Thursday, February 01, 2024

COVID, round 2

Tuesday was zoo day and it was a beautiful day! Everyone was excited and happy and healthy!

Here's Zoë hanging out with the flamingos at the zoo opening:

See how perky she is? How vibrant? How cheerful and carefree?

The only thing she complained about on Tuesday was a "dry" throat, which didn't really send up any red flags for me. She had a fun time at the zoo with everyone else. 

Amanda took us out for dinner at The Varsity, an Atlanta institution, because her husband's grandmother is from Atlanta and recommended it. And it has plenty of outside seating, which is always a huge bonus for us. We ordered our food and sat outside to eat while we watched the beautiful sunset. 

By the time we got home that evening, I noticed that Zoë was clearning her throat more than usual, just a few gentle coughs here and there. She was just thirsty, she assured me, and that made sense because fast food is's not unusual to be thirstier than normal after fast food. 

She did check her temperature a few times before bed, so she must have known something was up...but she didn't have an abnormal temperature when she checked. And she was still more simply clearing her throat than outright coughing. 

By the morning, however, she sounded downright croupy. 

I brought out an air purifier at breakfast, and told Zoë that she should probably have some quiet alone time rather than spend her morning playing with Amanda's kids. She was a little disappointed by that, but was incredibly obedient. She spent the morning reading; I hardly even saw her. 

She reemerged to give a little goodbye hug and then ran back off to her room. 

After Amanda left, I sent Zoë off to do her math lessons at the computer. She did. And then she did a bit of writing. And then I was busy trying to pull the house back together (hauling Alexander's mattress back upstairs (Amanda and her kids slept on two mattresses we stole from bunkbeds), carting our extra table back downstairs, along with some folding chairs, and a high chair, forth). 

The kids watched a video on hibernation (tomorrow is Groundhog's Day), and then asked if Phoebe (and by extension they) could watch a few Bluey episodes. Since I had a few things to finish up, I said that would be fine. So they snuggled up on the couch and by the time I checked on them, Zoë was not looking good. I took her temperature and found she had a low-grade fever; I sent to her room to rest. 

When we called people down for dinner, she said that she really wasn't feeling well.

We took her temperature and it was quite high (though not as high as it would be later). 

"Should we test her for COVID?" I asked. 

"After dinner..." Andrew said, putting a pan down on the table. 

"Before dinner," I said firmly. "We don't want to sit around the table with her if she's positive!"

"Fine. Before dinner," he agreed.

So we swabbed her nose took all of thirty seconds for the test line to show up. 

"And Zoë is..." Andrew came into the dining room to announce with a drumroll, "POSITIVE!"

Half the table just about burst into tears on the spot because—let's be honest—we didn't have the easiest time with COVID the first time around and we have a busy docket unfolding in February. So...

Zoë has been banished to the TV room, where she can have fresh (if chilly) air flowing through the room. We pinned a sheet up in the doorway as a "mask" for the room (since there's no door on that room) and set up our air purifiers. 

Zoë got progressively—and rapidly—worse through the evening. When I checked on her before heading to bed her temperature was 104.5°F, so we decided to wake her up to give her another dose of ibuprofen. This we did, but then she started coughing so extremely that she started vomiting. She's a vigilant vomiter and managed to sprint—across the house—to do all her throwing up in the hallway (which I appreciated, I'm not going to lie, though I later reminded her that if she needed to leave her space when it was not an emergency she needed to put her mask on). 

Once she got her coughing under control, she asked if she could watch some shows.

Andrew set an alarm to remember to check on her so we could see if she was (a) doing better or worse and (b) make sure she turned off her shows to get some sleep. But I ended up convincing him to sleep downstairs so he could check on her easier and so we didn't have to breathe each other's air all night long. See—we've all been masking full time since dinner on Wednesday. 

We'd really like to manage to not get everyone sick this time around and last time I think our downfall was that we had everyone sharing bedrooms still. So we've split up all the room sharers (except for me and Phoebe). Miriam, whose mattress we'd just put back on her bunk, hauled her mattress back out in the main basement room so that she and Rachel could have separate sleep spaces. Benjamin has vacated his bedroom, leaving Alexander to sleep alone. I hauled Alexander's mattress downstairs to the music room for Andrew to sleep on. And Phoebe is technically in her room, but she will inevitably end up in my room (because that's how she rolls, so we'll be sharing air). 

Zoë is feeling better than Wednesday night, but is still in pretty rough shape. 

She is excited about getting to drink ginger ale.


Andrew held his class via Zoom rather than going into campus, so I took the healthy kids for an evening stroll (honestly, I spent most of the day outside with Phoebe, Alexander, and Benjamin), and then sent all the kids into their isolated areas of the house. 

While I was getting Phoebe ready for bed, Zoë started asking for things. Alexander came upstairs rubbing some hand sanitizer in, to tell me that he'd entered Zoë's space—with his mask on—to see what she wanted and it turns out that what she wanted was chapstick. 

"Okay," I said. "I'll find her some in a bit. Can you get your pyjamas on?"

So he left to get his jammies on and I finished getting Phoebe ready and then puttered around doing a couple of other things. In this time, Phoebe disappeared, but as I walked down the stairs, I saw her at the bottom of the stairs, approaching the COVID curtain. 

"Phoebe," I reminded her, "Don't go in there!"

"Otay, Mommy!" Phoebe chirped. "Me not! Me dust beendeen Ozee bapdit!"

Then she opened the curtain a little bit and chucked a little tube of lip gloss into the room (since she was "just bringing Zoë chapstick). 

"Here-y doe, Ozee!" she yelled and then scampered away from the doorway. 

It was a very sweet gesture. I didn't really think Zoë wanted the colour-changing lipstick she got for Christmas from Auntie K (because that's what Phoebe had managed to find in the bathroom drawer), so I picked up the pieces from the floor (the lid had flown off, etc.) and told Zoë I'd be back with some real chapstick. 

Alexander found Zoë's chapstick on her bedside table and I brought that into her (following Phoebe's playbook I just chucked it into the room...but, like, I aimed for Zoë after getting her attention, and she caught it, so it was a smoother hand off than the one Phoebe attempted).

Here's hoping Zoë recovers soon without passing along any germies to anyone else...

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