catching covid

Our Mackinac trip the August before covid hit.

On October 7, 2020, the first member of my family – my wife – tested positive for covid-19. Both of my kids and I were tested the same day, but all of us were negative, so we quarantined my wife in our bedroom, and I delivered food and anything else she needed to the door. Since she couldn’t be with the family, we started doing video calls with her at meals and having the video on during other parts of the day, so that she could still interact with the family. Initially she didn’t have any symptoms, but she eventually began developing some minor cold-like symptoms.

Three days later, on October 10, 2020, I started developing flu-like symptoms with coughing, fever, and diarrhea. We knew that it was covid-19, so we ended my wife’s quarantine since there was no way that we would be able to take care of the kids without coming in contact with them, and there was little to no chance that they managed to avoid being exposed to the virus. When we told the kids that we weren’t going to quarantine Eunice anymore, they celebrated and were bouncing off the walls – they missed their mother and were rejoicing that they would be able to see her again.

From that point on, I tried doing the limited amount of work that my body would allow me to – I was constantly fatigued and fighting a fever. I wasn’t able to get much done, but I do remember being happy and proud that I was able to finish a mediation brief for one of my cases. All in all, it felt like I was fighting the flu for an extended period of time. At some point the week after I got sick we ended up having to call an ambulance to send my dad to the hospital because he had covid and wasn’t able to keep his oxygen saturation levels up. Shortly after he arrived at the hospital, they put him on a ventilator, because he kept on tearing his oxygen mask off.

Eight days after my symptoms started, my body stopped being able to keep up with the virus. Leading up to it, I had actually started feeling better – my fever broke and the diarrhea stopped; while my cough persisted, it was no worse than what I had had numerous times when I dealt with bouts of bronchitis. However, on that Sunday it began to be a struggle to breathe, and when we checked my oxygen saturation levels, they hovered around 91-92%. With what we had gone through with my dad, I knew that I was in trouble, so that evening I told my wife that it was time – I had to go to the hospital, and I wanted to do so on my own terms, so instead of having to go to a terrible hospital on an ambulance, like my dad, my wife was going to take me to the best hospital in the region – the University of Michigan. We called my mom and told her, and she came to our house to watch the kids – she had already gotten covid, so there was no danger of catching it from any of us. When my mom got to our house we packed my bag and left.

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