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Thankful for being negative

Thankful for being negative Thankful for being negative

Without going into too much detail, last week was my closest encounter yet with the C-word we’re all sick of hearing about. A person within my social sphere tested positive for The Virus, and when I heard about it during my lunch break last Tuesday, my work routine was quickly thrown into chaos.

As some of you may know, Tuesday is our busiest day here at the office, along with Wednesday morning. It’s difficult, if not seemingly impossible at times, to just “break away” and tend to something else. To put it in sports terms, the period between Tuesday morning and Wednesday at noon is like the final two minutes of a football game, and you’re always down by a least one touchdown, if not more. And there is no overtime allowed.

So, when I found out midway through a Tuesday that I may have been exposed to someone with COVID- 19, I wasn’t sure if I should return to the offi ce or not. To be honest, a big part of me wanted to do just that, since it had been awhile for I had any direct contact with the person in question. But my wife was also a possible conduit, and there was no way I could deny being in “close contact” with her. I decided to leave it up to my boss and my co-workers to determine whether they felt safe with me coming back.

After considering all of the factors involved — including a co-worker who’s wife has a compromised immune system — I decided to play it safe and stay at home. This was not without a fair amount of grumbling on my part, but thanks to help from my co-workers, I was able to get the paper out with minimal disruption. Special thanks goes out to Martha, who actually hauled my work computer down to my place in Colby so I could work from the dining room table.

Like many people, though, I was highly resistant to the idea of a full two-week quarantine at home. Thankfully, Linda and I were able to get tests nearby, and the results were provided to us within a day and a half. By last Friday night, we could both go to sleep knowing that we had tested negative. And, more importantly, the person who had tested positive was not experiencing any major symptoms, so we didn’t have to worry about waiting to hear updates from a hospital room.

Not everyone has been so lucky. Just yesterday, I heard about someone I know whose husband just got out of the ICU and was still fighting to recover from this insidious disease. It’s this wide range of experiences — from symptom-free to the verge of death and beyond — that makes this pandemic so hard to deal with.

So, this Thanksgiving, I think all of us who can breath without a ventilator should know of at least one thing they can be thankful for.