...But he did wake up Thursday at 4:17am with a fever and chills.
I heard beeping and woke up from my already fractured sleep, assuming that he heard a noise and was turning the alarm off to go outside and check it out. This freaked me out, so I was pretty awake when he came into our room holding the ear thermometer and wearing an N-95 mask.
"I'M SICK," he said. "I think I have IT."
And then we both sprang into panicked action.
Minnie and I left the room instantly. Ben immediately registered online for a test at our community drive up site. When they opened at 8, he was already in line, and I ran into our room (in an N-95) to get my shit OUT. I grabbed a few days' worth of clothes, all of my shower products and electronics and THE VACUUM that lives in our closet (LOL), as well as Minnie's bassinet. I moved into the front of the House with Dorothy and Minnie.
Ben felt terrible-- chills, body ache, sore throat, and Cooper started to feel sick, too-- sore throat and a headache. Our pediatrician's nurse was amazing on the phone. She said she wanted Coop to get a COVID test, but she did not want me to put Minnie in the car with him, and she also did not want Ben to drive him in case for some reason Ben had it and Cooper didn't. She said we should assume they were both positive, isolate them separately from each other, and call her on Monday, by which time we would hopefully have Ben's test results. Since they both had a sore throat, she also said maybe we could get a step test AFTER the COVID test came back. Since this could take 5 days, I of course assumed they would both die of rheumatic fever from strep before then. PANIC THINKING.
It was easy to keep Ben isolated. He stayed in our bedroom and bathroom, and I brought him all food and drink and left it outside the door. BAM! Isolated.
But Cooper? GAH.
We also had a bathroom problem. He ended up using the upstairs bathroom with me Dorothy and Minnie because it was easier for me to keep that one clean after use than it would be to keep the basement one clean OR to share with Harry, Jack, Dorothy, and Minnie because that was too much for me to handle. I had Cooper wear his mask when he left his room, and he ate either outside on the deck (thank god fall waited until today to appear) or in the kitchen after or before the other kids. I wore a mask around him and kept Minnie in the Ergo with the cover over her, but I DID hang with him and took him for walks, etc. because he was so bored and kept emailing that he missed me or dropping in on the kitchen Alexa to talk. He had a Switch that he could play and also watch Hulu on and a laptop for games, email, Zoom with friends and Netflix. Plus one million LEGO. But still, it was hard, especially because he never had a fever. His sore throat got better, too, and his main complaint was a headache and of course BOREDOM.
We all wore masks in common spaces. I made Dorothy stay upstairs, and Harry and Jack got to hang in the family room and their bedroom. Coop stayed in his room. Ben stayed in our room. I slept in Dorothy's bed, and Dorothy slept on a crib mattress on Minnie's floor. It was... a lot.
FOR 60 HOURS.
Ben's fever broke on Thursday night and never returned, and Cooper never got a fever. So, our immediate COVID worries faded a bit, but we still didn't want Minnie to get sick. I slept in a mask, even, and wore one whenever I was near the baby.
On Saturday, at 3:23pm, Ben got a negative result, and he and Cooper were sprung! But they both still need to stay away from the baby because Ben still doesn't feel awesome (he broke a sweat chopping veggies yesterday) and neither does Coop (following up re: the headache today). While the results were pending, I didn't let anyone touch the baby because I felt like we didn't know who would get sick next, so even having Harry, Jack and Dorothy available to help me has been huge.
The silver lining (besides the fact that no one has COVID my god that was scary even though WE HAVEN'T BEEN ANYWHERE but empty playgrounds and curbside pick ups so we thought it would be negative but holy shit if you can get it at empty parks and curbside pick ups we are all so screwed) is that A) taking acre of 4 kids and a baby no longer feels hard because doing it alone was HORRIBLE and B) I am much more capable than I thought I was and I already thought I was pretty capable.
Before we masked.