The COVID Chronicles – Part 2

In case you missed it, The Girl got the ‘Rona. For kids, quarantine is to last 10 days from the onset of symptoms (that jives with the theory that she was shedding virus for 3-4 days before symptoms appeared, making for a total of two weeks). So, she’s isolated in her room until next Saturday. The downside is that I can’t supervise her remote school goings on. The upside is I can’t supervise her remote school goings on. Thankfully, she is feeling pretty good at this point and has been for days.

Anywhodle, after finding out her test results on Friday, Hubs and I thought it was a good idea for us to get tested Saturday afternoon. We knew Immediate Care would take hours (and they may not test us anyway because we do not have symptoms) and local pharmacies that were testing didn’t have time slots available for several days. So, we looked up the IDPH drive-thru testing sites and drove to the one closest to us. When we got there, it was a three hour wait. Um, no thanks. We turned around and made plans to get up and go first thing in the morning, before the lines got long.

I set the alarm clock for 7am. Testing was to start at 9am. We figured if we left at 8, we’d get there at 8:30 and not have to wait too long. Unfortunately, we forgot to set our clocks for “fall back,” so we really got up at 6am. Well, he did. I went back to sleep for another hour. When we got to the testing site at 8:30 as planned, there was already a line wrapping halfway around the parking lot of the high school where they were doing the testing. Resigned, we took our place in line and waited. And waited. And waited some more. A little after 9, a woman in full PPE came around and distributed paperwork to all of the waiting cars. I filled out the forms for both of us while Hubs called the health department number at the bottom to get our intake numbers (as we were instructed to do to save time when we get to the front of the line). He kept getting a busy signal. Or, it’d ring once or twice, then go to circuits busy (link provided for those of you too young to know what this is). Those became known as the “teaser” rings, because they made us think that maybe we’d actually get through, and then nope.

Once I’d finished the forms, I joined him in calling. It was like trying to get through to Ticketmaster on the day concert tickets for a big act went on sale. Or trying to call in to a radio station contest. At least it gave us some purpose while we waited. And waited. And waited some more. Eventually, the cars started moving. We’d inch up a few car lengths and then wait. And wait… you get the idea by now. At one point, another PPE covered person came around and asked if we had our paperwork. We told her we did, but couldn’t get through for our intake numbers. She said to keep trying. Apparently, no one could get through, which was making the line go so slowly. We’d try off and on, but it got tiresome and seemed pointless after the first hour.

I’d been sending updates to The Girl, but they kept going through as text messages instead of iMessages, so I figured her phone battery had died and she was still asleep. Well, as it turns out, the Nintendo Switch that we just got her has a parental control app that lets me see what she’s playing and for how long, so I periodically checked that for activity. Around 11am (which felt like noon due to the fall back time change), I could see that she’d been playing for 15 minutes, so clearly she was ok.

We finally got to where we could see the start of the line. It was a very exciting moment. Hubs checked his phone and declared that he’d tried calling 100 times already. I was only at 96, so I hurried to catch up. I counted 97… 98…99… and on the 99th try, I got through! After a recorded dude said a bunch of things I didn’t listen to, I was put on neglect, doomed to listen to bad hold music until I would be connected with a person. I predicted that I’d still be on hold when we got to the front. After 10 minutes, when we had only about 5 cars left ahead of us, the line abruptly disconnected. So much for that.

After three hours of waiting (yes, I get the irony that we felt it was too long a wait the day before), it was finally our turn. As Hubs drove us up to the first spot I was giddy! A man came to take our forms, and he said he wasn’t surprised that we couldn’t get through. I asked if he knew what time cars started lining up (in case we need to do this again, we can plan better). He told us he got there at 7, and cars were already arriving. Good grief!

Hubs got tested first. When it was done, he said, “That wasn’t too bad.” I, however, have been to this rodeo before. Well, similar ones. I’d had one where the thing went far enough up my nose to make my eyes water, and one that was like an extended throat culture. This was actually pleasant by comparison. The PA just gently swabbed our nostrils for a few seconds with a cotton swab. Easy peasy.

The info sheet they gave us included the health department number that will call us with results. They will not leave our results in a message, so we must answer and speak with a person, or we’ll have to call back to find out if we’ve got the plague or not. And we can guess how well that would go. To make sure we answer, we put the number in our contacts so we wouldn’t ignore it as a spam call.
We should get our results in 4-7 days. Fingers crossed that we’re negative. So far, we have no symptoms, so we will just have to wait and see. Stay tuned…

And now, a brief PSA. Could you imagine how pissed I’d be if we were waiting until today (election day) to vote, only to find ourselves quarantined?

Thankfully, we voted by mail (ballot drop box) weeks ago.

If you have not voted yet, mask up and get your butt to the polls (unless you’re quarantined, in which case, sucks to be you)!

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