Depending on the math, and based on our (hopefully) conservative view of what's a COVID symptom versus an environmental reaction, today should be the last day of the kids' compelled isolation.
We plotted, schemed, discussed, compared, debated, and negotiated to agree on what the symptoms are, and when did they abate. Particularly for our first noticed victim, the little little. Based on his first failed test and fever, today could be his first day to return to school. He did continue having congestion and a phlegm-filled cough through the weekend. It continues today, but is infrequent and seems to be related to activity--so probably as he shakes things through.
The wife and I both also have congestion and similar coughs. There's just that moment when the never-ending trickle of goo in your throat gets where you're trying to breathe, or just tickles the right part of your throat, and you shake it loose with a burst of air. These aren't the coughs of someone shaking something loose from their lungs, though, which is the cough we fear. Sure, the congestion could be a symptom. It is on the list, which reads like the symptoms of any cold or airborne allergy, plus fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. So, it's tough to tell.
The really cautious part of me wants to keep everyone home until everything clears. Especially since our school has had such a swell of incidents. So many incidents last week that they re-instituted their full-time mask policy. For the next two weeks, or longer if the rate of infections doesn't reduce, everyone in the school and after school programs need to wear their masks again, except while eating. I want to roll this into our "everything clears" policy.
Alas, work and cabin fever and other general well-being things get in the way. Everyone here is stuck to their screens. Adults have excuses like work and communications. These excuses also take us away from time and opportunities with the kids. So they're left to their own devices, literally. One is in the family room with the television on, a casual game on her tablet, and a puzzle set out on the ottoman. The other is in his room, with his tablet, so he can play games and watch shows without wearing headphones. I'm in my office, ma is in hers. I'm typing this for now, but meeting start soon. It's snowing and cold outside. Only the dogs seem happier when everyone's home.
So, with all of that, we decided that at least today, everyone stays home. We're going to gauge the school response today, and try to critically understand the coughs and sniffles in the house. It's cold and dry outside, following days of warm and windy. There are airborne irritants and dust. Our home HVAC is fine, but not stellar; we need our ducts cleaned.
Tomorrow, with masks on faces, we're sending the kids back. It will have been about a week from the first apparent symptom, and past the five days required since testing positive for the asymptomatic kid. The school knows about the test results, and unless they change their rules tomorrow (which are in line with the state and CDC guidelines), there's no clear reason to keep them home.
I was one of the first with symptoms, which I still think started with the weather and expected allergies. My headache was the worst symptom, and it happened and peaked during the days before I tested positive. With the swell at school, the positive results coming from the kids first, and the wife successfully distancing for a while to test positive last, I think it's likely the kids were the vector into our house. Probably from school, or maybe from that longer shopping trip. We parents could have been carriers from the baseball game, enduring longer before succumbing ourselves, with the kids flaring sooner. But that seems more of a stretch than one of them carried it in. We really did fall one each day until it was done.
It is what it is, as we used to say more often.
Everyone's gotten COVID, but we all seem healthy again, except for a little congestion, and some coughing because of it.