After a long time managing to avoid it, both adults being fully vaccinated, the teenager with one vaccine on board, the boy not eligible yet, Covid found us and invaded.
We have lived an element of normal life, having eased ourselves back in to things at a slower pace than some, for our own mental health needs. Shielding for a long time in 2020 seems like a dark memory, and living through two long and one short lockdown and the ins and outs of what frankly has been our government’s total mismanagement of the pandemic, from failing to shut down in time, failing to close borders to stop the spread of new variants, mismanagement of healthcare (we don’t talk about those “Nightingale Hospitals” that were never used do we?) and the fact that they failed to vaccinate our children to go back to schools this autumn, but instead have allowed our children to be part of some mad herd immunity plan has made me somewhat cynical and angry as we hit almost 22 months of a pandemic.
We probably had got a bit smug, a bit complacent. We were vaccinted, we wear masks, we have some asepcts of life back, but we didn’t expect to get Covid.
Before we go any futher, the vaccines are not a cure all, they are not perfect. They offer a level of protection, they can stop people getting the virus. But they are not a full defence, and some people still do get Covid despite being vaccinated.
We happened to be them.
We know where we got it from, visiting a place together as a family. I must admit to not feeling entirly comfortable where we were exposed, maybe it was too hot, maybe it was too busy, or maybe I was just over anxious. But five days later a lateral flow test told me that I was probably right. More on that in another post.
All four of us went down. I didn’t feel that well, but wrote off that as mild as my teenager, started to feel very unwell, followed by her brother, then me, in the space of 24 hours. Their dad held out for a few days and we smugly thought that the vaccine was going to protect him, but he eventually followed us into feeling pretty poorly.
Was it bad? Yes. Was it awful? There were bits that I wouldn’t want to go through again. Was it the worst I have ever felt? No. I had full on proper H1N1 flu in 2021 that literally knocked me cold for a week and took me a full three months to revover from. This was not that.
The vaccine may not have stopped it getting us, but it did stop us getting very very ill. The freshness of the Pfizer vaccine the teenager had just had helped keep her out of hospital. Both her parents managed to function, despite feeling pretty grim for a few days.
I don’t want to ever get it again.
So, the good, the bad and the ugly of having Covid?
Because there is good. Don’t think I’m entirely crazy.
We were reminded again of the community around us. Who although they couldn’t physcially come into our home and help us, were there for us via the phone, email, whatsapp and social media. The freinds who dropped off care packages and the colleages who pinged me to see if we needed grocoeries or medication. The neighbours who checked if we needed anything and the small handful of family who knew and kept us propped up with messages and calls.
That in itself is good. We have people. I will admit that sometimes I feel very lonely and isolated but then I remember the community around me that has grown for us, and even though we were trapped at home for 11 days isolating, we knew there were people we could call if we needed.
Because there was bad.
Watching my teenager struggle for 24 hours and worrying that it could get very bad, and that we might need to make the decision to take her to hospital and that I wouldn’t be able to be with her, becuase of my own Covid + status. It passed but it wasn’t fun.
Self isolating sucks. Lockdown was hard but at least you could for walks, get take away coffee and go to the supermarket. Not being able to leave the house for 11 days is not something I would opt for unless I had no choice. I wonder how people who chose to go on holiday and had to willingly do this on their return felt, because it’s not something I would ever do again if I can help it.
Track and Trace. To be fair, the people who called us as part of their checking up process as we went through our 11 days were pleasant, kind and actually nice to talk to, but the whole system is chaotic, disorganised and I have a whole seperate rant about that coming soon too.
There were some and still are some ugly bits.
Covid is not flu. It’s not just a bad cold.
It leaves you feeling utterly exhausted and has some hella weird symptoms and side effects. Mine currently are constant tiredness, mild heart palpitations, a cough, and at the moment I can’t really smell or taste anything. I have also had a weird rash, conjunctivitis, and very very sore skin. None of those things are life threatening but they don’t just “go away” and it’s not like anything I have ever experienced.
It is also really really hard to be locked up at home with a child who has extra needs. The mental impact of that on him and subsequently me, will take us a while to get back from. There is NO support for families with children with SEN at all, when they are isolating unless they already have pre arranged care for very unwell children that is allowed and whilst I consider myself very lucky that our issues are on the mild end, and we managed I did talk to a number of families on social media going through the same as us and it made me very angry to hear how hard they were struggling but with no help.
The attitude that “covid doesn’t really affect children” needs to be dropped, to die a death.
11 days at home, missing school, activities and access to normal life, plus also dealing with a virus that no one really knows the impact of is not nothing.
But we got through. We are on the other side. Isolating is over. I am grateful we did get off relatively lughtly. We think that the lingering effects of Covid will fade and will feel normal, although we have been told it could take a few weeks if not more.
Do I regret getting the vaccine? Nope, because it could have been much worse. But I would have liked it if Covid hadn’t found us at all. We are now a statistic, not something I am proud of.