COVID Day 10: Vacillating

Sometimes, the universe works in strange and mysterious ways.

Following yesterday’s mental and emotional breakdown, I needed nothing more than to retreat even further—perhaps a strange mindset considering at this point I’ve been alone in a room for all of 10 days. I even told my Mom I was thinking of spending a night in a different hotel before going home just to nurse that insatiable need, as well as my mental health.

But apparently, the drawback to telling people you have COVID-19 is that it’s basically public knowledge, and so when I tried to book a hotel room, I was asked for requirements I couldn’t provide. I commend the safety protocols, of course, but this felt like another obstacle I didn’t have to energy to jump over.

I was all set to just give it up when I was informed by the hotel I’m staying in that protocol dictates I needed to stay an extra night.

When the hotel nurse called me on Friday night (Day 11 of illness) for my vitals, I reported a mild cough. Technically, I’ve always had it, but I forget to bring it up if they don’t ask me how I’m feeling after getting my temperature. There was a stretch during the week I didn’t mention it—thought no one found it mattered—which is why I was initially cleared to go home early on.

So it goes, if you’ve been asymptomatic from Day 10-12 (depends when they ask), you can end isolation early. If you have symptoms, you need to stay the full 14 days. If they clear up on those last few days, you can go home on Day 14; if not, you have to stay for the full 14th day, then you go home the following day.

The more you know, right?

Biting down criticism at all these vacillating protocols, I was surprised to get mixed feelings about the extra day. Most of it is sheer fucking relief that I have a full day to myself before I face the world, but also the reason for its necessity kind of sucks.

But it’s an extra day—I’ll take it.

Unfortunately, I also developed oral thrush. Not entirely sure it’s directly caused by COVID-19, but my doctor thinks it’s adjacent because of my currently-low immune system. I noticed I would get mild canker sores that would just disappear within the day, which is weird because I’ve taken enough vitamin C over the past year to keep those at bay. Medications for that and my cough have been added to the arsenal of things I have to take on a daily basis, fun.

All those things aside, today was a better day. I could not completely stay off work, but I allowed myself some concessions: I sat in on a Zoom meeting with camera and microphone off instead of fully participating, and I took a nice afternoon nap before catching up with some writing, and even then I took my time.

It was also heartwarming to receive a message from one of my publishers giving me the support I’ve been desperately longing for from people I work with. Not sure if she’s been reading here (the journal is public but I haven’t been sharing the links to these posts on social media), but regardless—this nearly set off another round of the waterworks. It struck me how all I needed was just a little bit of kindness and acknowledgment. I don’t mind the hustle, but a little care in return would have gone a long way.

Tomorrow we launch, an online magazine for the Bisaya woman that’s been a year in the making, and was unfortunately sidelined by the pandemic. When we set out to finally make it happen in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, never did I expect I would actually be launching it while I have COVID-19. Another odd twist of fate, and it’s unfortunate I can’t be with my team to celebrate, but I’m proud of the work we’ve put into this, and more than being excited to finally bring it out into the light, I’m looking forward to nurturing it. As far as stories go, this will be an interesting one to tell.

Cebu vs. COVID-19 Resources:

Numbers and details change often, so I’m linking to pages instead where you can check for updated information.

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