Caring for a teen with COVID

Our 17-year-old tested positive for Covid in mid-December (rapid test negative; PCR results next day positive). I dashed this quick advice off to a friend days later when his daughter tested positive. Since then, we've sent it to about 20 more families and so now I am just sharing it here! Good luck, world.
Hi, Sorry to hear about X. Sending you all love and good vibes. Some thoughts:

HOW LONG DO THEY STAY IN THERE. Quarantine is counted from the day symptoms began. We originally counted from the date of the test and then she remembered she had a headache so we got to move back a day. When they are so confined, a day makes a big difference. 

YOUR ROLE IS AS A FOOD AND BEVERAGE SERVICE. We dropped off trays regularly, like all the time, it felt like (on a stool in front of her door) and realized a few things: 

- Snacks are beloved (pudding, hummus, oranges, fruit popsicles)

- Coconut water, ginger ale, Gatorade; we went through it in GALLONS.

- Soups like ramen, miso, chicken noodle also craved and are soothing. She did not lose taste or smell. 

- She also wanted carb-foods like sushi, pizza, dumplings. We allowed them all since we felt so bad.

REMOTE SCHOOL IN QUARANTINE? Her teachers ranged from sending homework and class assignments to saying don't even worry about it. By day 3, she felt comfortable diving into that.

SYMPTOMS. Her first symptom was a headache. She had one day with a 101 fever. (We gave her that easy digital thermometer you wave in front of your forehead.) Sore throat. Stuffy nose. Her voice sounded congested, even post quarantine.

PASTIMES. She watched a lot of movies. She said to watch the prequels and sequels and actual films and get excited when you know exactly what's going on. She said it's rare to be able to watch these movies back to back with no interruption.

- One unexpected delight. Our neighbor baked sugar cookies and dropped off decorating sugar and gear. That killed one hour and fed the 'gram. (She made a tree look more like a fish.)

- She said call your friends as much as you need and hope they call you. 

FACETIME. We FaceTimed her when we could from within the house, but definitely every night. Sometimes I would just keep FaceTime on while I was doing something (cooking, cleaning, talking to someone else) so she didn't feel so alone. 

SLEEP. Nuff said.

TESTING. We thankfully ordered tests right away (before the mad rush) and so we did a mix of van testing and at-home. I gave her a test on Day 6 and it was still positive -- but doctor said that might be the case for a while... Younger sister and I both tested negative the same day and then we tested negative again on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve (when we saw my family). Some people advised doing three at-home tests per week over the PCR at a van or clinic to gauge transmission over infection. 

BOOSTER AFTER COVID. She got a negative rapid test on Day 12, went to doctor on Day 18, who said a booster would be okay then so we ran to the last appointment at a nearby pharmacy and got it. Did not get the $100 incentive since you had to be at a city site before Dec. 31 for that.

MASKS. Younger sister went into her room and wore a mask. (She would make up excuses for why she HAD to do it but really, she just missed the antics.) Me and husband only went in there to drop things off, open windows, do a cleansing ceremony.

WALKS. She went for a walk twice or thrice in the 10 days. She wore a mask and we tried not to be in the areas she passed through indoors.

AIR CIRCULATION. Open windows if you can. I also bought the Instant Air Purifier for use in common areas.

See the gummy vitamins and also my very bubble teenager wannabe handwriting.

HUMOR. This is easier said than done and we are privileged and had it mild yadda yadda. But we left lots of crazy notes on the trays to keep her amused. Like "LIVE" or "Fight this like you fight your sister." Check out my bubble handwriting in the photo above, signed Mama in basic Uggs and leggings. Inside joke. May the force be with you.


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