After 2 years, Covid finally caught up with us. Well, caught N. Before he got it, I hadn’t really thought about how we’d cope with it, especially in caring for a child with Covid, but also trying to avoid catching it ourselves.
For myself, it was less of an issue catching it. Ok, so I’m the person who organises everything, buys the food, cooks, washes clothes, and gets N to and from school and activities. But I can work from home with no problems. If the OH catches Covid, it’s a problem because while his brother and nephew can do more of the farm work, they can’t get everything done for 10 days while he would have to isolate. So he’d probably have to still go and do some feeding, but stay clear and somehow isolate with one tractor only.
Thankfully it didn’t come to that, and touch wood, we’ve stayed negative through N’s being ill. Given N wasn’t around anyone who had Covid apart from possibly around 10 days before he was positive (and outside only), it must have been a long incubation period. So we’re still keeping a watching eye on any potential illness.
Sods law N got ill overnight while spending his first time in 2 years sleeping over at the farm while we were out. Not just staying with his grandparents, but he’d also had a lift home with friends. Thankfully none of them got ill.
He woke up having not slept much more than a few hours, due to a headache. We tested him (and me), he was a faint positive, I was negative. PCR test booked for our local drive through centre that morning to confirm.
Once home he went to bed as he was so exhausted, and he didn’t eat anything except a light dinner. Thankfully that improved, and really his only symptom was the ongoing headache that Calpol and Nurofen weren’t really clearing. Plus the occasional complaint that his tummy felt a bit weird.
I was impressed that his PCR result was back within 5 hours. Mine was negative, and both mine and the OH’s daily lateral flow testing stayed negative.
The OH had to go out and work on the farm, so he just changed from having breakfast and breaks at the farm, to having them here instead. He brought back tea bags, coffee, milk (why, because I buy full fat milk here anyway). And each day drove me mad using 2 mugs each morning, and leaving tea dregs to stain them rather than rinse them out and put them in the dishwasher. I hate my nice mugs being used for tea or coffee…we have so many others he could have used.
N basically took himself off to his room, and decided he was isolating in there. I got a glimpse of potential teenage years. He lived in pyjamas for the 9 days – apart from 2-3 mornings where he attempted remote learning and added a normal t shirt/hoodie.
The OH moved the back room tv upstairs for him, and his xbox. So he was quite happy with those, his mobile phone (just a basic one) and his laptop.
I was room service for the 9 days taking food up for him. OH sat on the stairs for his break to talk to N through the open doorway.
When N needed to come downstairs to stretch his legs, he wore a mask, and we did the same when we were mixing with him. We were kind of led by him, in wanting to avoid spreading it around. Although it was very strange to start with, by the end of the week or so, it was just normal.
After using the bathroom or shower he would wipe everything down.
And we kept all the windows open. Let’s just say it was a bit chilly a lot of the time, but did feel more healthy with a lot of airflow. Luckily it was dry.
I did have to set up a string tie system for our kitchen window which in the window swings out too far for me to reach it and close it up. Everyone laughed but my system worked, tying it to the top drawer with a bit of leeway to be able to open the drawer or the window.
I’m sure some people would have just agreed to mix with children and have done with it. We assumed we would catch Covid from him despite being triple vaxxed. But so far (2 days after his isolation ended), so good. N didn’t want to pass it on – and doing so probably would have been worse for him than staying clear in his room.
Luckily we can trust in what he watches on tv, youtube and the games he plays. He only has email for a few of his friends, and on the xbox currently only links up with his cousin. We do have age appropriate settings on his laptop too (with the exclusion of youtube which seems to pop up on my youtube showing what he watches). I think it would have been impossible to keep him isolated if he’d been younger, or we were less sure that he’d be ok with the technology.
Because he couldn’t cope with the ongoing headache, remote learning didn’t really work for him. He only managed a couple of hours each across 3 days. And trying to get him to read much is always hard. He read a little of Jeremy Clarkson’s book.
The OH took him out for a walk up our field one afternoon, but he decided he’d rather stay inside the rest of his isolation.
For us downstairs it was very strange. To not have his cheery face and laughter around all the time. His incessant chatter and football facts. Losing the normal routine on school days. And having meals together downstairs while we knew he was eating alone upstairs.
I’m proud of how well he coped, and how determined he was. Sometimes he appeared downstairs to say hello, then would head back up.
He didn’t complain at all. By the time he had his 2 negative lateral flow tests, he was ready to come out, and said it was a bit lonely but it was fine. I think at the end we all wanted hugs. He did say he quite liked the room service and liked the novelty of eating food upstairs (and having a tv in his room – which will be coming back out again).
I expected N would be tired after the first day back at school, but he seems to have had no ill effects, no leftover headache. He doesn’t seem to be craving to be back watching the tv in his room again, but also isn’t finding he needs to be with us all the time. He’s just back to being a healthy boy again with the same excitedness as he had before.
Hopefully that’s it, he’ll not catch it again. And fingers crossed we won’t catch it either. I don’t think I could cope with the OH ill at home. It was bad enough making him do tests – his first the whole pandemic. And probably the most he’d worn a mask over the last two years as well.
How did you cope with Covid in your family?