developed sick headaches that put us out of commission on Tuesday. We were hit hard. Hard enough that our internal COVID alarms went off, we went into family lockdown mode and started trying to find at home tests. Thanks to the efforts of family and friends who looked at grocery stores and pharmacies from Toccoa to Atlanta, we were able to get our hands on some at-home tests that a friend purchased at CVS in Gainesville (a 30 minute drive).

Given that the three of us had identical symptoms – strong headache, mild nausea, fatigue – and that at-home tests are hard to find, we just had my wife take the test and sure enough she was positive for COVID.

And that was the nail in the coffin of our Christmas plans! But our Christmas plans were also the least of our worries at that point, since we were roughly 36 hours from the onset of symptoms with a positive COVID test on our hands.

Sidebar: I’ve had a lot of internal debate about how much to share on this blog relative to this situation. I’ve decided that while I’m happy to share my own experience, I’m not going to share detailed information about any other member of my family.

How Is Everyone?

I think we’re out of the woods. No one had to go to the hospital. However, that’s the sickest I’ve been in many years and I’m fully vaccinated. I still have some fatigue, a fairly painful cough, and some congestion. But we’re ok.

I will say this as well: based on some symptoms we experienced, we think we probably had the Omicron variant. Do not be lulled into complacency by the news that Omicron is “mild.” As a fit, active, healthy, full-vaccinated 38 year old let me tell you: respect COVID, even Omicron, it may just kick your ass. “Mild COVID” just means “you probably won’t have to go to the hospital.” There’s a whole world of shit and misery between getting sick and going to the hospital. Don’t underestimate how terrible you can feel and still not go to the hospital and thus be deemed to have a “mild” case.

I will also say this: this past week has reinforced my decision to get the vaccine. If what I experienced was COVID-lite thanks to vaccination, I can assure you I would never want to experience COVID without the immune system preparation provided by the vaccine.

How Was Christmas?


Thankfully, we had mostly finished our Christmas shopping prior to getting sick and I was able to get through my worst symptom days on Tues-Thurs so I could contribute to something approaching a normal Christmas day for the kids on Saturday.

It was really sad to miss all the family festivities. Both my wife’s family and my family had get-togethers we had to miss and that was disappointing. On the plus side, they’ve all shared meals generously, so we’ve been well fed while we’ve been locked down here at home.

What’s Next?

Well, the CDC says we need to stay home for 10 days. The way they count days, Thursday December 30, 2021 will be 10 days. We also need to have been fever-free for 24 hours and to see our other symptoms improving. Based on where we are today, that should be no problem. Until then, we stay home! Provided everyone else keeps headed in the right direction, I’m feeling well enough that I’m eyeing some projects in the yard that I already have supplies for. Aside from that, we rest and let the body do what it does, and I’m going to try and get back on the blogging bandwagon for the rest of this 100 day blogging challenge.

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