SF family tested for COVID-19 must decide if college kids come home to possibly infected household

ByJuan Carlos Guerrero via KGO logo
Thursday, March 19, 2020
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A San Francisco family, where one member was tested for COVID-19 after getting a fever, must decide if their two daughters studying at UC San Diego will come home even though there is a possibility the household may be infected with coronavirus.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- (We continue to follow one of our colleagues who has been in self-isolation even before the shelter-in-place order was given for the Bay Area. The wife of multimedia producer Juan Carlos Guerrero became ill on Friday and, as a precaution, both of them have stayed in their home. He has been chronicling their ordeal.) Follow their story, with all the updates, here.

Today is the third day since my wife was tested for coronavirus COVID-19 and we still don't know the results. It may be another two to five days before we learn if she is infected or if she instead has a cold or flu bug.

She's feeling better. Her cough comes and goes and feels she feels tired. She is trying to work from home now, but still restricting herself to the bedroom in case she is infected. If I am infected, I am asymptomatic so far.

Last week, after President Donald Trump spoke to the nation and generated more anxiety among the public, I went to the store and stocked up the fridge with food in case of a shutdown. So we have plenty of things to last us for a while, but I forgot about our dog, Lucky, so we asked a friend to buy some dog food.

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I waited inside our San Francisco apartment building as she drove up and dropped off two bags of dog food outside our front door. We waved at each other and after she left I opened the door and brought the bags inside.

That's one issue solved. Something else that has me concerned are my daughters. They are both studying mechanical engineering at UC San Diego. Julia is a junior and Sofia is a freshman.

The university switched to online classes a few weeks ago but at that time said that the dorms and dining halls would stay open for students that decided to stay on campus. This was just two weeks before spring break and right before finals for the winter quarter. All of Sofia's dorm mates moved out since they are from Southern California. They simply went home to continue their studies. My daughters are farther away so we made the decision for them to stay.

"The only thing that was keeping us here is that is was worse in the Bay Area," said Sofia during a video call with me. She lives in a dorm without a kitchen so she depends on the dining halls for food. My other daughter lives in a university apartment with a kitchen. Her roommates all stayed, but now that is changing.

Yesterday, I received a letter from the UCSD chancellor's office. It said, "We are strongly urging students who can safely leave to do so as soon as feasible, but no later than March 29." Only students from areas highly impacted by coronavirus or had food insecurity could stay.

RELATED: What is it like to be tested for coronavirus? A San Francisco family tells their story

"They are slowly shutting down the campus, so currently the markets are running on smaller amounts, trying to limit the hours, trying to shut down dining hall as much as possible cause they want people out," explained Julia during the voice call.

They had plane tickets in two days to come for spring break. But now they need to move out completely. I can't drive down to bring back their things because I still don't know if I am infected with the coronavirus. The wait for the test is taking way too long.

"I don't know when we are able to leave just because I have finals Thursday night and I want to pack," expressed Julia. I could not go get them now even if they were ready. I could be infected. If my wife gets notified she does not have COVID-19 soon, then I will drive to San Diego to move them out. Otherwise, my brother and their step-dad volunteered to get them if I can't.

We all agree these are definitely strange times.

"Yeah," said Julia. "All of our professors have been emailing 'Good luck on the finals. I know it is weird. Sorry.'"

Sorry indeed.

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