Best laid plans of mice and men
I received a call earlier in the week from Phaedra's mom informing me that two girls from school had tested positive on the last day of school and they were worried Phaedra might have been exposed. Everyone is still required to wear masks and she is pretty diligent in washing her hands so we made note of it but considered it a longshot.
The CDC recently opened up eligibility to her age group for the vaccine but we would have been in Montana when she was due for her second shot 3 weeks later so we made the decision to wait till she got back to get her inoculated. In the interest of playing it safe though I picked up a BinaxNOW Covid 19 Rapid test by Abbott. They were available at CVS for $18 and came with two tests. I had originally planned to test Phaedra the day before we left considering the incubation period I felt this would be far enough after her exposure to catch any possible infection. We got very busy cleaning, doing yard work and generally tidying everything up though and I forgot.
Sunday we woke up packed and ready to go with luggage near the front door when Ana reminded me to test Phaedra. Thinking it was likely unnecessary as she hadn't shown any signs but remembering that some folks are asymptomatic I nodded and called Phaedra over. The instructions were thorough and meticulous so I read the whole thing before beginning. Confident in my understanding I donned some gloves I bought at the beginning of the pandemic and step by step patiently and diligently read each step (again) before acting. The test takes 15 minutes to get results so I asked Alexa to set a timer and released Phaedra. She was ready to go so she went outside to enjoy the nice weather sitting on the back porch talking to a friend on the phone.
Ana checked on my progress and while discussing last minute plans I glanced down and saw a second line appearing on the test. I knew from the instructions this was a positive result but pulled up the paper again in the hopes I was wrong. After gesturing down and showing her the instructions the look on her face drooped to match my sense of desperation. After a couple of minutes to discuss the possibility it was a false positive we decided that it was likely accurate and resigned to "do the right thing".
I found Phaedra sitting on the back porch humming to herself and enjoying the warmth of the morning sun. With a gut wrenching feeling I called her inside and mom and I explained the test results. She instantly teared up and we switched into damage control mode. "It isn't your fault", "nobody blames you" and "we will work this out, don't worry" were said in waves to try and calm her down. We meant it too, it's was the fault of her classmates and their parents who selfishly insisted their kid go anyway.
I canceled our hotel room for that evening losing $140 because it was so close to check in. Next I had to call Brady in South Dakota and Susan in Montana explaining we didn't want to bring Covid to their doorstep. They were of course understanding as they are both amazing people and each offered to reschedule when we were able. And so our Sunday shifted tone at a moments notice.
Phaedra was sequestered to her room as we used the other test on Dave. He was scheduled to start his training at Worlds of Fun later in the day. his test came back negative but being in the house with a positive case I told him to reach out to WOF to see if they wanted him to quarantine (which I would image they would). He called again an hour later and despite several attempts to reach HR he never heard back. Ultimately he used the employee app to call in sick and adjust his schedule to have the week off. By the end of the day he still had not heard back from them.
I ran back up to CVS and purchased 2 more tests to cover the rest of the family. As Bridget was the only other non-vaccinated person we tested her and again got a negative. As Alex, Ana and I are all inoculated we decided to wait for ours. Feeling depressed we ended up playing games and unpacking. Soon after all of this Phaedra began to have a soar throat which I argued was psychosomatic and Ana argued was right on time based on the incubation period. Either way our week was definitely going to be different than we had planned.