On day one, Jackson woke up with a headache and a runny nose. That sounds benign, cute even. But a 5-year-old headache and runny nose is totally different than a 16-year-old headache and runny nose. A 5-year-old needs snuggles, a swig of liquid Tylenol, and cinnamon toast. A 16-year-old needs his mom to stop asking if he feels OK every two seconds and an electronic device. He also needs space AND cinnamon toast.

Last year, I wouldn’t have given a second thought. This year, however, in the midst of a pandemic, we kept him home.

On day two, he felt a little worse but was still well enough to eat an entire bag of Doritos and a container of peanut M&M’s. Still no fever.

On day three, he didn’t complain about the Wi-Fi not working. That’s when we knew it was time to go to the doctor.

Masked up and socially distanced, we waited to be called back into the exam room. I tried to pass the time by reading emails on my phone but gave up after a minute or two. I’m convinced the next million-dollar idea is an invention that keeps glasses from fogging up while wearing a mask.

The nurse took his height and weight. No fever, clear lungs. That meant there was only one thing left to do. It was time for the swab. Swab sounds like a sweet little thing, doesn’t it? This swab isn’t like the others. Sure, it looks mostly the same. Maybe slightly longer. The exceedingly kind nurse instructed us what was about to happen. I watched Jackson take a deep breath, then exhale while this seemingly innocent-looking cotton-tipped stick was guided up his nose. When it looked like the swab might disappear into the abyss of his nasal cavity, the nurse very gracefully removed it, collected the sample, and told us we would have results within 24-72 hours. For now, we would go home and wait.

I knew he was negative. I knew it. I would just move work stuff until we got the results. Then we could go back to normal. Or back to this new normal, we are all living in.

I was wrong. Positive COVID result for Jackson. To make it official, the public health nurse called to detail how we need to proceed.

Monitor symptoms, check.

Use Flonase, check.

He can return to school 12 days from the first day of symptoms if he hasn’t had a fever for 24 hours.

All totally fine. Until she hit me with how WE (me and Jay) would proceed. 14 days of quarantine. Fourteen days from the date of last close contact. Since Jackson didn’t fly above the car to and from the doctor, that meant our 14 days wouldn’t end until three days after Jackson could return to school. 14 days. That’s two weeks of not leaving the house. Remote working. Remote everything.

I thought this would be a great time to finish those household chores we’ve been putting off. Changing the air filters, replacing light bulbs, paint trim, learn a TikTok dance. You know, standard stuff.

Our quarantine comes to an end in a few days. So far, I’ve downloaded the TikTok app, signed up for a new weight loss plan, and re-watched every season of “The Sopranos.”

What have I learned in the last almost 14 days? First, you’re never alone as long as Amazon delivers throughout the day. Second, responding with “Stop asking me about my business, Carmella!” to your husband’s constant questions about all the Amazon packages left on the front porch, isn’t the best distraction.

Telling Tales is written by Wilson County’s Becky Andrews and Angel Kane. This column is Becky’s.

Telling Tales is written by Wilson County’s Becky Andrews and Angel Kane. This column is Becky’s.

Telling Tales is written by Wilson County's Becky Andrews and Angel Kane. This column is Becky's.

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