As my wife and I enter our 12th day locked in our house, things are starting to look bright again. We have just two more days to go before my wife can end her quarantine and I end my self-isolation.
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The official notice came from the San Francisco Department of Public Health. It took so long to get my wife's coronavirus test result that by the time we found out she had the disease, she also got a letter from the Communicable Disease Control Unit that she could "return to normal activities, effective immediately."
But everything comes with an asterisk. She also got a call from a San Francisco health worker who said she still had to wear a mask if she wanted to wander around the house and to stay away from me until her quarantine officially ends in two days.
I have heard several theories about whether I was infected with COVID-19. Since I never became ill or displayed any symptoms, I had been told that I was likely infected but asymptomatic. But this time, I was told I may never had been infected.
"If he is not developing any symptoms then we are pretty confident that he did not get it," the health worker said over the phone about me. Just in case, I have been in self-isolation since my wife became sick on March 13. I only go outside to walk the dog, but I try to avoid people and have not gone into stores or even gone to get take-out food.
All this sacrifice has come at an emotional cost. My wife has not gone into the kitchen or the living room. We don't watch TV together. She has been limiting herself to our bedroom and I sleep in an extra bedroom. She works from a desk in the room and even exercises next to the bed. I only go in the room to take her food. I then eat my meal in the hallway, right outside her door, to keep her company.
For those wondering if stay-at-home orders are really necessary. Consider this.
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My wife likely had the virus days before she got a fever. That means she was contagious and came into contact with many people at work before she had any symptoms. If any of those people became contagious, they likely infected others as well before they showed symptoms. It's a chain reaction impossible to contain.
But, if everyone stays at home for several weeks, whoever is infected has no chance to infect anyone else and we are out of this pandemic.
The health worker that called said my wife can leave the bedroom, but my wife wants to be more conservative.
"The public health department said I am no longer contagious. That I can roam around the house and just wear a mask in case I cough," she said. But she wants to make sure she protects me, so she adds, "I am just going to stay in the bedroom until Friday."
That's just two more days. We got this.
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