That’s the amount of time between the declaration of the initial COVID-19 emergency declaration in New York State (March 7, 2020) and when our house lost its status as COVID-free (April 23, 2022). It was nice while it lasted!
I woke yesterday with what I thought were bad seasonal allergies, with the only thing unusual being a very mild sore throat. Out of what I suspected was an abundance of caution, I took an at-home COVID-19 test and put on a mask. While the test kit said it can sometimes take as long as 15 minutes for the test result to appear, mine was almost instant and very clear, indicating a high level of virus in my system. Thankfully, our house has a family room with an adjacent bedroom that is reasonably isolated from the rest of the house, so I immediately moved everything I need to work from home into there and started isolating myself from the rest of the family. With a little bit of luck, this will hopefully begin and end with me.
Nothing reminds me of the Christmas Eve’s of my youth like looking at the soft glow of luminaries in the snow with a belly full of cookies and Chinese food. The fact that something as simple as a paper bag, some sand, and a tealight can make something so beautiful never ceases to astound me.
We were so close to having a nice normal holiday. The car was loaded and gassed up, the kids were happily munching away on their bagels in the back seat, and we were on the highway to Grandma’s house when my lovely wife got a message from one of our friends saying, “I can’t believe the kids are in quarantine again…”
Pulling off at the nearest rest stop, we found the recently sent email from the elementary school principal telling us that kids 2 and 3 were under a quarantine order from the Department of Health (the rest of us are fully vaccinated). We got back on the road and turned around for home at the nearest exit. While the kids were understandably disappointed and shed a few tears, they handled the news very well for the most part. Once we arrived home and unloaded the car, kid 1 and I went out and bought everyone special treats to enjoy during our quarantine Thanksgiving tomorrow. True, ice cream cones, chocolate-covered pretzels, and Pop-Tarts aren’t part of our typical Thanksgiving spread, but hopefully the memory of “Treatsgiving” will be one that persists past the end of this pandemic.