Nose for News: Coming out of a COVID-19 quarantine

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

I feel like an animal coming out of hibernation — or better yet, a person coming out into the open after a big snowstorm.

You know, when you haven’t seen the outside for a while and you’re coming out for the first time to see the freshly fallen snow.

After being quarantined because of a positive COVID-19 test, it’s like I’m seeing the world all over again after months of being away, though it has only been a little less than two weeks. That’s how time crawls during quarantine.

It’s like I’ve been in the Twilight Zone, watching “Frozen” on a daily basis, working during normal business hours, catching up on a few shows in the evening and then repeating again the next day. One day has blurred into the next, and if it weren’t for my job, I probably would have easily forgotten what day of the week it was.

My family was lucky to receive only minor effects of COVID-19 — my husband never tested positive and my son only had symptoms for about 24 to 36 hours. Some of my cold symptoms still linger, but for me it just seems like a slightly stepped-up version of my year-round allergies.

I am glad to have been vaccinated back in the spring, and I believe that this choice helped keep the symptoms especially light for our family.

Working under quarantine has been the challenge I remembered it being during the beginning of the shutdown last year. I’ve learned to tune out some things and focus in better on my work, and I feel like I have been a little more successful this go-around — but it is still difficult.

It reminds me of the old saying when you’re a new parent — to sleep when the baby sleeps — but for me at this phase in my life it has been to try to make my calls when my son is napping. If you have been on the phone with me at any other time, I apologize if there was a lot of background noise. I have a very active child who likes to be with his mom.

I look forward to when my son can return to school in-person, and I can return to the office and this will become another memory of our time during this pandemic.

Though I had hoped to never become one of the statistics during this pandemic, it looks like I have become one for a breakthrough COVID-19 case.

I know the coverage from vaccines can wane with time — and I have not yet received a booster. But I also wonder if there were other things that made me more susceptible, or if I became too relaxed on safety protocols that I set myself up for this?

I’m interested in doing a little more research about this in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. Despite the challenges we all face, we have much to be thankful for.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.