- I am a teacher and a mother to two school-age children.
- My children have experienced disappointment over the past two years.
- After I was confirmed positive for the disease, all normalcy is gone.
It began as a tickle in my throat.
“It can’t be,”It was a thought that I had. After two years of the pandemic, I was vaccinated, boosted and now, was COVID-19 possible?
In the week before winter break, teachers and students had been feeling sick like flies. My wife and me had originally planned to travel over the holiday with our children, but the virus swept through again. We tried to keep as many traditions alive as possible by taking our kids ice skating and visiting Rockefeller Center’s tree. We performed rapid tests and spent time seeing family members that we hadn’t seen since Christmas 2019.
It was almost like everything was normal for a second. My son was sent to a remote school. I was positive. All the normalcy that we had been enjoying went out of the window.
Since 2019, my kids have not had a regular school day.
My son’s school announced during the break that they would be doing remote learning the first week back to school in order for them to test their student body and monitor infection rates. We didn’t tell him as he would be so upset to be away from his friends, we decided to wait.
I was able to take him to the doctor on his first Monday back to school. I gave my daughter a quick test so she could return to school. The second one was too expensive, so I kept the first one. Negative.
It was COVID-19. I felt it as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep that night. My muscles were clenching with chills the same way they were after my second dose. I immediately thought of my 8th birthday.
She has never had a regular school year, like all the kindergarten kids she joined in 2019. Omicron was going to mean that her party would be postponed this weekend. We knew that, and we were already planning how to make it up for her after so much heartbreak over the lack of normalcy. Munchkins were the only thing I could think of.
I tested positive for COVID-19
I located the closest test van to us, and stood in the freezing wind for an hour and half. My son remained in his home at school.
I balanced my insurance card on one hand so that I could snap a picture with my numb hands.
That night, with my ears burning from fever, I looked up at the ceiling and reprimanded myself for not having correctly estimated COVID-19. I was astonished at how much worse the flu could be in 2020. I thought my shots, health, relative youth and vaccines would fully protect me in 2022. It was shocking to see how sick I felt.
My positive test results were opened the next day with my son watching me, right after he had threatened to throw his computer out of the window to avoid having to do remote learning ever again. He was a mess.
As I tried to find something salvageable from my week of disappointments, I was unable to stop thinking about the box of munchkins. My 8th birthday would be celebrated with class donuts. Although it might not be the most memorable of her birthdays, it would still be fun.
After a negative test, my child was able to return to school on the following morning. She was greeted by her friends, who wore matching heart necklaces, N95 masks in child-size, and cheered. “It’s your birthday!”
I am a teacher and mom. I will continue to try my best to maintain normalcy in our daily lives. Even when it seems impossible, I will do my best to achieve it.