We all tested negative, and we assumed everything was okay. When Lucas woke up, he came to me and ran into my arms for a hug.
The whole family was so thrilled about the negative result that we got together for a group hug. Lucas, Oneal and I had breakfast together. Oneal and Victor went out to pick up our groceries. I moved my things out of my brother’s room. We had lunch together. I did laundry. I worked. Back to normal, we all thought.
But when we checked with the doctors in the family, the ones who were monitoring my symptoms, the ones who were actually working as frontliners, they all said that, even with my negative results, it was still better if I stayed in isolation for ten days, just to be sure.
It was hard to explain to Lucas that I wasn’t sick, but I still needed to sleep apart from him, and I couldn’t hug him, and we couldn’t eat together. “But you’re not sick,” he argued. “Tell the doctor, ‘no,’ Mommy!” I could feel my anxiety spiking as I contemplated a few more nights away from his tight hugs and gentle snoring. But I didn’t want to be the idiot who didn’t listen to doctors who had been dealing with this virus for at least a year. So, with a heavy heart, I evicted my poor brother again and moved back into his room. He set up his desk in the living room again, and we reinstated isolation protocols.