When I said we'd test Zoë, Alexander, and Benjamin "eventually," what I meant was that we'd test them today. And because the tests came in a 4-pack I decided that I would take a test, too (though I had little hope it would be negative).
Zoë and Alexander tested first and were overjoyed when their tests both showed they were negative. Alexander ran around the house cheering for several minutes. Everyone was very aware that he was now negative.
I took my test a little later and was surprised when I didn't see a positive line creep up right away. After waiting the allotted amount of time it was still negative. I began to suspect the tests were faulty (because I'm trusting like that).
Fortunately (or not?), Benjamin's test showed that he was positive for COVID still.
He took the news with a shrug of his shoulders and a little, "Oh, well," but later began wailing dramatically, "Why did I have to get sick last?! Now I'm the only one left!" I don't think he was truly upset about it; he just gets dramatic sometimes.
Alexander does as well. He had been absolutely jubilant about testing negative, but soon became quite paranoid about having to continue sharing a room with Benjamin, who is still testing positive.
I explained all about antibodies to him (which he pronounces "anti-botties"), about how he won't have long-term immunity from COVID because it's constantly evolving but that his body is really good at fighting off this particular strain that we have right now. His antibodies know just what to do for COVID right now, so even though Benjamin is still breathing out virus particles, Alexander has little to worry about. His antibodies will take care of everything.
So he was feeling so-so about bunking in with Benjamin tonight (though he'd been crossing his fingers we'd set up a bed for Benjamin on the couch...even though he has no symptoms other than a lingering cough).
But then Benjamin went ahead and hugged him when they were sent upstairs to get ready for bed.
Alexander came downstairs wailing about how he probably needs to be tested again now.
"Whatever for?" I asked. "We just tested you not too long ago. You were negative. You're just fine."
"But Benjamin hugged me!" he cried. "Now I'm contaminated again!"
So we had another talk about "anti-botties" and how they'll work against all the exhaling and embracing Benjamin can dish out. For now, anyway.
We tried to drop in at Grandpa's for his birthday—our first brief outing after getting our negative results (leaving Benjamin home to play on the Switch by himself for a few minutes). Grandpa wasn't home, however, so we "broke in" (we have a key) and left a gift of homemade granola and a couple of cards for him.
Turns out he was at the temple. He stopped by on the way home (after seeing our texts inquiring about his whereabouts) and we visited outside for a few minutes (...with Benjamin remaining inside). Alexander and Zoë very enthusiastically told him about their test results.
Rachel and Miriam quickly made some Stranger Things plans with him (since a couple of new episodes drop this weekend).
And we planned a joint birthday celebration for me and Grandpa this weekend as well, pending a negative test result from Benjamin.
We're almost through this (and have no plans to repeat it anytime in the near future)! While being sick was not very much fun, I'm excited to make appointments for Phoebe and Alexander to be vaccinated. I don't have a lot of hope the vaccines will prevent us from getting COVID (again), but I do think our experience (and the data I've seen) shows that the vaccine helps prevent moderate-to-severe symptoms.
We've also had some pretty great people taking care of us.
My friend Becca (from here) dropped off dinner and a back-up pizza in case the kids didn't like dinner and baby snacks (yogurt drops, etc) and colouring books and treats. My friend Karma (from High River) sent some activity booklets to help keep the little ones occupied. My friend Crystal (from Jordan and beyond) sent some books for Rachel and then when everyone else tested positive some more activities for the kids to do. My sweet little activity day girls made cookies and cards for us (even though I haven't been their leader for a full year now). My mom sent me birthday money to be applied to what's sure to be an outrageous power bill (open windows + air conditioning). Grandpa ran to the store for us multiple times, keeping us well stocked with ginger ale, apple juice, pudding, cough drops, and ibuprofen. Our sweet neighbours brought over a tray of cookies and a card, while another put COVID tests in our mailbox. One of Andrew's students mailed us a box of COVID tests (and a little Baby Yoda). Another student dropped off some COVID tests and some packages of diapers their toddler had long outgrown but were still lying around. And my friend April (from Durham) had her son set up a Minecraft world on his server, which he invited Rachel to join. They Facetimed while they played this evening and they were talking and laughing and having a grand old time (I think/hope Miriam was in on it as well; at any rate she was also playing Minecraft). I'm hoping they can keep this up because we've been so lonely...and now that I'm going to double down on what activities I'll allow the kids to go to (outdoor activities only, thank you very much), it'll be nice for them to get to hang out with another teenager.
We've collected some wonderful people in our life! We're happy and blessed to know you all!