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A Christmas Gift

Two years. Fully masked with my eye shield every single day with no issues. COVID patients, non-COVID patients. Bring them on! I wore my PPEs, practiced social distancing, wore masks, avoided crowds, shopped during off hours. The whole nine yards and never caught COVID.

Then, my daughter asked to go to Florida to attend a youth convention. I immediately rejected the idea as too risky. She begged, pleaded, whined and wore me down. I was told that only vaccinated kids would attend, and everyone had to bring proof of a negative PCR. Slightly reassured, I allowed her to go.

They sent us videos daily of how safe the kids were under the care of the chaperones. Meanwhile, I watched in horror as I didn’t see any social distancing or enforcing of masking.

Then, my daughter came back back after four days, hugging me tightly, glad to eat some decent food! The next day she had a sore throat. I took her to an urgent care clinic to get tested. Four days later she was getting sicker with no test result in “My Chart.” I finally got someone to check and turns out that she was positive for COVID.

Next, my husband started having symptoms. I quarantined both of them and was running ragged from one room to the other. Meanwhile, my older two kids were fine but walking around masked. Everyone ate in their own rooms.

I started feeling sick and got tested, but it came out negative. I started feeling worse with headache, fever, chills, itching all over my body, wheezing and the worst throat pain ever. I was advised to recheck my PCR, and this time it came back positive. My Christmas gift from my daughter? Or was it the hubby? By now my husband was getting better, and so was my daughter. I switched from the couch to the bed, and my husband now took the couch after sanitizing both rooms.

I spent my wedding anniversary in bed, and my husband told me that I was “very hot—to touch!!” I told him that I always knew that! I could barely lift my head and ended up on a whole bunch of medications.

My husband became the caretaker and always ended the day telling me that he was going to send me a survey about my experience and that he expected 5/5! On a particularly bad day, he blasted out music and, wearing an N95, tried his attempt at twerking. I thought I was hallucinating and the fever had gone too high! I rubbed my eyes and the door opened again— to the twerking!! I could hear my horrified kids in the background, going “Dad that is not cool!” I think I fell in love a little more that day.

Anyway, after an eventful three weeks, I am back at work and my husband is back to his normal self. I do miss the dancing!

Esther Pottoore
Yonkers, New York

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