Matt Waite Profile picture
15 Nov, 18 tweets, 4 min read
It's looking like we've turned the corner at my house, so I'm going to tell you a story about love and a pandemic. It starts two weeks ago Monday. I taught class that morning, but by lunch I knew something was up. By afternoon, I knew I was sick.
Over the next 24 hours, I had a fever, the worst body aches I've ever had, and I couldn't walk to the bathroom without needing a nap. I knew I was in real trouble. My wife is immune compromised, so I locked myself in the basement and scheduled a COVID test for Wednesday.
After my test, she started feeling sick. And the fear started to set in. But as she was getting worse, I got my results back: Negative. I was still very sick, so I stayed home and managed my classes online. My wife saw her doctor, got tested, and also came back negative.
As the days went by, I slowly recovered. Maybe just a cold? But on Tuesday, Nancy had trouble breathing. We went to the ER, and told them what was going on. In less than two minutes, I was ordered out of the room until they got a COVID test back. No goodbye, just get out.
I sat in the parking lot, unable to get it together because I was overwhelmed with one thought: was that the last time I was going to see my wife? Was that it? I managed to find some strength and drove home to wait. The test took two hours to come back. It seemed like days.
All we could do was text. She was having a hard time talking because of the breathing problems, and her heart rate was sky high because the ER basically put her in a room and shut the doors, unsure of what they had. She was scared, and so was I.
And then it came back: She has COVID. Our worst nightmare. We've tried so hard to avoid it. We haven't been to a restaurant since February. We wore masks everywhere early. Contactless everything. We'd lived in fear because we knew if she got it, it was bad. And here we were.
Because she is immune compromised, the doctors decided to admit her. It took hours to get her a room. And again, they just threw her in there and closed the door. The nurse said to her that you're not bad, so don't expect anything.
The only people who came to see her were there for minutes, and wearing space suits. Her bed was broken. It took six hours to find a replacement. She hadn't had any food since lunch. Hours went by without anything. She was just alone, and scared.
In the middle of the night, she could hear the patient in the room next to her code out. She could hear them trying to revive the person, heard them taking that patient out. To the ICU maybe? I can't imagine what she went through that night. It kills me to think about.
The next morning, the doctors decided she wasn't sick enough for COVID drugs, and didn't need oxygen, so they needed the bed. They discharged her. Nancy told the nurse, I'm scared to go home. The nurse told her "you should be scared to stay here."
Since Wednesday, she's recovered some of her strength. She's isolated in our bedroom. She can move between a bed and a chair without needing my help now. Slowly, she gets a little better every day.
We're managing. My daughter has since tested positive, but is mostly asymptomatic. My son tested negative. I've never gone back for another test, but it's pointless: I had it. I had a false negative test. We've stayed home since this started, and will for two weeks more.
I'm slowly driving myself insane trying to figure out where we got COVID. Was it the day I forgot to put on my mask before walking into the college? I went without for maybe a minute. Was it the day I wanted to make fancy tacos so I went into a grocery store one time since March?
I guess I'm telling you this because I don't want you to have to ask yourself if that was the last time you'll see a loved one. There's no hospital bed for you. Even if they find one, there's no one to care for you. They only have time for you when you near death.
Everyone tells you wear a mask and wash your hands. I did all that. We're past that point. It's rampant right now. You need to stay home unless it's life or death. Don't be around anyone until this passes. Don't go to some big family Thanksgiving. Stay home.
I can tell you, COVID is bad. It's going to be a month before I'm over this, if then. But worse, much worse, is living every day knowing I put my wife's life in danger. I had to try and soothe her via text, and it was my fault she was there in the first place. I brought it home.
We're getting past this. She's recovering. Many, many, many more won't. Don't take chances. Don't "live your life" or spout some bullshit about imagined rights as you don't wear a mask because of something dumb you read on Facebook. It's not worth killing someone you love. /fin

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