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Column

Scary weekend

The hits just keep on coming in 2020. Not only have we had to learn a new way of life including working at home, social distancing, masks, etc., but also we live with the prospect of what will happen if I or someone in my family contracts COVID-19. My husband, Tim, and I, as well as my immediate family, have been extremely cautious limiting our exposure. We were just beginning to feel safe when all that changed with one phone call.

My husband, Tim, works in a factory, which puts him at risk. The company and workers have been doing everything possible to keep COVID-19 out of the work environment. But last Friday we got that call, someone in Tim’s department had tested positive and he needed to be tested, too.

We had a family vacation of sorts planned. We were going to visit my brother, sister-in-law and our 8-month-old niece for the weekend. In addition, they have enough bedrooms to include my mother and father, my sister, Trish and her husband and my uncle. All family under one roof for a weekend. It was a dream come true for all of us — family vacation like every year previous to 2020.

Those plans were quickly postponed. We were almost sure Tim’s test would be negative. Neither one of us were showing symptoms, but in today’s world one just can’t know for sure.

Additionally, Tim had been around my parents when they came to our house Wednesday, and he helped deliver my sister and her husband’s lawn mower Thursday. We had to let them know immediately. Tim was never super close to them, but they needed to know.

It’s amazing how one little phone call had such a large ripple effect. Several of the people mentioned above are in the high risk category because of age or conditions. They were all preparing to be tested depending on the results of Tim’s test.

Tim went to get tested at work. He was not looking forward to it, but it wasn’t as bad as he had been told. He described it as a burning sensation and his eyes watered a little. Thankfully, his employer arranged the test and put a rush on the results. He was told he should hear by Sunday morning, so he would know whether he could work Monday or enter quarantine.

Once Tim returned home, we spent the rest of the weekend there. Tim mowed and organized our storage shed like he had been wanting to do. I took some time to work in my small garden and finally clean out my car after months of neglect. It was long overdue.

These tasks were good to get done, but in reality we were just trying to stay busy. If we let ourselves sit still for too long, Tim and I would think about the possibility the test could be positive. Afterall, people who don’t have symptoms can still have it. If it came back positive, a lot of dominoes would fall including me and four members of my family getting tested. How would this affect our 6-month-old son, Lincoln?

Sunday rolled around, and Tim still hadn’t received a phone call. At 2 p.m., Tim called his safety supervisor, who reported results should be in between 5 and 8. Members of my family were trying to be patient, but they had contacted me as well.

When Tim’s phone rang at 7:30, I held my breath. He put the call on speaker, so I could hear. It was his HR lady telling him all workers who were tested are negative. Hallelujah! Praise the lord! We quickly notified our family.

Thank God for the negative results. To say it was a wake-up call and bring COVID to the forefront would be an understatement. Tim and I hope to spend this coming weekend with family and celebrate life and wellness.

Contact Pam Pratt at pampratt@newtondailynews.com

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