I’m Thankful to Have Reached the End of My COVID-19 Isolation
Yesterday, my doctor cleared me to return to the office, effectively ending my COVID-19 isolation. After testing positive more than two weeks ago, and feeling quite sluggish for several days beforehand, yesterday’s at-home test came back negative.
What a relief.
Thankfully, as I previously mentioned, I was able to access monoclonal antibody treatment within 24 hours of my positive test, which likely reduced the duration and intensity of my symptoms. But I definitely wasn’t prepared for the long stretch of isolation.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, immunocompromised people should isolate for at least 10 and up to 20 days. Given my pulmonary sarcoidosis and weakened immune system, my doctor advised me to isolate for 20 days. While this was frustrating, I must accept that I’m at a higher risk for severe illness.
Still, I wasn’t prepared for simple activities to suddenly feel different after 20 days.
During that time, I was unable to leave my home. Of course, I was very happy to be asymptomatic. By the time I tested positive, I was tired and had a slight cough. After the monoclonal antibody treatment, my symptoms soon disappeared. All in all, I spent most of my isolation feeling great. In the grand scheme of things, 20 days is a small commitment if it means regaining my health and protecting myself and others.
Although I was very fortunate overall, I still missed many things and people — particularly those that I took for granted.
I missed walking around the corner to my favorite coffee shop, even on a snowy day.
I missed weekend drives. (No, New York City residents often don’t drive, but I’m a Marylander living near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.)
I missed walking a few blocks to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and getting a closer look at the city skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
I missed those things, but not because they’re all that special. I think I missed them because they aren’t. They’re just everyday parts of my life. And for 20 days, I wasn’t able to live my life, even though isolation was protecting it.
Mind you, I’m not complaining (well, maybe a little). My organization was already functioning remotely last month, so my job wasn’t impacted. And I was able to have groceries delivered a few times without difficulty. In reality, my isolation was relaxing, and I got better sleep than I have in years. I was privileged to be able to isolate in relative comfort.
But when you contract COVID-19, and your recovery is extended due to sarcoidosis, you quickly learn to appreciate your blessings.
And in the end, isolation was a blessing that I’m thankful for.
Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.