• Jaye Gaff

Getting COVID

Picture it. Late August/early September 2021. The entire family gets COVID. I was first, after being exposed at our local hospital. Husband and B. followed about a week later. I was in isolation alone for 7 days before their tests came back positive then, finally, we could isolate inside together.

Some facts: we all had mild cases. None of us needed to be admitted to hospital. It all worked out fine for us in the end. But it was scary and frustrating and terribly lonely. It was exacerbating to deal with overworked and, seemingly, useless government employees. We giggle about the worst part of the whole experience being the police banging on your door to do their daily check-in. In part, though, that's true.

Husband and I weren't fully vaccinated. B. wasn't (and still isn't) currently eligible for the COVID vaccine. I have extreme health-based anxiety and, most certainly, I thought I would lose it. During the 28 days I was locked inside I felt my entire mind and body slacken at the weight of isolation. But we made it out the other side. A few weeks on and colour has come back to my already pale face. I feel lingering affects of tiredness but, other than that, COVID came and went without much to say.

There were body aches. A terrible cough, exacerbated by my asthma. I took almost 2 weeks off work. Husband did too. B. took time off from online learning.

I was sick but I have experienced worse (swine bloody flu). Husband and I spent most of our time watching TV together in bed. I wasn't hungry but I forced myself to eat. I found solace in green seedless grapes delivered by a friend.

People sent flowers. And chocolate. Friends checked in. I felt so fine in my awfulness I didn't even see the point of contacting people directly to let them know I was sick.

After week 2 the cough still lingered. My skin was white, as if my child had painted me with white out in the middle of the night (and she would too). I had less of an ability to concentrate or multi-task. I lost weight. I didn't eat chocolate for over a week. All in all, for me and the entire family, it was a bad flu. Except for the projectile vomit part.

I know it is not this way for everyone. I am very grateful nobody got sicker. I am eternally grateful that my child was generally her normal self throughout. I know this pandemic is a massive thing. We believe in vaccines. We believe in social distancing. We wear masks. Even after getting COVID we still believe in all of it.

After all of that, I also wanted to share the few things that helped me get through in the hopes it will help you if need be:

  1. Green seedless grapes. My friend delivered them safely to our door. They were the only thing I could stomach. Find the one food you can eat, stock up on it and force yourself to eat.

  2. Find a mindless TV show with multiple seasons. We watched Australian Ninja Warrior and Castle (mmm, Nathan Fillion).

  3. After the major side-effects wore off all I could think about was a McDonald's Coke. Major life saver for that unquenchable thirst.

  4. Cold showers. Before I tested positive I had started to feel dizzy and nauseous. Hot showers, while helping me breathe, made that worse. Cold showers were a saviour in the days where I was so weak I couldn't brush my hair.

  5. Time. Oh, predicable time. No work. No cleaning. No cooking. Just rest. Even when you don't want to rest. Even when you feel 95% better. Just. Fucking. Rest.

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