“Iʻm sick”, Dee told me by text message. She lives in NY, which has become the epicenter of the Covid outbreak in the U.S. Although I live in Huntington Beach, CA, we’ve known each other since high school and keep in touch. Dee is 43 years old and the mother of 4 kids, the youngest being 7 years old and the oldest is 15. Dee is physically fit overall, but she has an underlying auto-immune condition which heightened her concern about the Coronavirus.
Like many people during this time of year, Deeʻs husband was nursing a cold, in his case bronchitis. He worked through his cold and came back from a business trip with new symptoms, including a fever. 3 days later, Dee was sick too.
It started with a fever. Dee slept for 2 days straight. Afterwards, she couldnʻt get out of bed. Then came the muscle aches, headaches, and dry cough. She lost her sense of taste, smell and her appetite altogether. Her voice became scratchy to the point that she could hardly speak. “The scariest part was having trouble breathing,” she said, as Dee shared about the hardest 4 days of her symptoms. Like most people, Dee and her husband didnʻt have access to a test to confirm what they already knew. They both had Covid.
What do you do when both parents get sick with Covid? You do the best that you can do.
Dee and her husband quarantined themselves to their bedroom. Each child was assigned tasks to help run the house. The 13 and 15 year old kids did the cooking, dishes, and laundry. The two younger children got easier tasks. At night, family members would read them bedtime stories by FaceTime.
Her youngest daughter May (7 years old) had been completing all her assignments for her online classes on time. May’s teacher was so impressed that she called Dee to tell her how amazed she was that May was surpassing her classmates. But when she heard Deeʻs scratchy voice, she asked her what was wrong. “Covid,” Dee said.
Mayʻs teacher surprised the family with $200 worth of groceries and a $100 cash card at their front door. The groceries even included toilet paper!
“Mayʻs teacher is a breast cancer survivor and her heart is so incredibly big,” Dee said. “We are so grateful for her and her husband’s generosity! We will be paying it forward to another family in need one day as well. Let’s keep this kindness going.”
After hearing about how well her children had stepped up with their chores, I asked Dee; “When youʻre fully recovered from Covid, will the kids continue to cook the meals, clean the house, and do the laundry?”
“Ha!!! I can only hope!! I think they really learned to appreciate what I do!”
Both Dee and her husband are gradually recovering from Covid and are looking forward to hugging their kids again soon.
*names have been changed to protect their confidentiality.