On our son’s first day of high school, he woke up with an upset stomach. He didn’t have a fever or any other health complaints.
I attributed his belly ache to nerves. After all, when he left school on March 13, he was an 8th grader, an experienced middle schooler. In September, without any kind of bump up day or freshman orientation, he was making the daunting transition to high school.
It didn’t seem all that unusual to me that he’d be nervous about his first day, so I gave him a couple Tums, a probiotic, and sent him on his way.
That afternoon, my husband picked him up after school. It was immediately clear to him that our boy wasn’t well. When they got home, our son’s temperature was registering over 101 degrees. That’s when the panic set in.
Let me say, that my logical brain was telling me that our son probably had some sort of 24-hour bug. For over 2 weeks, he hadn’t been hardly anywhere. He’d barely even left his Xbox to come upstairs from our basement.
In addition, at the time of his unexplained fever, our county was solidly in the green on the Governor’s COVID transmission map. There was no plausible reason to believe our Savage could’ve contracted COVID-19.
Yet, if there’s one thing I’ve mastered as a mother, it’s irrational worry.
My mind began to race. What if my husband or I unwittingly brought the coronavirus home? We’d been back to work for a few weeks. It wouldn’t be out of the question that one of us could’ve been exposed and not known it.
Although we both get our temperatures taken multiple times a day as we travel between buildings, I’d heard of asymptomatic individuals unintentionally becoming super spreaders. Frantically, I began to think if my husband or I were going to unintentionally do something, we’d want to be super at it.
The anxiety caused by that thought alone made my belly hurt, too.
I texted a couple dear friends, both of whom are nurses experienced with COVID positivity in children. Heeding their advice, even though his fever and symptoms had disappeared as quickly as they came, we kept our son home from school and had him tested for COVID-19.
Three days later, the results came back negative. Relief doesn’t even begin to describe the magnitude of how grateful we felt.
However, the fear of possibly not only contracting, but spreading, the virus, quickly put this whole situation into perspective for us. As we waited for the results, we began to talk about our contacts.
There were many. I could see how a family of 5 Savages could’ve easily spread the virus throughout our region.
Also, I could see how every time one of our children complained of an ailment and developed a fever, we’d now be sent into a tailspin of worry, wondering, and what ifs.
Those are 3 Ws I could happily do without. Thus, our little scare, reinforced our need to double down on our commitment to 3 different Ws: Wash our hands, Watch our distance, and Wear our masks.