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