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COLUMN: COVID finally catches up to Bradford editor, family

'I saw (my son) playing with his stuffed toys, incorporating the 'COVID test' in his imaginary play. It broke my heart,' writes BradfordToday editor
BradfordToday community editor Natasha Philpott with her family.

Well, we had a good run.

Two whole years without catching the COVID-19 virus, but alas, my family has finally been hit. 

It started Tuesday night when my youngest son couldn't sleep due to an annoying cough and runny nose. We tested him with one of the coveted rapid tests sitting in our cupboard Wednesday morning, hoping it was just the sniffles like we have had off and on throughout the season. 

Almost instantly the two pink lines showed up on the cassette, indicating a positive result.

I was not the least bit surprised. We opted to send our three-year-old back to daycare as soon as schools reopened and figured we would get hit with Omicron sooner or later. I just didn't think it would be this soon! 

We don't even know if that is where he got it for sure. Just a guess. And we will never know for sure since the virus seems to be everywhere these days. 

So what are the rules for quarantining now? They seem to be changing every day, I can't keep up. But based on the updated criteria, we will be inside for the next five days. 

I have so many emotions running through me right now. Anger, sadness, anxiety, guilt, and relief. 

I am angry at myself and feel guilty for allowing my son to be exposed. I should have kept him home. But I realize we can't hide inside forever.

We have done all we can do to protect ourselves, and we need to move forward and live our lives. There is a risk to everything we do, and keeping him at home away from friends and learning would be detrimental to his overall well-being. 

I am sad for him because he doesn't even know what this all means and why he can't see his friends or family. I saw him playing with his stuffed toys, incorporating the 'COVID test' in his imaginary play.

It broke my heart.

I am anxious for symptoms to appear. So far, only my youngest is showing any and they are mild. So why am I so worried? Maybe because for the past two years we have been traumatized by the word 'COVID', and how it has unfairly taken away so many lives around the world.

While this new variant is less virulent, it is still nerve-wracking to know you have tested positive, and that each person's symptoms vary. 

I am relieved. There have been so many times throughout the past few months, where I thought, 'Just let me get it and get it over with'. I am tired of living in crippling anxiety over catching this virus. We are all sick of COVID, and just want to go back to living a normal life.

But I also understand we still need to be cautious until we see this through to protect the vulnerable and our health-care system. 

I am really hoping we are in the end stages of this pandemic, and we can all get back to a somewhat normal routine within the next few months.

Until then, I will continue to do my part, wear my mask, isolate and hope for the best. 

Stay safe, everyone! 

Natasha Philpott is the community editor at BradfordToday.