COVID CHRONICLES Day 6

Who Do We Trust?

My wife slept until around 2pm and laid low all day. I got up at around 11:30am. Settling into the next phase. The latest information we have is that, while our target for release is March 31, she is safe to leave quarantine three days after she is completely symptom-free (counting the first day as 0 then 1–2–3). As for me?

Enter the Santa Cruz Public Health Department. Apparently (and thankfully) my wife’s positive test went to the health department in our county of residence. They are the ones tracking cases and patients, and they have their own guidelines and advice, based on the CDC recommendations. They are quite persistent in their follow-up! Like everyone we’ve encountered in this crisis, they are understaffed and overworked, yet still maintain a positive outlook. They wanted to talk with me in addition to my wife.

Here’s where systems collide. Not seriously. But enough to create confusion. I am not being critical here. Everyone is doing the best they can under trying circumstances.

We’ve heard nothing from the medical professionals contradicting an end of March release date. But they’re basically focused on letting the virus run its course. And so far, so good. It’s reasonable to think my wife will be better in five days or so. And if it takes a little longer, she needs to stay put.

It was the public health nurse who told me about how to count the days between end of symptoms and end of quarantine I described at the outset. She also said I should be able to physically leave the house and get outside, as long as I wear a mask and don’t touch anything or disinfect anything I do. We’ll see what the family thinks. We’re all hyper-concerned about my 86 year old father-in-law who lives with us.

Here’s the other thing the nurse told me. Up until now, it has seemed inconceivable that I could be within six INCHES from my wife — let alone six FEET — and not be infected. However, it is apparently TECHNICALLY possible that I could still come down with the virus until 14 days after my wife’s symptoms are gone — in other words, from Day 0. If that’s correct, then I could be quarantined until mid-April. YIKES!

We haven’t heard anything like this from the medical professionals. So, who do we trust? Who has the latest information? It feels like, at the moment, someone like me is one of the least understood. Testing would have confirmed if I got the virus when my wife did. But that would have required there being enough tests for everyone.

So here I sit. No need to panic. I will deal with whatever. I’m going to do some more investigation. More data becomes available every day. I’ll report my findings. We’re operating in real-time here.

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Wynn Hausser

Professional Communicator, Change Agent & Nonprofit Specialist. “COVID CHRONICLES” documents life under pandemic. Also write on sports, politics and life.