A week ago (Sunday, 4 October 2020), Miles woke up with slight fever and a headache. I gave him ibuprofen and he felt better.
Lance felt really crappy Sunday afternoon and decided to go get COVID tested. Miles had a headache and slight fever again so he went to get tested too. About 45 minutes later the course of our lives turned abruptly.
Miles’ test came back positive. No! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But, yes. Everyone with whom he had contact within the past 48 hours has to be quarantined, including 4 of the 7 members of the Roy High Varsity Cross Country team... and the qualifying meet for the state meet is this Friday. Tears were shed. ¨I don´t feel bad for myself,” Miles kept saying, ¨but I feel so bad for the team. I especially feel so bad for the seniors.¨
On the remote possibility that Miles had a false positive test, he and Lance were tested again, using the longer test (2-3 days to get results). How we hoped it was a false positive and that he really does not have COVID.
Normally I do not give day-by-day, travelogue-type commentaries but the events of this week are not normal. Because every sunset saw a new own twist to our story, each day will get its own entry.
5 October 2020 Monday
Cooper. Miles’ cousin, had been feeling a bit yucky since Saturday afternoon. He was tested this morning….and came back positive….which was actually a huge blessing for us. Miles has to be isolated and we only have one bathroom in the house. We were trying to figure out how to isolate him and the only way we could do it was to send me and him to the cabin at Causey, which would add 10 more days to my quarantine, but because Cooper tested positive and because Cooper’s house has a basement with a bathroom, Cooper and Miles can isolate in Cooper's basement. BLESSING! (Sorry Cooper!) So we moved Miles into Cooper's basement.
Grace is quarantining in SLC. Her roommates, concerned about COVID, have found other places to stay for 14 days.
Lance taught his classes live over ZOOM today. He really does not feel good but he is putting on a great show.
The home next door on the south has an acre of weeds, very dry weeds. Something started the weed patch on fire, at the west end of the lot. The fire was burning rapidly up the lot towards the house. Miraculously, someone called the fire department. They responded quickly and put it out. YEP. As if having COVID were not enough excitement around here…..
And then the test results from the longer COVID tests came back….Lance is positive too.
What to do now? The Wi-Fi at Cooper's house will not support Lance’s ZOOM class on top of Cooper’s parents working from home and the boys doing their homework via the Internet.
Tanah, Chick, and I decided to move downstairs. Lance will have the main floor of the house (including the bathroom). We will have the food storage and all the camping equipment. I can use the camping equipment to cook the food storage and all will be well. I will sleep on the floor, Chick on the couch, and Tanah in her room. We will make a pit toilet outside, like we did when we camped at Women’s and Children’s Wilderness Camp. Lance can isolate upstairs and we will quarantine in the basement.
Tanah was supposed to have a tonsillectomy today. Cancelled, obviously.
6 October 2020 Tuesday
The adventure continues. Tanah has a slight sore throat, I have a minor headache and slight sore throat, and Chick has been living with us all so we three decided to get tested.
Tanah's test came back positive.
More changes in plans…. Tanah moved upstairs with Lance. Chick fled to SLC to stay with Grace. And I am living in the basement alone. Grace is ecstatic to have Chick with her.
Someone vandalized the home on the northside of us.. They destroyed the garden, bashed in all the squash, tipped over a motorized cart, bashed to pieces a candy machine, and put water in the mineral dispenser, among other things. They also took all the eggs from the hen house. Really? More craziness!
7 October 2020 Wednesday
I am in the basement alone. I cook for Lance and Tanah and set the food at the top of the stairs. The top of the stairs is curtained off so as to isolate them. It is amazing how much I do not get done. I altered my lesson plans so they could be administered by a sub and have done the laundry. Not much else, though I have been very busy. Moving a family around to compensate for COVID takes more time than one would think,
People are so, SO good. My OPA science team has been super supportive. My parents brought us hand sanitizer and cards and treats for those who have tested positive. Sandy bought groceries and left them on the porch. Heidi Maylin stepped in to do all the work for the YW activity tonight AND brought us bananas. Tawny texted asking what she could do and then dropped off cookies, cereal, trail mix and a pho noodle lunch. Dustin Staheli called and offered a camper trailer to park in our driveway so that I do not have to live without a kitchen and bathroom in the basement. Our siblings call and text as do our neighbors. So many people are SO good.
But not everyone is good…. It appears we have been vandalized too. The door of the chicken coop was open yesterday afternoon (I could have done that….). The chain was off the gate this morning (I could have done that…). I did not gather eggs yesterday so there should have been 24-30 eggs in the coop this morning. There were two…(I could not have done that…)
Lance is feeling worse as is Tanah. Both have been nauseous and puking in addition to fever, chills, and body aches. Miles cannot taste. He said, ¨I ate a tomato” with as much disgust as it he had said ¨I ate a turd.¨
8 October 2020 Thursday
I do not know how Lance is doing it. He is teaching his classes in real time over Zoom. I can hear him from the basement. His voice is booming and his energy seems high. After teaching the class and giving them their assignments, he is calling individuals whose grades are poor, back to the computer monitor to encourage them to catch up on their work. But I know that he really, REALLY does not feel well.
Tanah feels crappy as well. She cannot get warm; chills are making her wear wool socks. In general she is a ¨too hot” person. Miles does not feel well either. He still cannot taste and is plagued by fevers and chills.
Cooper’s mom and sister do not feel well and will probably get tested. The relatives on the Noel side are symptomatic and plan to get tested tomorrow. I am certain I have it. Something is off inside me. The mild headache I have had for days is omnipresent; today I relented and finally took ibuprofen for it. My chest is constricted and I am developing a cough. I also have a slight runny nose. I am still very functional but something is definitely off.
I spent the entire day working on CANVAS lessons for next week. It is truly, truly amazing how much I do not get done.
9 October 2020 Friday
Lance texted me in the middle of the night last night telling me that he is chilling big time and his skin is sore; the touch of the blankets on his body hurts.
Grace has tested positive. She came home.
Chick came home too, and was in quarantine with me in the basement until…..
I prayed about it and felt directed to get tested. I really did not want to get tested but felt it was the right thing to do. If I tested positive then I could go upstairs and help my family. So, after lunch and a few virtual conferences with students, I went to get COVID tested.
As suspected, I tested positive. Now 5 of the 6 of us have tested positive for COVID; Chick is the last man standing. He is isolated in his room. The barricade (sheet tacked across the doorway of the basement stairs) came down. I moved my office, bathroom stuff, and cooking stuff back upstairs and Tanah moved her bedroom stuff and sewing room stuff back downstairs.
Cooper’s mom and sister tested positive as well. They both feel super yucky. Lance is down, DOWN. Powering thru to teach his classes the past 4 days has taken its toll. This evening breathing was difficult for him. My parents made dinner for Cooper’s family, for my family, and, I suspect, for Varners as well. Jill also asked if she could bring dinner.
Following is an excerpt from an mail that Stephanie, my boss at OPA, sent to ALL faculty, staff, and the parents of EVERY student at OPA. It was a weird feeling to read the email and know I was the person to whom the message was referring.
Dear OPA Family,
We are sending this to inform all OPA families that a Junior High staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member was last on campus Friday, October 2nd. Exposure, symptoms, and a positive test result did not occur until after that date; there was no direct exposure with OPA students, staff, or facilities.
Ogden Preparatory Academy will remain open during this time. We have been in communication with the Weber-Morgan Health Department, and are following all orders and advice given to us. When an individual has direct contact with a positive case, they will be notified directly by school personnel to provide them with quarantine information.
In this situation, there were NO DIRECT CONTACTS AND NO EXPOSURES to students or staff that occurred due to school or a school related event.
D. Kasey Kennington - Elementary Principal
Stephanie Mathers - Junior High Principal
On a SUPER positive note, the RHS Cross Country team ran today in Orem and qualified to participate in the State Meet.
10 October 2020 Saturday
For the first time in days, no new news.
Grace is feeling almost better and returned to SLC. Tanah is feeling better, still very congested and sore of lung and limb, but better. Miles felt good enough to work out for 30 minutes on the elliptical. Lance is still suffering; it is “much, much worse than a man cold” he says. I feel okay. I am definitely NOT my healthy self---I have a slight headache, chest cough, and congestion--but it has slowed me down only a little. I biked an hour, weeded in the garden, and scrubbed the bathroom and kitchen floors today--almost a typical Saturday. I slept 10 hours last night. That is not typical Chick is still symptom free and sequestered in his bedroom.
To ease her quarantine boredom, Grace taught herself how to make braided rugs from plastic grocery sacks. She ran out of sacks so I posted a plea for sacks on the ward Facebook page. The large box we put at the top of our driveway is overflowing.
TODAY 11 October 2020 Sunday
Once again, I feel compelled to count our COVID blessings. I am so grateful for the goodness of people, for the sacks of groceries that have been purchased and delivered, the dinners that have appeared on our doorsteps, the quick runs to fast food venues to satisfy cravings, the calls and emails and texts offering to help and for the prayers offered on our behalf. I am grateful for the goodness of God, that our symptoms have been, for the most part, mild and that our resources have been, in all aspects, plentiful. I am grateful for my Savior and for the hope His teachings bring. There is peace in Christ.