COVID Story Time

I see a lot of posts from parents who are against opening schools so I just want to share this anecdote, in case it might put some people’s minds at ease. If it doesn’t or just upsets you more, you can homeschool at anytime, even when we don’t have a pandemic but for those of us who feel the kids need to go to a school to actually focus, this is my experience. My mom’s household is high risk so we didn’t visit her the entire time of the lockdown so as not to expose them. My uncle is disabled from a pulmonary embolism he had years ago, my aunt has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and my dad is in his seventies with high cholesterol. They have two home attendants, one of whom lives in the area which was considered the hot zone for COVID-19 cases during the lockdown in NYC and their neighbors had a house party early in the lockdown only to have one of them taken away in an ambulance a week later. My mom’s household did end up getting COVID-19 despite us staying away. My aunt and the home attendant both had common cold symptoms, while my dad and mom had flu like symptoms. My dad had it the worst. He could barely move to get out of bed. His doctor prescribed antibiotics via a tele health visit, which was the main method during lockdown. His symptoms were digestive, he was achy, had no appetite and didn’t even want  to talk. He was like that for two weeks. During week two he fainted in the bath tub. When my mom found him passed out, she asked my husband and sister to help her take him to City MD. They opted for City MD because my dad hates hospitals and he refused to go to one. I sent my husband over with plenty of hand sanitizer, N95 masks for my sister and him that I already had from the hardware store and latex gloves. Although part of me suspected that we’d had the virus before it was common knowledge, I really didn’t want to get sick during lockdown in case I was wrong. Being quarantined with two kids in the house and relying on food deliveries sounded expensive to me. I gave my husband a ziplock bag to discard the used masks and gloves and a ziplock bag with extra masks and gloves with the instructions that if they took the mask off at all they needed to put on a new one and not reuse the same worn one. I also told them to wear glasses just in case. The only reason I was that paranoid was because I was sure they were being exposed to a COVID patient. I  don’t walk around with that level of paranoia on normal occasions and right now we go to the playground with the kids every day. At City MD, my dad was asked if he could walk to the X-Ray room on his own and of course, always wanting to play the tough guy, he got up by himself and walked, only to faint and have a small seizure on the floor. They immediately called an ambulance and didn’t allow any family member on with him. They did put an oxygen mask on him and took him to Mount Sinai hospital in Astoria. This was unfortunately very early in the pandemic when these hospitals were swamped and tests were limited so they were out of tests when he got to the hospital and my dad didn’t want to stick around to wait. Since he has the former mentioned aversion to hospitals, he checked himself out when he started to feel better a few hours later and had my mom pick him up.

 I had listened to a lot of podcasts on COVID from experts and had heard that the immune system’s inflammation response is what kills people and not the virus itself so the next day I started to deliver anti-inflammatory cold press juices to my mom. I would drop them off on the mailbox to avoid contact. Cold press juices are expensive but supposedly the cold press process packs the most powerful punch that can be ingested so to me that sounds like a better option than expecting someone with a low appetite to drink a gallon of anti inflammatory nutrients a day. The next best thing would be an IV but that isn’t very practical during a lockdown when medics are swamped and the fancy spas that will give you IV treatment on demand are closed. Although those IV treatments are expensive, you can get great deals to them on Groupon and if it avoids you three weeks in a hospital, I say its worth it. I also delivered to my dad cold press turmeric shots, which you can find at most supermarkets, matcha green tea lattes, and turmeric lattes. My dad started to improve. It took another three weeks for the body aches and soreness to go away but he did recover. My mom who normally doesn’t love any health gimmicks is a believer in cold press juices now! If you are curious which juice he was drinking, it’s called the Delhi Defender. It has turmeric and pineapple which are both known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Last week my aunt went to the hospital and tested positive for COVID antibodies so they asked my mom to have everyone exposed to her tested. My mom’s household members tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies. I’m still negative. I don’t know if I had it too far back for the antibodies to be present or if I had a virus just as bad in February. I’ve known people who have tested positive that describe less severe symptoms than what I experienced. I was exhausted for three weeks and on the last week I experienced tightness in the chest. I had a lot of green phlegm and at the time I thought I had bronchitis because when I had it ten years ago was the only time I had felt that way in my life. When I went to the doctor they told me my lungs sounded fine. They said I didn’t have the flu and I must have had some other viral infection. I was prescribed a steroid, prednisone and immediately felt better after taking it. I was given the option of getting an antibiotic if I didn’t feel better but I chose not to get it because my body always reacts very badly to antibiotics. My husband had a fever for a week straight and a cough for an entire month that no cough syrup helped. The kids had 24-48 hour fevers and no other symptoms. At the time I remember being really perplexed by why whatever we had kicked our asses and the kids cruised through it. I never get that sick and I never had a fever but I’m not prone to them.

I do know people who died from COVID and I realize it is terrifying since it is new and the effects of it can be unpredictable in some people but I really think that the majority of us will be okay. This is the best time for us to make sure we get nutrients that strengthen our immune system and consume anti-inflammatories. I’m not claiming to be an expert and I am not a doctor but that is what has worked for my family and I hope it can be of some use to others. As I said, I do bring the kids to the playground. Right now they play with others with water ballon and water guns and are aware that they can’t get close to friends. Wrestling games are out of the question and I have to remind them not to shout close to their friends and stay far from naturally excited kids who are shouting. Of course this involves occasional refereeing from parents when the kids forget and start to cluster together. Hopefully that experience will serve my son when schools reopen. Ultimately, I think teaching them to play safely is a better plan than expecting to keep them home until COVID disappears or we have a vaccine.

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