Purgatory: Day 3/6

The worst has happened to our family. Well, not the absolute worst. We are only in the waiting room to hell right now. Hopefully, we don’t go past this point. Hopefully, our number does not get called.

Melodramatic? Drama Queen? How would you feel if after following all the government guidelines plus a few extra precautions, you were told by someone you had trusted, someone you allowed into your circle/bubble that you needed to self-isolate because they had tested positive for Covid-19? And what if the love of your life, your soul mate was in the extraordinarily high-risk category?

Our new reality is him self-isolating alone on the top floor while @PanKwake and I self-isolate on the floor below. I am sleeping alone, on the floor. I woke at 1 a.m. this morning. Was that because the bed is uncomfortable? Or the unexplained whirring noise that drives my autistic super-hearing batty? Perhaps it is because I miss him? Until this I could count on my fingers the number of nights we had slept apart. But during these fourteen days we would more than double that.

Just when I need his sanguine, stoic support the most, he is essentially unavailable. Oh, we sort of met a couple of times yesterday. He would sit half-way up the stairs. I would sit on the landing below. @PanKwake would stand in her doorway. All of us more than two meters apart. In our own @HomeCrazzyHome.

How did we get to this point? If we knew he was such high-risk, why didn’t we take more precautions?

We did. Like I said, we followed all government guidelines. I can count on my fingers the number of times either of us have left our @HomeCrazzyHome since our wedding last March. Yes, we had two families in our bubble. Yes, we had my autistic daughter’s companions in. All of that the government said was ‘safe.’ Relatively low risk. Yet here we are. In purgatory for at least eight more days. The waiting room to hell.

Every cough. Waking with a scratchy throat. Am I hot/cold or is that a fever? All of it is maddening.

Worst of all? I am losing my mind. I am spiralling down the drain of what-ifs. I am filled with anger, fear, and hatred.

How could I have put my daughter’s mental health above my partner’s life?

Why did I trust/believe that these people would be careful with their contacts outside our home?

I should have known better. And that is the bottom line. Self-loathing. Anger at me. Self-hate. Because I really did know better. I understood those risks more than anyone. Because I have a degree in health education. And I worked in HIV/sexual health at a major US university.

I know how people dismiss these risks. ‘It won’t happen to me.’ ‘I’m not promiscuous.’ ‘I’m not one of those high-risk groups.’

But that’s just it…

Covid-19 acts incredibly like a STI.

How many times did my mentor back then tell me and those students…

It’s not just how many partners you have. But how many did they have? And how many did those partners have? Heck, they are even using the same type of track and trace that they do for STIs.

Was this person careless? A bad person? No, she just did not think about her actions. How they might affect others. Frankly, very few people do.

Please be one of those people.

Please wear a mask anytime you are outside of your home.

Yes, even on the sidewalk. Studies have shown that places with wider sidewalks have lower R-rates. Do you know what that says? Passing someone on the street is enough to catch this thing.

Practice Social Distancing.

This one especially is crucial, because it does not matter if I social distance, if those around don’t. The couple of times I have left our @HomeCrazzyHome, I made a t-shirt that reads…If you are close enough to smell my farts, then you are NOT Social Distancing. Offensive? Not as much as me cursing and screaming at you. Calling you a Covidiot to your face. And yes, I have done. I won’t anymore, because I am not leaving our @HomeCrazzyHome again. Or allowing him too either.

Wash your hands.

Yes, every time you go outside. Every time you touch something from the outside. Before you eat. After you touch your face. You should be washing your hands six to eight times per day.

I am struck by how like the principals of safer sex those are…

Now not just your partners, but their partners. Use condoms.

But as with those, we need to realize…

There is no safe sex, only safer.

And all those government guidelines, plus our extra precautions were not enough to prevent us from reaching this horrible moment in our lives. We took calculated risks. For good reasons. Do I regret that? Absolutely. But my daughter’s mental health versus his physical safety, that is a helluva Sophie’s Choice.

I hope you never face this reality. And make no doubt. This is NOT some government hoax. This is real, folks. Life and death.

So, next time you are feeling sorry for yourself. Next time you are bemoaning not going out for coffee with your friends, or to the pub, or eating out, ask yourself…

Is that really worth putting someone else’s life at risk?

Because make no mistake about it, that is precisely what you are doing.

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