As I write this, my house looks like a bomb has gone off inside of it and I’m not sure where to start cleaning.
I spent most of the weekend trying to pick up and declutter, but we are at the point where I’m not sure there is a return: My family has been holed up inside the house for almost three weeks straight.
It started with me getting COVID, soon after New Year's. I quarantined in the master bedroom, having my husband and kids drop off food or laundry like covert agents making a drop at the door, only to rush away before I opened it. Even after the quarantine was over and everyone seemed to be in the clear, we wore masks around each other.
But then it happened: My two girls tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, we are all vaccinated and our 12-year-old daughter had a minor cough. When the positive test came back, my 6-year-old daughter looked at the nurse and said “ME? I have coronavirus?”
The poor thing has been so good about wearing her mask, I think she even thought she was invincible against it all.
And then the dominoes began to fall. Three days later, my husband tested positive, as he started to cough. We were testing my son every day at that point, since we knew it was bound to happen, no matter how much we quarantined — he tested positive four days after my husband.
Over a period of three weeks, my entire family of five caught COVID. And during that time, my family has not had so much time together inside the house since the early days of the pandemic. Because we had two weeks off over the holidays, “Christmas break” has turned into a monthlong hiatus for my husband — he has he stayed at home both during my quarantine as well as the girls’ and then when he was sick as well.
And while each kid was sequestered in their bedroom and my husband or I made the meals — the laundry was never-ending, the dirty dishes never seemed to go away and the house seemingly never got clean enough.
It was a reminder of how lived-in a home can be when no one goes anywhere.
However, I’m thankful. Thankful that no one was seriously ill, thankful that my kids got their vaccine before they got COVID, and thankful for jobs that allow us to stay home with sick leave when we need it. Because there are so many Americans out there who are so much worse off.
I am thankful for the members of the medical community who are weathering this seemingly never-ending storm. I am grateful for friends who help us track down places to buy at-home COVID tests and for teachers who prepare packets of homework so my kids don’t fall behind.
I am thankful for grocery delivery services that leave food on our porch and for Amazon delivering KN-94 kid-size masks in packs of three tie-dyed colors, so my kids won’t argue of whose mask is whose.
I am thankful that tests are becoming more available — although still difficult to find — and I’m appreciative that, for at least the near future, my family will, hopefully, be somewhat resilient against COVID since we are vaccinated, boosted and have developed natural antibodies.
At least until the next strain.
And so I am doing laundry and picking up around the house, and appreciating that we are still well and still here. And that we made it almost two years into the pandemic before getting COVID. It’s been a long two years — and I’m not sure when or if it will end. But we are still here. And while there has been so much heartache for so many, and so much loss — surviving is something to be thankful for.
Lydia Seabol Avant writes The Mom Stop for The Tuscaloosa News. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: COVID quarantine wreaks havoc with family life |THE MOM STOP