I Am Isolating

I am Isolating, more or less. When I picked up my on-line grocery order, I told the man who brought the goods to my car that “I am supposed to be isolating so I didn’t want to go into the store,” but he was too busy apologizing for keeping me waiting fifteen minutes.

This all began after I got back from my trip to Nanaimo. I was fine for a couple of days then I realized I was feeling very lethargic. I had the energy for only one activity each day, whether that was going for a walk or weeding the garden. And, I had to do that in the mornings. By the afternoon I was, and am, useless. I may have watched a year’s worth of Netflix this week.

I thought this was just a sort of travel weariness or jet lag, but it didn’t go away. It was also accompanied by some brain fog, the runs, a stiff neck, and that weird feeling you get at the side of the throat when you feel a cold coming. So, I thought, maybe I had I cold coming. I’m smart like that.

Brain Fog from Sharon Brogan via Flickr

Well, the cold never came, but the lethargy never left. After ten days of this I started to wonder if I had caught Covid-19 while travelling, so thought I should check with my doctor, but she proved surprisingly hard to reach. When I first got through on the phone, the receptionist asked me to hold but never returned. An hour later I tried again, but no-one answered. I thought that was odd, and I still wonder what was going on. Anyway, I turned instead to my trusty computer for advice.

Fortunately, Alberta Health Services has a great website for people like me. It has a self-assessment tool to determine if your symptoms warrant a Covid-19 test. When I worked my way through it, I realized that my symptoms were not serious but in the end the advice was to get a test anyway. I was linked to a page to make an appointment, and I set mine for the following day.

Covid-19 tests are being carried out at the nearby exhibition centre, and I was surprised to see how many cars were already in the parking lot when I got there at 9:15. Once I got inside the building, I was asked to remove my mask and put on a new one before using hand sanitizer and walking down to the large hall where people were lining up for tests.

Edmonton Expo Centre image from AHS via CTV

After I had checked in at the desk where I was handed my appointment and information papers, I could see that there were already about forty people ahead of me in line, and some of them were with small wriggly children. We all stood six feet apart and conscientiously stood on the Xs taped to the floor as we slowly walked towards the testing area. It took about twenty minutes to get there, by which time some of those children had crawled on the floor multiple times, making the hand sanitizer work a lot harder than it was designed to do.

Ahead of me was a man with a disabled child in a wheelchair, and they made me feel like a fraud for being there. That little boy was so sick he didn’t move the whole time we were in line. His eyes were closed and his arms were flopped outside the of the chair. I can’t get that image out of my mind. I feel as though we should have let them go to the front of the line, but the man silently and patiently worked his way forward six feet at a time, just like the rest of us.

When I got to the testing station, the nurse asked me when I had had my vaccinations, but I couldn’t remember. I suppose I should have anticipated the question, but I didn’t. In the end, she said it didn’t matter and went ahead with the test. It was in the form of a nasal swab that I had heard terrible things about, but it really wasn’t a bad experience at all. Quick and simple.

Nasal Swab from Lisa Maree Williams via CBC

The nurse then advised me that it would take two or three days to get the test results and in the mean time I was to isolate. I agreed to do that but, as I walked out of the building I realized I was out of bread and eggs and a few other things I would need to get me through the next few days.

As soon as I got home, I went online again to order my groceries and arrange to pick them up at the end of the day. I had tried this a year ago but found the process was too complicated and time-consuming so I gave up. Yesterday, though, I went to the website for a different store and found their system a lot easier to use. I picked out what I needed and agreed to pick the order up at 6:00 PM.

When I got there, it turned out they had somehow overlooked my order and asked me to wait while they picked my items from the shelves. So, I settled in to read my Kindle book on my phone as I sat in the On-Line Orders Only parking spot. When the clerk brought my order to me he was very apologetic about the delay, and told me he had given me a 25% discount because of the inconvenience! Woo hoo!

As he was putting the goods in the trunk of my car, that’s when I started to explain that I was supposed to be isolating. I was feeling guilty for not doing this work myself. But, as I said, he didn’t care. He just wanted to make sure I was a happy customer, and I was. I am very happy I can have my groceries brought to my car. I am also happy I am not seriously ill, that I am vaccinated, that I have a Covid test centre nearby, and that the results of my test will be sent to my phone in a day or two. All things considered, life is pretty good.

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Update: I just received the test result and it is negative for Covid-19. Yay!!

29 Comments

  1. I think we’re all going to get exposed at some point and have to muddle through the effects as best we can. Notice that Denmark and Iceland that have achieved mid 80% vaccination rates have had no uptick with Delta. Because we are lower than this in Canada, we now get to live with and be susceptible to this 4th wave even if vaccinated and be exposed whether we want to or not. I’m so glad you are vaccinated; the symptoms you show are tedious and tiring but not life-threatening even if it is Delta. Let’s hope it isn’t but don’t be surprised if it is. Hang in there. You’ll get through this.

    1. Thanks, tildeb. Yes, I will get through this. I’m still concerned for the unvaccinated, though. They will not fare as well as I have (as rotten as that is) if they become infected.

      1. Imagine the outcry if the unvaccinated had to live up to their beliefs and treated as they wish to be treated with no medical intervention. Imagine if the policy was that to be qualified to receive Covid-related hospital services, one had to be vaccinated first! But then, heaven forbid we hold people responsible for the consequences of their choices.

        So, instead, people in need of other services like cancer treatment and surgeries have to get in line BEHIND these ‘My body, My choice’ hypocrites and pay the cost with THEIR bodies. Yeah, that’s SO principled.

          1. True. Obviously there would be exemptions for medical reasons like anyone under the age of 12 or those who cannot be vaccinated. But this list outside of age is actually very, very short because the vaccination can be delivered in ways that get around the usual vaccination constraints (PEP intolerance is the usual culprit, and this has already been effectively addressed). There is almost no reason, in other words, that justifies not getting vaccinated if the vaccine is available. Almost none. Almost zero. That’s why rates should at minimum already be at 85% and they’re not.

            The fact of the matter is that these vaccinations are a monument to human achievement, far, far more so than our ability to detect with an artificial eye the heat signature of a bumblebee on the moon or even colliding particles near the speed of light. The path of knowledge to these incredibly efficacious vaccinations is awe-inspiring, an achievement unparalleled in human history. And effective in the real world.

            Yet people presume their personal uncertainty, their personal ignorance, their personal distrust, is a justified reason to not get vaccinated, to literally force others who have had the courage and fortitude to trust the entire cohort of our medical scientists and experts and get two needles into additional pain and suffering and loss of quality of life PERMANENTLY, and that this is somehow okay. It’s okay because this is all about personal freedom to make these choices, we are told, consequences to others be damned. Well then, stick to your guns, I say. Be personally responsible for the personal consequences of making this choice. And this is why I think those who empower their reasons for not getting vaccinated should PERSONALLY pay the costs for that decision, which is at the very least what personal responsibility means, and not inflict the consequences on those who have done their part already, who have earned their spot in accessing social medicine by doing their social part.

            In my area, for example, 98.8% of all Covid related hospital admissions are those who decided not to get vaccinated. Of those 98.8% not a single one has a valid medical reason. So why should literally hundreds of cancer patients not receive timely and scheduled hospital services because of these 98.8%? require so much medical intervention? Why should people living with correctable chronic pain have to live a single day longer than necessary to give preferential treatment of massive hospital services to these ‘My body My choice’ 98.8%?

            It doesn’t seem reasonable to me.

        1. I know you’re only joking and not suggesting this should be a real policy, but I don’t think it should even be joked about. As much as I wish everyone who is medically able to be vaccinated would willingly do so, I cannot get behind the idea of restricting medical services to only people who “deserve” it. That idea is such a slippery slope and would have real consequences for people who are already considered to be “immoral” regarding their health in other ways (fat people, people with diabetes, smokers…) Health care is a right that everyone should have access to, even bad people.

          And don’t forget that many immunocompromised people can’t be vaccinated.

          1. I’m not forgetting but have clearly stated that those who cannot get vaccinated should be exempt.

            The point is that the real choice here is whether or not to MANDATE vaccination OR allow people to live out the consequences of their choice. Allowing the unvaccinated to choose over and above the need of the many is morally (and constitutionally) wrong. We are allowing our governments to pass the buck here to business and organizations rather than step up and do their duty.

            1. So let the consequence be that they can’t go to work or restaurants or stores. And yes the government should step up. But denying people medical care is morally wrong.

          2. @ Jamie

            So let the consequence be that they can’t go to work or restaurants or stores.

            I can see that not allowing such folk to go to work is feasible, although would this be with, or without pay?
            As to ‘banning’ them from going out ( shopping etc) how would this be enforced?

            In case you are unaware …
            Mary Mallon was a carrier of typhoid fever and many people she came into contact with died of it, although she showed no symptoms.

            1. I did write ”shopping etc”. I know one could not be banned from going out. Well, I suppose it might be possible if we had martial law and tanks in the street!
              I don’t think Tildeb would seriously want any such a ”law” ? regarding restriction of medical services being implemented, but there seems to be a growing undercurrent of frustration with anti-vaccers and anti- maskers that prompts extreme reactions to such gross stupidity and irresponsibility.
              As I mentioned about our friend Mrs R and her symptoms. Initially she was rather too blasé for comfort about the whole thing – ”I’m not going to be made prisoner etc etc .” You know the type, yes?
              And then … Ooops!. Not just her mind you. Her two older boys and her partner. Catherine no, thank goodness. But she was really rough and fortunate not to be hospitalised. Though she did suffer a very tiny stroke that caused minor paralysis in her left arm for a few hours which an MRI scan revealed. The medics said it could well have been because of Covid.

              Now she is more than cautious, as you can imagine!

            2. Neither the smallpox nor polio vaccines are as safe or as effective as the mRNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2. We once upon a time mandated those vaccines (and won a Constitutional case on the legality of mandating them) resulting in smallpox eradication and polio almost eradicated. Yet here we are in the 4th wave for a disease that should be on its way to being eradicated throughout the 1st world and all efforts directed towards the 2nd and 3rd.

              Instead, we are arguing with, cajoling, urging, offering prizes and lotteries and free stuff to the stupidest people on the planet many of whom think a horse medication and/or praying in the blood of Jesus is somehow more trustworthy a treatment than the 100,000 page, multi-nationally tested and reviewed, most efficacious, safest vaccine EVER developed and in 1/10th – 1/50th the usual time, tested on the largest and most diverse multi-national cohort ever followed, with the the highest effectiveness. (Notice that there is a difference between efficacy and effectiveness and STILL the mRNA vaccines rank first.) No drug gets better than this. Period. End of story.

              This is why I say not getting vaccinated is a testament to the monumental hubris, audacity, ignorance, stupidity, selfishness, and hypocrisy of these people. In comparison to facts, to overwhelming evidence, they think they know better… and their willing to bet the lives of everyone else in the matter. They are an incomparable and stellar example of the Dunning-Kroger effect in action (D-K Specialists). Yet because of the severity of the disease they have chosen not to prepare for but still expect a medical response if infected, we are to put the lives of others in greater danger and knowingly shorten their life expectancy to make room at the front of the line for these DK specialists. It boggles the mind of anyone with a moral compass.

              Because facts and justified reasons and compelling evidence fail to shift the mind of those mentally incapacitated viral time bombs who will not get vaccinated, perhaps fear might work. Fear that by their own choice they cannot avail themselves of publicly subsidized medicine after infection. This should be the political issue of the day, that we either mandate vaccinations or we suspend medical support. One or the other. That is reasonable. That is fair. That is moral. None of us can have it both ways because the virus doesn’t care to accommodate our anti-reality beliefs about our whining demand for only a one-sided choice. And the issue of choice is really nothing more than a red herring. It is absolutely legal to mandate vaccinations (not forced vaccinations, which goes against the Charter), meaning that those who choose not to get vaccinated can face a host of legally imposed negative repercussions from fines to jailtime. I think it is eminently reasonable to simply withhold publicly funded medical services for Covid-19 treatment. That is the choice the non vaccinated when vaccination is available are actually making… they just don’t see they’ve made it for hundreds and thousands of people they’ve bumped. So this response is simply being fair, simply recognizing the policy the unvaccinated are quite willing to impose on others reflected back at themselves.

            3. While on the face of it you are not wrong , I can see a heap of problems just waiting around the corner the moment any law is made regarding Covid vaccines.

            4. Do 30,000 dead healthcare workers matter less? Do the next 10,000? The vaccines can stop this deadly assault. So are the problems greater than the value of these lives?

              These are hard questions that each and every person who refuses a vaccination should have to answer. Publicly. And put THEIR lives on the same footing as these frontline workers. Isn’t that fair? Isn’t that the LEAST we can do for them?

              Right now, we have ICU staff walking out because every day more and more unvaccinated people with severe Covid symptoms are expecting these workers to put their lives at risk every day every hour every minute to help. At what point do we say to the unvaccinated, it’s time to shit or get off the pot.

            5. Is there a viable program lined up and ready to go or are such ideas still being kicked about in government chambers?
              Excuse my apparent flippancy, you know I hardly venture out much these days or listen to the news.

            6. No, in the middle of a federal election all the parties are trying to play both sides but favouring vaccination, of course. Provincially, some Premiers (like our host’s Kenney in Alberta) publicly insist choice is important but go ahead very quietly and pass the required legislation to implement a vaccination policy mandate if necessary.

              What bothers me is the lack of understanding that with choice comes responsibility and the unvaccinated are failing to handle the responsibility they insist is theirs alone; instead, those who aren’t vaccinated get all kinds of special and kind and caring treatment as if they deserve this consideration while the hospital staff explain endlessly to cancer patients and people having necessary surgery postponed yet again that the hospital is unable to address their life-altering needs due to a growing number of unvaccinated people with severe symptoms. What’s lacking is the incessant drumming that being unvaccinated causes real harm to real people in real life and that it’s unforgivable.

            7. Somewhat like the way cigarettes and smoking was handled.
              I suspect if this goes on much longer laws will eventually be drafted.
              Maybe we will see medical personnel simply withdrawing service to those who reject / refuse vaccination?
              For the sake of disclosure you know I am vaccinated, yes? Family too.

  2. Hi, Anne. Hope your test is negative. Please let me know (by phone or e-mail) as soon as you find out. As youll recall, we had lunch together shortly after you got back from Nanaimo.

    Thanks! And fingers crossed.

  3. Your symptoms sound just like those our friend Mrs R experienced.
    And the answer to your next likely) question is … Yes!

    Can you get groceries delivered to your door?

      1. There are a number of supermarkets that now do home deliveries. We make use of one called 60 minutes organised by one of the biggest chains in SA.
        It is marvelous. And when this nonsense is over I see no reason to stop using the service considering the cost of petrol and parking and wotnot.

  4. I’m surprised you don’t have home delivery of groceries. All the major supermarkets deliver here. I had it for quite a few months in the first wave, then picked them up myself for a long time. Now I am shopping in person- feels like a holiday!
    I hope you are ok, Ann. My grandson in Trail recently was exposed to Covid from a co-worker at his summer job, but his test was negative – a big relief!

  5. Keep us posted as to the results!! So glad you got the vaccine!! I was supposed to go visit
    Vera last week…. had a sore throat 2 days before…. so thought I’d better cancel with her. Of course throat and I are fine…… but everything is of concern……

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