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Last weekend, I tested positive for Covid.
As a mother of two teenage boys and having my elderly mother staying with me, I panicked.
But over the past few days, I’ve realised that Covid is not that scary. My mum and I are vaccinated and boosted, while my boys just got their second shot. Life went on as per normal at home, despite having to make adjustments.
It also taught my 15- and 13-year-old sons an important life lesson on growing up.
It started with a scratchy throat on Friday morning, but my ART test was negative.
Later in the evening, I tested again with my church worship team on Zoom, as I was on duty the next day. It was negative. So on Saturday, I went to church and had dinner with my sons.
On Sunday morning, I woke up with a blocked nose. It didn’t cross my mind that it could be Covid because of all the negative tests — I thought all the Chinese New Year eating was doing something to me!
Then I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw a friend sharing her symptoms, and it was exactly describing what I was going through. So I started to worry.
When I did another ART test on Sunday night, I saw two lines. I went to a 24-hour clinic and got confirmation. I had Covid.
Panic and fear
The first thing that crossed my mind was fear for my mum, because she’s elderly. My helper was off on Sunday, so I was in close proximity to my mum, helping her get in and out of bed and bringing her food. I even kissed her good morning!
But thankfully she tested negative.
I was also worried about my boys. Me being Covid positive meant that they would get health risk warnings. Would that mean that they had to quarantine themselves for seven days?
Then the tiger mum in me thought: This is their learning review period where they have two subject tests for the next three weeks. So did they have to do their tests at home?
Next thing, I informed my church worship leader. And I called my sister who was out with my mum and told her not to bring her home. My mum would stay with her for the week.
Then I packed all my belongings and necessities into an overnight bag and isolated myself in the master bedroom, previously my mum’s room.
My emotions were like a roller coaster. I heard so much about people getting Covid and there’s so much information floating around, but I never really took note of what to do.
At first, it was a bit of an information overload with so many people sending me links and screenshots and asking me what I was going to do. A lot of the information that I found online was obsolete. But I managed to get the latest SOP from my worship leader.
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As for my boys, they stayed at home on Monday, but their teachers told me that the protocol is if they test negative, they can go to school (even with a HRW), which they did on Tuesday.
A sweet gesture
On Monday, one of my church mates ordered lunch and dinner for us, and the love came pouring in. My close friends and teammates at work sent drinks and food too.
And my boys did something that surprised me.
I was chatting with a close friend who was checking in on me and I told her “I am hungry, how ah”. She said, “Just ask the boys to fix breakfast. Just learn to ask.”
Most parents would understand it when I say that we don’t usually ask our children to do things for us: It’s usually the other way around.
So I asked for something simple — cheese toast and a cup of mint tea.
My younger boy went to prepare it and left it outside the room, but what came with it was a note which said “Made with love! Get Well soon!” It warmed the cockles of my heart. After that, I found out that my older boy did the laundry!
It was quite an emotional moment for me. I realised that my boys are mature enough to do things for me and it was their time to show how they care for me too.
If your children are old enough and you raise them well, learn to ask from them. You’ll be surprised what they are willing to do for you! It’s a sign of trust from you and it’s an opportunity for them to show you their love!
Living with Covid
Since the panic I felt on the first day, living with Covid became less frightful as the days passed
As long as we stayed at least two metres apart, I could still go around the flat wearing a mask and gloves (not eating together or hugging my boys, of course!).
Unfortunately, my 13-year-old has tested positive too. He still shares his room with his brother but sleeps with me at night.
His symptoms are mild because he is vaccinated and it is less scary now that I have the situation under control.
That’s the advice I have for parents who may be in similar situations: Whether you are ill with Covid, or one of your kids have the virus, the most important thing is to equip yourself with knowledge.
Stay calm. Get the most updated and accurate information. We were vaccinated so our symptoms were mild. I can’t speak for elderly with health complications, but for healthy parents and kids, it’s not that scary.
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Covid has caused a great disruption in our family this past week, but to some extent I see the silver lining.
It has taught my children that life is not a bed of roses. Bad things happen and we just have to deal with it sensibly.
And it has taught me to let go more as a parent. And to give my kids a chance to practise the lessons — of kindness and filialness — they have learnt from us.
We are blessed to be in a country with no natural disasters, but we are not spared from this worldwide pandemic. I’m glad that it’s teaching our children to adapt to the reality of life and overcome challenges that are thrown at them.