About 900 days after the world shut down for a global pandemic, the coronavirus got us. My toddler's teacher tested positive on day 2 of school. My family got it and it got spread to my whole team at work.
One day I was feeling extra tired and run down and thought it was just the lack of sleep from waking with the baby. In the morning I had a scratchy throat and by evening my throat was on fire and I was coughing up thick mucus and having trouble catching my breath. I knew immediately it was different than a regular cold because of how quickly the symptoms progressed. I tested myself and it came up positive immediately. I tested the rest of the family and the toddler was also immediately positive, with negatives for the baby and my husband.
At first my husband and I masked - me to protect my baby who was negative; my husband to protect himself from the toddler. Within days my husband also tested positive and got all my symptoms and more. Once there were three positives we stopped masking, not only because it felt pointless but also because it was really hard to breathe in the masks. We went down hard. Fatigue, dizziness, coughing, sore throat, GI issues, nausea, and more. There was a day I couldn't get my head off the pillow. Two days after that my husband couldn't move. The toddler sneezed about four times and that was it - basically asymptomatic. The baby showed symptoms last with some runny nose, slight cough, and a sad little low-energy cry, which improved within a few days. We were isolated for five days and it was very difficult taking care of the kids while we were both not feeling well, especially so since the toddler had his regular amount of energy and couldn't understand why he wasn't allowed to play with friends. We couldn't get any help because we were all positive and symptomatic. Since it happened to be over the holiday weekend, the toddler ended up only losing two days of school. On day 6 he was allowed to go back because he had no symptoms and was able to keep a mask on until day 10. The baby couldn't mask and so couldn't go back to daycare until after his ten days were done. We had to shuffle around childcare between the two of us and trying to get back to work while feeling sluggish and out of it.
I still have a sore throat and don't feel like myself yet. Brain fog is no joke. My husband is still a few days behind me in recovery and slowly starting to get better. It's been an interesting experience going through it with my whole office (all first timers) - sharing war stories and comparing symptoms. We all had varying degrees of it and it's so strange that we all got the same thing. I consulted our pediatrician and a pulmonologist who both recommended the vaccine for our toddler even though he got it, even though it was mild. The reasoning is that the immunity he has now is unreliable and unpredictable and so the best protection is to get vaccinated. I wasn't delaying it; we were scheduled to get him vaccinated three times over the summer and each time it got pushed off due to another virus. I honestly thought that this far into the pandemic maybe I was immune or had gotten it previously asymptomatically and was kind of surprised it got to me.
For the most part, I feel extremely lucky. I spent the better part of the past two and a half years trying to protect my child and then newborn from this virus. Knowing that "kids get it mild" but always worrying about those rare cases that get hospitalized kept us from so many things. On one hand I felt like I dropped the ball. I tried to protect him and I failed. On the other hand, it was a rubber ball: he got it and he was fine. There was definitely a moment of relief. I plan to enjoy this small window of time when we all have some natural immunity.