SALT LAKE CITY — As I laid motionless on the pile of cool, clean laundry on my bedroom floor in an attempt to escape the heat my body was emitting, I wondered how it had come to this.
Oh, I know! We didn't have separate living quarters where my still-living-in-our-house husband could entirely quarantine himself in — although we did try.
Now, I had coronavirus and I would have no choice but to move myself to the sickly people quarters that we kind of had, but mostly didn't. I would also have to swallow my pride — except there would be no swallowing involved. I would need to rapidly inhale my pride through lungs that were riddled with phlegm.
Because when I mentioned in my column last week that my husband was on the mend and I was "fine," what I really meant was that I had no idea what I was talking about.
A neck/shoulder ache was the first sign of danger, accompanied by a sore throat that felt like a knife being strung from ear to ear. From there, a runny nose, loss of taste, smell, and really sore eye sockets would plague my very existence. The eye part was new and very weird; it made me feel strangely tired, but unsatisfyingly so. My eyes wanted to sleep, but my body was having none of it.
Body aches and fits of hot and cold kept me frustratingly awake for several nights. And did I mention the machete that was lodged in my throat? Yeah, that stayed all night, along with the neck/shoulder ache that lingered in the forefront of my pain cave.
But this is where it gets interesting
In case you're wondering, a mother of any amount of children, let alone nine of them, does not just quarantine herself from them without major repercussions.
In an effort to keep the remaining non-COVID-19 patients in my home healthy, I would have to abandon many things I had spent years ingraining in their brains as Brown family gospel.
"Don't eat in the kitchen, only in your rooms," I can't believe I heard myself saying.
"Keep your phones with you at night," was another hard sentence to utter, but I needed to have access to them from my side of our living establishment.
... when I mentioned in my column last week that my husband was on the mend and I was 'fine,' what I really meant was that I had no idea what I was talking about.
I still managed to insist that they kept themselves and their rooms clean, school work up to date, and that they fed themselves healthy food (although I had a hard time being able to verify their adherence to any of these rules).
The logistics of how the Brown household was managed during our time in quarantine can be summed up as subpar with the most valiant of efforts. I am, however, happy to report that only one (non-toddler) child had to join our quarantine corner. I am even happier to report (and have the added exhaustion levels to prove) that the toddlers remained as healthy and rambunctious as ever.
The takeaway: Not only is the virus that spurred this global pandemic affecting those with compromised immune systems, but it is taking down healthy and (relatively) young mothers in its path of destruction. COVID-19 doesn't care who you are, how many miles you can run, how healthy you eat or how old you are.
One day, you might be doing a load of laundry, and the next you find yourself sleeping on that pile of laundry that is left unfolded on your bedroom floor, wondering how you got there.
But I certainly pray you don't.
Have you (rapidly) inhaled a dose of humility after experiencing COVID-19? Let's have a virtual therapy session in the comment section.