Note: I wrote this last September 2021 while we were staying in our quarantine hotel and I’m only able to post this today.
Covid-19 has affected us greatly in terms of socialization. Since March 2020, I can’t remember the number of times I said NO to reunions and meet-ups with families and friends. My family of four went out I think 5 times only including 2 beach trips. That’s how careful we are.
When it comes to disinfecting things at home, we’ve been doing the same thing for 18 months now. So, I really don’t know where we made a mistake – why we were hit by the Covid-19 virus.
My Husband’s Whereabouts Before the Illness
It was a weekend in August 2021, my husband Fred went out to pick-up groceries from one famous supermarket in the city (I already ordered online) and then he dropped by a pharmacy. The next day, he went out again to get the laundry and pick-up 2nd batch of groceries from a different supermarket. Two days after, he went out bringing our pet cat for a deworming appointment. That was it, out for only 1-2 hours during each of those days.
The Timeline of Family’s Symptoms – Before the Swab Test
Day 1 (2 days after the Vet trip) = I noticed Fred’s always sneezing. It was morning, nothing usual.
Day 2 = He was sneezing even at night time. I asked if he’s OK, he said he’s fine but admitted that he started having clear runny nose.
Day 3 = His voice was already different, you can really tell he has a cold. We all assumed it was due to the weather because it was raining almost every day that week even during the weekend when he went out. That day, he started isolating himself at home.
On this day too, we booked a Teleconsult for Louise because she was complaining of acid reflux, we still don’t know even at present if that was part of the Covid-19 symptoms.
Day 4 – 7 = During these days, the husband’s sense of taste and smell has already weakened but he didn’t mind much because he said he could still taste salt and smell the fabric conditioner.
Day 8 for my husband, Day 1 for me and the kids = Husband’s voice was still not OK, he started coughing but not always, it was only to clear his throat. Martina had a clear runny nose that morning, then she had a fever that night, 38.4°C. Louise said her throat was a little itchy, I on the other hand started feeling mild cold symptoms.
Day 9 for husband, Day 2 for me and the kids = Martina’s fever was on and off but thankfully, it’s always up to 38°C only. I noticed she’s always sneezing as well any time of the day. Louise started sneezing with an itchy throat. I was busy taking care of the whole family at that time that I didn’t mind the mild cold I was experiencing, I only took medicines for cold and of course vitamins.
Day 10 for my husband, Day 3 for me and the kids = We scheduled another Teleconsult for both kids, Martina still had on and off fever. The doctor checked their throat, no need for antibiotics, only antihistamine. We asked if we needed to do a swab test, and he said there’s no need as long as there are no other symptoms for the adults like loss of smell and taste. That night, I really had bad back pain which was quite unusual because it felt like the one when I had a gallstone attack and a combination of back pain from stress.
Day 11 for my husband, Day 4 for me and the kids = I was happy that day because Martina’s fever did not reoccur but, in the afternoon, unfortunately, Louise was the one having a fever. It was already exhausting and worrisome, husband was also bothered by what the doctor said about when to undergo a swab test. That day, he was already convinced that there was something wrong with his taste/smell.
Day 12 for my husband, Day 5 for me and the kids = Martina was already OK, Louise still had a fever while I, on the other hand, had a panic attack that morning. I don’t know if that was due to the covid virus, my heart was suddenly beating fast and I had difficulty catching my breath. After feeling better, thank God it didn’t last long, I contacted my friend who was Covid positive because I was really worried. She suggested to me getting a swab test done. We decided for Fred to go out first for his swab test but he lacked doctor’s request which would enable him to get a discount. So changed plan, I said I’ll join him the next day following my friend’s advice. That evening, we both had a Teleconsult from Maxicare and we were given with doctor’s request for a swab test.
Day 13 for my husband, Day 6 for me and the kids = It was my birthday, thank God no more fever for both of the girls. Fred and I went out for our swab tests, we finished at around 11 AM. We then received a few phone calls from friends telling us what to prepare just in case the result will be positive (yes, you need to prepare yourself, you can’t just dictate that it’s negative). We ordered lunch for take-out and ate inside the car. That time, I noticed I can’t taste my food anymore. Like I know I was eating this and that but everything tasted bland. We had ‘pork lechon’ for dinner and some birthday cupcakes but again, they were all so bland for me.
The Timeline of Family’ Symptoms – After the Swab Test
Day 14 for my husband, Day 7 for me and the kids = We finally received the result, it was 7 am that I opened my email and there it was, POSITIVE! Husband tested NEGATIVE so technically, that’s the end of his illness but he was still recovering from mild cold.
PANIC – that first 4 hours I was shaking and sweating the whole time. I informed friends, some relatives, I informed my siblings but I delayed informing my parents because they were attending my cousin’s wedding, I didn’t want to ruin the mood. Anyway, that same day, Fred and I scheduled teleconsultation so that we can start with our medicines, especially for me who tested positive.
The kids looked fine on this day but in the afternoon, they slept for hours which was quite unusual. They were still not tested but that’s probably how their body fought the virus inside, they needed rest.
Day 8 for me and the kids – Kids had their swab test done, they both were actively playing. As for me, I was sweating a lot, cold sweat similar to when you just had a fever but it was weird because I didn’t have a fever. I also noticed mild back pain and there were times I needed to breath heavily because I felt like the air I’m inhaling was lacking in some way. I keep telling my friends and relatives that “I’m OK”, that I only lost my sense of smell/taste but in reality, my back pain and unusual breathing really bothered me.
Day 9 for me and the kids = I think my kids were already asymptomatic during this time so I was really hoping they would test negative. That morning, I was already panting even after just taking a bath. From Day 8, I can really tell I wasn’t feeling well but thanks to my friends who survived covid, with their guidance and words of encouragement, I stopped thinking negative and rested whenever my breathing bothers me. This day was actually our 10th wedding anniversary but we opted not to celebrate at home. We were just not in the mood. I felt tired that day.
Day 10 for me and the kids = We received a phone call informing us that the kids tested positive. Yes it was scary, but I had no time to cry. I needed to pack our things and medicines for at least a week. I didn’t notice any unusual breathing after that call, but the cold sweats was still present.
Day 11 – 18 for me and the kids = We stayed in the hotel during our quarantine period. Cebu City doesn’t allow home quarantine that’s why we had no choice but to stay in their accredited hotel (not free, patient’s own expense). I still experienced unusual breathing, there was one time my heart beats a little slower than the minimum but my oxygen level was OK so it gave me a little relief. One afternoon, to help me with my breathing, I decided to do steam inhalation, I did massage on my back and even lay down on my stomach for an hour. I can’t say which one of the things I did has helped me but I’m glad my breathing was OK by night time. Kids were asymptomatic for the whole duration of our stay and I feel so thankful that vital signs were consistently good. We started craving some foods, my taste and smell were back on Day 13, and thankfully we were allowed to order outside. No matter how much we crave cold drinks or milk tea, those are the ones we really avoided. I was just afraid it might cause cough or sore throat, I can say I was more paranoid during our quarantine.
Crazy thoughts during our hotel stay – yes, there were many. One was, can I really make it? One time I imagined not waking up in the morning, what will happen to the kids? That was the time I asked for the hotel’s wifi and made sure each of my girl’s tablets was connected for them to easily call their father if something bad happens to me (knock on wood!). Another crazy thought? What happens if I needed to be hospitalized? Who will take care of the kids in the hotel? When I think negatively, it’s always about myself not being able to make it. I feared for my kids more that aside from trying my best not to think bad things to happen to them, I also hated checking their vital signs. We had to check it 3 times per day and each time I check the oximeter, it’s just scary. Even my kids felt the tension in the room because they knew the numbers we should be hitting.
I believe at some point, one person can get infected with Covid, it’s just a matter of time or the chance of getting a test done. At present, July 2022, the Covid-19 virus is still living with us but I guess people now have adjusted to it, and maybe thanks also to the Covid-19 vaccine, not a lot of people are showing the worst symptoms.