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It started with the tiniest of tickles. The quiet, polite cough you might issue as a soft, “Ahem.” Our pollen count is high right now, so I figured it was probably allergies. Took a home test just to be safe, and it came up negative. So I headed into the office as usual. Mid-inbox clearing, I dry heaved. Chalked it up to the change in temperature from a humid Chicago day, into the cold A/C of my office. A few minutes later, it happened again. That’s when I started getting a little more concerned. Luckily, I work at an academic institution, which means there’s hardly any one around in the summer. Even so, our testing facilities are open and running. I grabbed an appointment, spit in a tube, and then back to my office to finish up the day.

As though I had a premonition, I plowed through my task list. I even packed up work to take home with me, during which I laughed at myself for acting like a hypochondriac. By the time I got home, there was only enough time for a quick good night kiss with Kenzie, so very minimal contact. That good night kiss was my only contact with her after testing positive. Went to bed, couldn’t sleep.

1 am. Ping. Positive.

Poor Jeff. I shook him awake and shoved my phone in his face. Then, afraid of becoming too weak to do anything, I immediately grabbed my pillows and blankets and set up shop in my basement office. By 2a, I had researched isolation rules, paxlovid requirements, notified my GP, set up a telehealth appointment, canceled my meetings and juggled my deadlines.

At 7a, Kenzie opens the door of my office/craft room/quarantine zone. I scramble for an N95. “Mommy? What are you doing?” I told her in as gentle a voice as possible that I had COVID…cue tears. Three years of pent up apprehension and fear spilling out of my sweet, empathetic eight-year-old. Luckily, my symptoms are still really mild. I’ve got productive coughs, a headache, general muscle achiness, but no fever. The biggest symptom is the fatigue. It’s like first-month of motherhood exhaustion. When I finally convinced Kenzie that I wasn’t dying, and that she could still celebrate her half birthday, all was well. She slipped into nurturer mode (she is, by nature, a nurturer) and started drawing up breakfast menus for me. Here’s the food and drink menu. I opted for coffee and ice cream. I got…nothing. She left for camp.

9a, had my telehealth appointment. 9:20a, had my Paxlovid prescription. Things I’m thankful for:

  • I can still taste.
  • I don’t have a fever.
  • I have a place to isolate.
  • I have insurance and a flexible job.
  • Kenzie and Jeff are healthy.

Can’t really ask for much more! I’ve got one deliverable on my plate for this week, but if my symptoms stay mild, I can still hit that deadline.


Distracted, working mom seeking short escapes from a hectic life via quick crafts and fast food. Sure, she could meditate, after she cleans the house.

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