To COVID or Not to COVID

We flew back from England on Sunday. It was a long day.

On Monday afternoon, I started to feel ... off. For me, that's somewhat common for flying, I often don't feel great afterwards. Especially with long flights. But this particular "off" was more of the "I'm getting sick" kind of "off". And in our current "take your mask off for two seconds and you get COVID" world, I needed to take precautions.

The Rapid Antigen Test (we have a couple boxes of them at home) said Negative. Okay, good, phewf, but I'm still not feeling great and I have zero desire to give any illness to anyone, so I opted to work from home for the next couple of days.

Two more rapid tests also said Negative, even at the height of my runny nose, which is as bad as it got. No coughing, no headaches, no fever, not even a sore throat. It was, without question, the lightest cold I've ever had. And by the end of Thursday, I felt back to normal.

Then Alex started to not feel well. But whereas I am a lowly office worker in a near-empty office, Alex is a healthcare worker with constant contact with patients. She can't take it as lightly as I did. She had to fully report this to her supervisor, which then necessitated a full test with the Alberta Health Service (to which regular folks are now denied except under specific circumstances).

Positive.

Well, heck. That sent me to the AHS site to report myself in more detail, which I might had fudged just enough to get in for a test (because, thankfully, one of the specific circumstances is if you've flown internationally in the previous 14 days). So Choo Choo and I (the only ones without verified tests) spun in for a quick swab and a wait.

And not much of one. A few hours after the test, came the result.

Negative.

Well, heck. That sent all of us into a tizzy, especially Alex, who now had to isolate completely from the rest of us. (Which, relatedly, keeps me out of my own bed.)

Frankly, it doesn't make any sense. My test came back too quickly for a the PCR tests we've already had (which normally took 12-14 hours to get a result), but it looked (in format) the same as the positive result that Alex got. And a call to 811 said that any AHS test was PCR. So maybe test results come back sooner?

So where did Alex get it? Borough Market (which was a crush of people), or maybe the flight? But the incubation period is too long for when she showed symptoms. So that suggests something since we arrived home. She went nearly nowhere on Monday, and although she went back to work on Tuesday, COVID doesn't fly 'round the hospital with the staff as most of them are regularly masked.

Suffice to say, it's a mystery to which we have no clear answer. And given how the government wishes to not actually keep track of the spread of a virulent disease, we can only hope that there's not another, far deadlier virus lurking to be discovered.

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