We are on day four of our wait of our wait for my wife's COVID-19 test result. The wait has been longer for us since she fell ill several days before the test, which could not be administered on the weekend. So we have been self-isolating for seven days now. The wait and the loneliness is taking being felt, especially for my wife, Ma. Leticia Gomez, who has not left her bedroom as a precaution in case she is infected. I go out to walk the dog but am otherwise self-isolating as well.
We did get some distraction when my wife's mom and brother came to visit. It was not a regular visit. They drove up to our San Francisco apartment building but stayed outside on the sidewalk. Since my wife is restricting herself to our bedroom , she had to settle for sticking her head out of a window to chat with them. It almost felt like a scene from a prison movie where family members try to communicate with an inmate.
"I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I want to know the results at once so that I can go on with my life," she said after the visit.
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Distance is important until we find out if my wife is infected. She has had a persistent cough, but doctors tested her because she went through a 12 month chemotherapy treatment and her 75-year-old mother is in the high risk group.
Her mom, Maria Esmeralda Gramuglio, does not live in the Bay Area. She was visiting for a month from Argentina and had been staying with us. She had left for a few days to stay with her other son in the East Bay when my wife came home with a fever and body aches. We decided she should not come back to our house just in case.
My wife and her mom don't see each other often so these visits are special. If the coronavirus test comes back negative, her mom can come stay with us again.
Being away from home does come with worries for her mom. She can't fly home to Buenos Aires after the Argentinian government closed its borders. She does not know how long she will have to stay in the Bay Area. It is worrisome because her older 80-year-old sister has a chronic illness and is homebound. If there are more travel restrictions in Buenos Aires, they are afraid she could be left without caretakers.
After today's bittersweet visit, my wife needed to cheer up so she did a video chat with her brother in Spain. They are in the same situation. The entire country is sheltering in place.
Spain is one of the hardest hit countries by the coronavirus. On Monday, Madrid registered one coronavirus-related death every 16 minutes.
Fortunately, her brother lives in Santander, in the northern par of Spain. Yet, they are also affected by a countrywide stay-at-home order.
After the phone call, family and friends from across the globe sent messages in solidarity.
Check out the video to see some of those messages and to get a better picture of the vastness of the shelter-in-place order across the world.
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