Cherry on Top
I placed my phone face-down onto the bed. It was a quarter to 9 p.m. Why haven’t I gotten my results yet? It was about my seventh time that night logging onto the Curative site to check my results. From what I thought, they would typically get to me within 24 hours, and best believe, I was checking at that exact mark.
I glanced over my phone to unlock the Face ID and unveil the text message indicating to follow the link below to view my test status. My heart skipped a beat. I was eager to check the results but at the same time hesitant. Was I mentally ready to view what followed that link? Before I could even think, my hands mindlessly logged onto the site to see:
Looking up to the ceiling, I nervously ran my fingers through my hair and thought to myself, “Fuck, like fuck.”
Almost nine months deep into the pandemic and the restarting of mandated closures, I never thought I was going to get the virus, especially this far out. The media was saturated with information regarding COVID-19. It was everything and the only thing I ever saw for a cool minute. From turning on the news, scrolling through my twitter feed, news alerts on my phone, collecting research for class assignments — literally everywhere.
At the time, no one in my close circle had been affected by the virus, but I saw the reported cases and deaths in Los Angeles County. It was very much real and a large threat to many individuals and more specifically, African American and Hispanic communities.
It was my third day with what I felt was a fever, body fatigue and a congested nose. Even though all of those listed were symptoms to COVID-19 I innocently thought since it was the beginning of December, it might just be the flu.
My mind raced across different scenarios in which I could have contracted coronavirus. Since the very start of the pandemic I always took the safety protocols very seriously. I would wear my mask, social distance and always wash my hands and sanitize. But my mind couldn’t help but think:
“It was probably my stupid careless act to have gone to Las Vegas with my friends a few weekends ago.
Was there a possibility I could have gotten it during work on black Friday weekend?
Or maybe it was because my boyfriend has been having symptoms but has been too stubborn to go get tested?
Maybe Thanksgiving dinner with my family back home?”
Whatever the case may have been its not like that positive was going to change to a negative, so I had to get on and begin a plan of action. But for the moment I couldn’t help to reflect on how mentally and physically draining the last four months of my life have been like.
A drug overdose, a pregnancy scare and to add the cherry on top — now having COVID. I literally could not make this shit up. When I say these last four months were draining I truly mean it.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” my boyfriend asked.
And that’s when the tears started rolling down my face. I slid my phone toward him so that he could see the results.
Telling his parents had to have been the hardest part for me. I had been staying at their house for the past six days now, four of those days were when I started to develop symptoms. From the hallway looking into the room they were in disbelief with my results. They thought we were joking and to be sincere I truly wish I was. Although they never blamed me for anything, I couldn’t help but feel an enormous amount of guilt for having stayed at their place for such a prolonged amount of time instead of being at my own apartment or my parent’s house.
Adding on to my guilt, I called my workplace the following morning and notified my family who I had last visited on Thanksgiving. My next question was where am I going to quarantine? Do I go back to my parent’s house and potentially risk infecting them? But I wouldn’t have my own room there, so that wouldn’t work. Could I possibly go to my apartment? But I share a room there, so why expose my roommates when I haven’t even stayed there. I could always stay with my boyfriend, who is most likely positive as well, and quarantine at his parent’s house. But I’ll risk further exposing his parents and his grandfather, who is someone more vulnerable to the virus.
Waking up the next morning I deliberately decided to just quarantine at my boyfriend’s house. Luckily his parents and other family members that I was in contact with received their results back as negative. Some of the guilt and stress weighed off of my shoulders but I was still doing the most I possibly could to disinfect the common areas or avoid being in those areas the most I could, to the point where I was holding in my bladder.
It’s Day 9 now of my quarantine and although my fever and congestion is long gone, I can no longer smell my favorite champagne toast-scented hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works.
In a few hours I will be waiting again for that ping, or knowing myself, I’ll be checking back on the Curative site every few minutes in hopes for an update.
It may be too soon to come back with a negative, but maybe not. That’s the thing with this virus and life as a whole. There’s no handbook or how-to guide. We just take it day by day and hope for the best.