Part 5- Coping with COVID in a Small Town

And then there were two.

Like I predicted a couple entries before when someone used their brothers water pik, Kierran developed a fever today. He was acting totally normal. You wouldn’t have known anything was amiss until I did our daily temperature check. He was at 99. Every other morning he’s been between 97.8 – 98 degrees. I washed the thermometer and sat him down to take his temp again and it read 100. To his room he went.

I grabbed my bleach water and started upstairs and worked my way down. I cleaned the bathroom again and wiped all the light switches and door knobs. Then, I called public health. After a lengthy conversation, and a fit of sobs, I called our family Dr. for another lengthy conversation and more tears. We’ve made the decision to not get Kierran tested.

We know what it is. I can even tell you the day he contracted it. I’m not going to subject my family to another stupid city press release. I know how to track symptoms, we are completely isolated from people outside our home and I know what to say if, God forbid, something happens and we need medical assistance, so what’s the point of testing? Nothing. Just another press release and the number 3 over the town of Valdez. No thanks.

It was a great day to have dinner delivered by a friend. Beautiful salmon, potatoes, broccoli, salad, dessert and a bouquet of flowers! ❤️ little to no clean up is always a blessing. Paper plates have been a staple.

Tucking Kierran into bed was hard. There isn’t enough room for three in our bedroom so he’s isolated up in his room, alone. There’s something about this I don’t like. When I was saying goodnight he started to cry. I sat down near him and held his hand, reassured him the best I could and placed my masked mouth on his forehead to “kiss” him goodnight. Tomorrow I’m going to move him into the room with Scott and Barrett only to spend the day. At night he’ll go back to his room. This will allow him to be monitored and entertained.

He asked me if he slept outside his blankets and got his temp down to 97.7 if he could get rid of the COVID. Right now he’s talking to me through the Alexa device telling me he feels like he doesn’t have COVID anymore. (Sigh)

My mom called tonight to tell me my Great Aunt Katie died. She battled cancer for a very long time and recently had a stroke. I didn’t know her well but I expressed my condolences and went to get off the phone and my mom said, “There’s something else I have to tell you.” She used that voice, that tone that tells you something’s not right.

Below my original entry has been edited for anonymity

My mom received a phone call from a relative who said they saw a close relative (no relation between these people, totally different family trees) of ours who told them Scott and Barrett have COVID. The conversation also included false information that I now have to clear up.

There was silence on my end of the phone.

*A side note- this relative who called my mom, we have a once a year Christmas card exchange type of a relationship with. I’d even say we have no relationship. If anything it’s minimal, so much so that they will come to Valdez and not call us. We travel to Fairbanks and not call them. I’m not saying that’s wrong by any means. We are very kind to one another, but what I’d like to convey is the lack of a relationship there is with this family that was told.

When I got off the phone I called Scott to the doorway and repeated the phone call. He just stood there starring at me. What we assumed, but disregarded, in the beginning when a lot of people from Fairbanks were calling us was likely the truth. I told him he could make the call or I would. He stayed silent for too long so I walked outside with my phone. I took a moment to tell myself not to say anything that I would regret the next day.

When people I don’t know gossip and it gets back to me, it hurts. This made me furious.

I believe the events in our lives are to learn and grow from. In time and with distance we might discover the reason behind why some of my family got COVID, but I’m beginning to wonder if one reason is for me to learn how to stick up for myself.

I’m really good at the talk but I rarely walk the walk. I don’t like confrontations, but within these last 6 days (yeah, only effing 6!) I’ve stuck up for myself and my family on three separate occasions and it feels good. Not all confrontations involved strong language or yelling; one was a text, one was a decision, and one involved a stern and slightly raised voice, but no swear words were spoken. In all three situations I woke the next morning with no regrets. It feels good. If being pushed to my emotional limits helps me to stand my ground and draw firm boundaries, I’ll take it. Not often mind you, but every once in a great while. Oh my gosh, WAIT! 5, I stuck up for us 5 times! Wow.

Kierran has escaped his room. Time to disinfect again. Have I mentioned my hands smell like bleach?