‘Being positive’ used to hold such empowering and uplifting meanings. It meant you were looking on the bright side or channelling your inner zen goddess or even finding your glass half full rather than half empty. 2020 seemed to turn the saying ‘being positive’ on it’s head – now you need only say, ‘I’m positive’ and people take a step back or give you a sympathetic face.
On January 6th I tested positive for COVID-19. On January 7th my husband tested positive. On January 8th our shower in our only bathroom broke. To say 2021 hasn’t introduced itself in the most polite of manners is an understatement. Having the Coronavirus is something which I thought wouldn’t happen to my family. We live a pretty isolated life anyway and even though both myself and my husband are key workers, we had managed to make it through 2020 without contracting the awful illness.
At the height of the pandemic when England first went into lockdown we were actually in Florida. We flew back on an extradited mission to repatriate British citizens. Due to muddling flights around we ended up not flying directly and we actually travelled through no less than four international airports – my view was that if we were going to get it, we would have then. Not only did we travel on poorly ventilated airplanes, through busy, congested airports but we also had an eight year-old that seemed to lick anything he could find. But, surprise, surprise we came back fit and healthy.
It seemed that once the clock struck midnight on December 31st 2020 everyone (including myself) assumed life would begin to go back to normal. Surely we couldn’t be expected to continue this utter farce of a life we have all been living into a new year? How wrong was I?! Not only did it feel like we were back in March 2020 with schools closing and a national lockdown being announced but we managed to catch the disease (via a work colleague) we so adeptly had avoided up until now.
Now, what normally happens when I am ill is that my husband does everything. We have never been ill together before. That was the first eye opener. With both adults in the house ‘down’ it felt like the children took over – and not in the helpful, kind way. You know when in Jurassic Park the velociraptors can smell your fear? Well, in our house the children could smell weakness. And, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but, there is SIX of them!
The small ones bickered, the older ones ruled the house and my birth daughter ate nothing but toasties and completed no online home-schooling until I confiscated her MacBook and threatened her I’d sell it – parenting at it’s absolute finest right there! Me and my husband were in a tag team of trying to feed children, look after animals and rest, all whilst wearing masks and trying not to touch anyone or anything without disinfecting it afterwards! It was exhausting. But, more than that, it was, isolating. When someone I know is ill the first thought is, ‘what can I do to help?’ And so many people asked and offered but fundamentally, nothing can be done.
Instead of rushing in to help someone clean or take the kids out for a few hours or walk the dogs we have to keep our distance. It’s the loneliest I’ve felt in a really long time. It was a dark place being poorly with no help and yet I had my husband with me. I can’t imagine what people who live alone go through. Although our experience was tough and it tested a lot of boundaries, we were in it together. Something which not everyone can say.
So if you know someone who has COVID, message them. Call them. Remind them you are there in spirit, even though you can’t be in body. Because the messages and calls I received, not only from my friends and family, but also from Nexus and my Supervising Social Worker showed me I wasn’t alone. They got me through. They allowed me to moan and rant and they helped me get better. So to anyone who contacted me, thank you. Knowing we crossed your mind means the world and it is something I will definitely pay forward in the future.
P.S We now have our shower working!