Covid Chronicles

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I am fully vaccinated, my husband is fully vaccinated, my kids have already had Covid (and I never caught it from them), I abide by all masking laws, and I hardly go anywhere indoors so I should be protected from catching Covid, right? Wrong. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I tested positive. It’s almost like this virus is super contagious or something!

nurse giving a patient a Covid test

Since I knew I’d be stuck at home for awhile, I figured I’d keep a daily log of my experience in case others wanted to see what a breakthrough Covid case could look like.

Day 1: I feel a tickle in my throat, congestion, and some sinus pressure. I assume that this is just a little cold I’m catching or allergies from the weather changing, but I wear a mask when I visit my mom just in case I might be contagious.
Day 2: I now have a cough but nothing major. I still don’t feel bad. I spend my morning at the soccer fields but try not to breathe on anyone. My husband and I go out to dinner for our weekly date night. I mostly drink my dinner since I can’t taste very well but this is normal when I get a cold, due to the nasal congestion.
Day 3: My nose has been stuffy all night and I have some trouble sleeping but I wake up feeling better. No coughing, my head feels great and my taste is coming back. I assume I’m over this cold so I decide to go to church as planned. I wear a mask to be safe and wash my hands about 15 times. I notice that evening that my cough is coming back, I am now sneezing constantly, and my head is hurting. My husband tells me I need to take a Covid test, but clearly he is crazy because I am vaccinated and have not been around anyone with Covid.
Day 4: I wake up feeling like my cold is coming back. I run almost 7 miles, but slower than my usual pace and I notice that my taste and smell are completely gone. I reluctantly take a Covid test to prove to my husband how wrong he is and it is glaringly positive. Naturally, I assume the test is faulty, so I take another one and it is even more positive than the first one. I spend the entire afternoon thinking about the people who I have been in close contact with and calling them to tell them the bad news. I call my son’s school nurse to make sure I follow the proper procedure. I feel like the worst person in the world for possibly exposing people to this. My husband has to cancel/restructure all his appointments for the foreseeable future just to be safe. I am, however, thankful that my kids should still have immunity and my husband is newly vaccinated, because my family does not know the meaning of social distancing, seeing as how we all basically drink out of the same “family cup” and my youngest likes to sit so close to me that I swear he exhales directly into my nose.
Day 5: I still cannot taste or smell. I alternate between being annoyed that I took all the precautions and somehow ended up with Covid and allowing the anxiety to creep in by wondering what will happen if I get really sick from this. I start checking my oxygen level and temperature regularly and all is fine so far. I fuss at my husband for not constantly asking how I am feeling and he tells me that since I just ran for an hour, he figures I am probably not on my deathbed. I end the day by Googling articles to see if drinking wine can help cure Covid. I never find any articles that support it, but I don’t see any that contradict it so I go for it. I drink red because, duh, it’s healthier. I expect to be cured in no time.
Day 6: I eat my food with no joy. I only know it’s time to eat because my stomach hurts. So I eat to stop the pain. I would kill to be able to taste again so it’s probably a good thing that I’m not allowed around people right now. I’m still coughing and congested and now I have chest tightness that comes and goes. I notice that my brain is a little foggy. Laundry sits in the washer for hours. Food burns in the oven because I forget that I put it in there. I blame Covid and act like this isn’t something happens on the regular. Seemingly unaware of my newly acquired disease, these kids still expect to eat 3 meals a day and we are running low on rations so I put in my first-ever Clicklist order. It seems pretty straightforward so imagine my surprise when I go to pick it up to find less than half of the items I requested! I’m pretty frustrated but I realize I only have myself to blame for ordering such complicated items like apples and bread. We eat cereal for dinner.
Day 7: I wake up being able to taste again!!! It’s like my eyes have been opened for the first time. My world is no longer black-and-white. I hear birds singing specifically to me all morning long. My kids don’t get on my nerves. It takes one meal to gain back every ounce of the 4 pounds I’ve lost since my diagnosis.
Day 8: I’ve got to get out of this house!!! It’s been raining all day so even driving around in the car won’t help. I text my friends constantly just for a feeling of companionship and if it annoys them, they are too nice to tell me. I call my husband every 30 minutes while he’s at work and talk his ear off as soon as he walks in the door. I don’t have anything interesting to say because nothing has happened so I just make stuff up. Two more days until I can leave this prison.
Day 9: The sun is shining; I feel like I’ll actually pull through this. I ride bikes with my son, I go for a long run, and feel better about life. No one else has any symptoms but my husband takes another test, which is thankfully negative. I’m so close to freedom I can almost smell it!
Day 10: Last. Day. Of. Quarantine!!! I have scheduled my entire first day out and none of it takes place in my house. I start to get nervous that if I go to the gym, people will look at me funny if I so much as clear my throat. I wonder if I even remember how to talk to real life people. I assume that by now, everyone has flying cars and eats their meals in pill form. I hope wearing leggings as pants is still a thing.

mom sick at home on the couch

Thankfully, I didn’t have a bad Covid case and it was honestly more of an annoyance than anything. I attribute my mild symptoms to three important factors:
1. I am fully vaccinated.
2. I eat a healthy plant-based diet and workout daily (even when I had Covid).
3. I was lucky.

I chose to document and share my experience with a breakthrough case so that people who read this will know that even unlikely people can get Covid and that it doesn’t always present with classic symptoms immediately, especially when it’s a mild case. I’m so glad that I erred on the side of caution and wore a mask around people as soon as my symptoms started, even though I honestly never thought it was anything more than a cold.
I also want to share proper quarantine guidelines because I think people either don’t know or don’t care to follow them and this can contribute to further cases. Since my husband was also vaccinated and my kids had already had Covid recently, they did not have to quarantine another 10 days after mine ended. Here is a handy calculator that you can use to plug your information in and it will tell you exactly how long your quarantine should last.

This post is not intended to spark a debate on vaccines or masks. We need to be smart about our exposure and certainly not expose others if we are experiencing any symptoms. Covid is most contagious 48 hours before any symptoms begin so I may have unknowingly exposed others and I feel terrible about that. Covid doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and sometimes you can do all the right things and still get it. If you do end up with it, I pray that the worst part will be the isolation, like it was for me. And if that’s the case, hang in there; if I can get through it, anyone can!

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I am a pediatric ER nurse who works weekends and stays home with four kids during the week. My life is basically one hot mess after the next and most days I am doing good just to make sure everyone is alive, fed, and bathed somewhat regularly. My husband is my best friend and the funniest person I know. We have been married 13 years and love to travel, go on date nights, and wonder what people without kids do with all their time and money! We have a ten year old, six year old twins, and a 1 year old who came to us via embryo adoption. Our lives are nuts but we wouldn't trade it for anything. Hashtag blessed!