This has been an unusual week for me. What started off as a normal go to work, come home to my family routine was interrupted by the fear of Covid making an entry into our world and the silly red tape of getting myself back to my routine.
On Tuesday, one of my tribe showed a couple of signs that they may have Covid. So doing the thing that a responsible parent would do I called the school to let them know they would not be there, knowing full well this was probably nothing more than shared hormones and the oncoming cold front weaving its way down South. Well…let me tell you, this unleashed the red tape we all face today with the rise of Covid cases. I was told my kiddo couldn’t come back to school with out a negative Covid test. Well of course! That makes sense and I was fully planning on getting them tested. AND that it could not be a home test; but they would accept any test given at a facility, either rapid or pcr. Ok I get it, home tests are not always reliable. I was told once they got the test done to just email a copy to the nurse and they could return to school if it was negative and they are symptom free. GREAT! I can do all of that!
So now you are asking, ok Mamabear, where is the red tape? Right, go on this journey with me. I call my HR to let them know what is going on. Of course I am thinking I can’t go to work until I show a negative test for my kiddo right? Makes sense. Oh but I was wrong, I can’t go back to work until they have an alternate diagnosis, NOT just a negative test!
Keep going with me here….remember I said at the beginning that I thought this was all hormones and a good cold front coming in? Well on Wednesday when kiddo wakes up we are completely symptom free! Not one thing wrong with kiddo! So we go get the Covid test done at one of those drive thru testing sites, get the negative test result we were expecting and now they are allowed back in school. Easy as pie! But as for me? Can I go back to work? Oh no…that would be silly! I am home “quarantined” because for less than 24 hours my kiddo showed signs of Covid. It doesn’t matter now that they have tested negative or that they have gone back to school. What they want me to do is take my very well kiddo to the doctor to be diagnosed with nothing (remember no more symptoms at all) and take an appointment time away from someone who actually needs to be seen by the doctor. All to return to work before my 5 day “quarantine” period has ended. Well thankfully, the doctor couldn’t get us in for an appointment until late Friday so I said never mind, since my return to work day would be Monday anyways.
Now trust me I have enjoyed my spontaneous vacation time out of the office. But really? The kiddo that was showing signs got to go back to school with a simple nose swab and me I get told I can’t work because I didn’t get an actual diagnosis for said kiddo for the symptoms that lasted less than 24-hours. Hmmmmmmmm….I get it! We all want to as safe as possible. But am I wrong for not wanting to take my perfectly healthy kiddo to the doctor full of sick people to be told its hormones and a cold front coming in? Am I wrong for not wanting to take an appointment time away from someone who actually needs to see the doctor?
So I took my 5 day “quarantine” and did the things I wanted to do. I finished reading my book, wrote a review for said fabulous book I finished, I went to a few estate sales where I bought more stationery that I don’t need, I relaxed and watched “Emily In Paris” on Netflix and played a couple of games on my phone. All while my kiddo was back at school where they belonged and I got an unexpected vacation. Really I shouldn’t be complaining because it was just what I needed. Time away to relax.
But this is why I ask “Are we done yet?” While I have loved these last 5 days, the sudden disruption of my routine and how to get back to it is where I stop and ask, when will this be done? When will normal return? Is this my new normal? The unexpected disruption of routine? Should I feel guilty for not getting my kiddo into the doctor so I could go back to work a couple of hours early? But what about the family I would take an appointment away from? What would that mean for them?
So many times I question myself and the new decisions I have to make as a parent. There are handbooks for pregnancy, raising a well rounded kiddo, what to do for this and what to do for that, BUT there is no handbook of raising a kid in the middle of a pandemic and how best to parent through it. There are no friends or family to turn to who have experienced this in the past. We are all learning this new normal together. We are all traveling roads we have never travelled before. We are all facing silly new rolls of red tape.
I know this one little incident may seem silly to some, but I think it was my tipping point. I want a new handbook to tell me what to do next. I think once the handbook is finally published we might be able to say it is finally done.