For the nth time, an isolation staycation

How many times have we been here before?

Get symptoms. Get exposed to a confirmed case. Get tested. Isolate. Test. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I can’t even remember how many times we’ve been through this circus, how many times I felt ill and feared I was sick. How many times we feared Oneal was ill, and he had to isolate.

As 2022 rolled in, our little family all tested positive. But all our symptoms were mild, and we thought we would all be okay by the time we got tested again, this time through Angkas partnership with the Philippine Red Cross and DashLabs. I was even getting ready for a work trip. Then we got our results, and while Oneal and Lucas have already tested negative, I remain positive.

As soon as I saw my results, I put on a mask and isolated myself in my office. And here I’ll be until I finish seven days of isolation, as advised by our family doctor.

On the one hand, I feel fine. My throat is a little itchy, and I suppose there’s still some fatigue, as I fell asleep for four hours in the afternoon. I managed to finish Good Omens, and I even got some work done.

I know I’m lucky, that we live in a house with spare rooms, that my isolation won’t be an obstacle to work, that we can afford to order food and groceries and medicine. I know I’m lucky to have a husband who will take care of me, and a son who finds ways to entertain me and make me feel loved from ten feet away.

On the other hand, it’s frustrating. How many times must we go through this? When we told our son that I had to isolate, because I was still sick, he asked, “Does this mean I have to go to Antipolo with Daddy?” because that’s what he and I did when Oneal and Dad were positive. He keeps calling for me, asking me this and that, chatting me up. He came over to say good night, and I teased him, saying I wouldn’t be able to sleep because we wouldn’t be snuggling. He ran off to the bedroom and got Mr. Snuffleupagus, and told me to snuggle with Snuffy for now. Meanwhile, Oneal brought me medicine and clothes, food and drink, bedsheets and pillow cases.

How many times have we done this before? And how many more times will we have to do this in the coming months?

Worse still is the knowledge that so many people are sick. Far too many people on my social media feed have shared their symptoms, are counting down the days till they end their isolation, have posted pictures of their positive antigen tests. We’re lucky that our immediate family are not sick, but woe to the many, many more who have caught this damned virus.

How much more of this must we endure?

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