This is the second blog post…be sure to go back and read Day 9. As we’ve all experienced, a lot can happen and change in 12 hours with this virus. Two major developments this morning: Jerod had a Zoom appointment with the doctor’s office and….drum roll, please…The CDC called me. Actually it was Washington County Public Health Department on behalf of the CDC.
Jerod’s Zoom appointment: He was asked several questions about his exposure and symptoms. Jerod and I both were throwing up and had fevers on Day 1 of this (March 25th) but he has been healthy and symptom free since March 26th. He’ll be tested today at 2pm. Our Doctor did decide to test the girls, but Jerod and I both pushed back because the test is so painful. Our kids don’t even like getting shots, and I really didn’t know how they were going to hold them down and do this exam on them…especially if they can only do one at a time. So they backtracked and decided to just test Jerod for now and then determine next steps once we have his results. We are already quarantined to just our home, so they feel like this is a logical route to take. The one thing this changes significantly from my previous email is that I now need to stay in isolation quarantine until we get Jerod’s test results back. I’m hoping they come back as quickly as mine did.
Jill’s public health/CDC phone interview: The lady who interviewed me was really nice. She asked me a lot of questions and then gave me the guidelines for care. I wrote down everything because it was so interesting to me and figured I’d get a lot of questions. So I’ll type it all out, but the gist of the conversation was:
1) How did you get this and what are your symptoms?
2) Who else could you have given this to? and
3) Here’s how you need to care for yourself moving forward.
Here’s the more detailed conversation. (Keep in mind this is for my own memory to be able to look back on all this. You may or may not find it interesting.)
She started with personal questions about my health and lifestyle. Am I at risk? Do I work with vulnerable population? Who do I work for? What is the address of my home and employer? Do I know my onset date?
She then went through an entire list of symptoms to which I had to answer yes or no: Fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, runny nose, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing, loss of smell, loss of taste, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, pneumonia. She then asked if I had been tested for influenza, was a smoker, or had any pre-existing medical conditions. Then she asked the following questions:
- Have you travelled outside your home area?
- Have you had close contact with anyone with a confirmed case of coronavirus?
- Does anyone in your household have a confirmed case of coronavirus?
- Have you had any contact with livestock or bats?
- Do your kids go to daycare?
- Have you left your home at all in the 2 weeks prior to onset?
- Where did you go? List all places.
- When you went to these places, and when you went to get tested, did you drive your personal car or take public transportation?
- Provide names/date of birth/phone number for every member of your household.
- Provide name/phone number of anyone you’ve had personal contact with or had as a frequent visitor to your home.
My interview went quickly because I had been quarantined. I only had to list 3 places I’d been since I’d been home, and I practiced social distancing when I went to those places so she doesn’t have to investigate those any further. I also didn’t have to provide any names for the last bullet point because we haven’t had close personal contact or frequent visitors to our home. Because we are taking this seriously…the same way everyone else should be.
The last part of the call was more about my care. She started by saying that relapses are common and occuring frequently. I must be 100% back to my baseline health for 72 hours before I can return to contact with other humans. Here is a bulletpoint list of her instructions:
- Stay home unless I need medical care. If I need medical care, call ahead and tell the provider that I have COVID-19.
- Separate myself from humans and animals. Anyone who needs to be in my presence should wear a face mask.
- Avoid sharing dishes, utensils, towels, or bedding with anyone. Wash sheets frequently.
- Disinfect high touch areas daily.
- If someone else in the household starts showing symptoms, the COVID-19 timeline starts for them…it doesn’t start over for the person who already has COVID-19.
- Once I have been 72 hours free of symptoms I am free to be around other humans. I am also free to care for others who have COVID-19 in my household, as I now have the antibodies.
She ended the interview by asking about our financial situation and my mental/emotional strength. I didn’t joke with her, but I’ll joke with you that the latter of those two is a little shaky right now.
Next steps: Jerod is tested today at 2pm. I am stuck in my isolation quarantine until we get his test results. And that’s all we know for now! You’ll hear from me again when things change. So that could be 3 days or 3 minutes.
Stay healthy & safe!