We tested positive yesterday.
Testing was almost an afterthought. The DOE sent an email asking parents to test their kids before returning from the break. Rachel wisely ordered a bunch of tests a few weeks ago and swabbed Emma as we walked out the door. Fifteen minutes later, Emma and I pulled up across the street from her school. I stepped off the bike, Emma removed her helmet, and my phone rang.
"Emma's test is positive."
We pedaled home and all tested at the kitchen table. The picture above was taken a few minutes later, before the lines came in. We've heard much about the unreliability of the rapid tests – and the lines were so faint – so we went out in the afternoon to get a PCR test. The nurse seemed mildly annoyed that we were there. Turns out, the problem with antigen tests is false-negatives, not false-positives. "If a rapid test says you've got it, you've got it." That'll have to do for now, because we won't get our PCR results for 3-5 days.
So far, I'd characterize our conditions as somewhere between "asymptomatic" and "very mild." We have symptoms that we wouldn't pay attention to if it weren't for the test result. Sort of like, "Now that I know I'm positive, I guess my throat is sore?" Rachel's been tired for a few days, but that felt like the natural conclusion of the holidays. Emma's asymptomatic. Julia sneezed three times yesterday. She's our only cause for concern as she just turned one and is unvaccinated – but the odds of being fine are heavily in her favor.
We don't know where we got it. We tested negative on Friday before hanging out with friends for NYE. All of those friends are still testing negative. New York City is running a 34% test positivity rate and Omicron is one of the most contagious viruses in history. A friend who works in healthcare said last week, "I'm not sure if the measures we have in place to prevent the spread even matter anymore. Omicron is coming for everybody."
A couple days ago I was pulling together photos for a "best moments of 2021" post. This one from March will be high on the list:
It does feel a bit like January 2021. We're stuck inside, living off of deliveries, can't hang out, and are homeschooling Emma. But the fear and anxiety from last year is gone and our predicament likely ends in 5 to 10 days. Testing positive today is annoying, but not terrifying. We are so grateful for vaccines, boosters, and that Omicron is less potent than Alpha and Delta.
We don't want Covid. We would have continued trying to avoid it. Just two days ago we decided that I'd stay out of jiu jitsu for at least another month. But now that Omicron is here, it feels like a relief. A positive test with minor symptoms feels like the best path out of this current situation. "Let's get this over with," was said more than once in our house yesterday.
Update: Follow up from a few days later can be found here.