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What I Learned When My Husband Got Sick With Coronavirus

What I Learned When My Husband Got Sick With Coronavirus

I am texting the physician. I am texting T’s 5 siblings on a bunch chat, texting my mother and father and my brother, texting T’s enterprise companion and staff and his dearest buddies and mine, in loops and loops, with hearts and grateful prayer-hands emoji. He is simply too exhausted, too weak, to reply all of the missives winging to him in any respect hours. “Don’t sugarcoat it for my family,” he tells me. He has requested for the grey sweater that was his father’s, that his father wore when he was alive. He is not going to take it off.

It’s as if we’re in a time warp, during which now we have accelerated at 1½ time pace, whereas everybody round us stays within the current — already the previous to us — and so they, blissfully, unconsciously, go about their peculiar lives, experiencing the rising information, the extra pressing advisories and directives, as an unlimited communal expertise, sharing posts and memes about cabin fever, about home-schooling, about social distancing, about how laborious all of it is, whereas we’re residing in our makeshift sick ward, residing in what’s going to quickly be the current for increasingly more of them. “I took out the kitty litter,” CK says, “and I saw some people standing on the corner, and I was like, I want to see strangers! And then I heard them saying: ‘It’s actually been really nice. It’s been a chance to connect as a family.’ And I was like, No, actually, I don’t want to see strangers, and I came back in.”

CK and I confine ourselves to the half lavatory, the one with the litter field, which she is now in command of. Over the previous days and days, drifty, dreamy CK has develop into my chief assistant on my nursing/housekeeping/kitchen rotations, feeding the cat and cleansing the litter field, folding laundry, making ready T’s small meals, washing dishes and pots, coordinating with me in a sophisticated choreography when I come out of the sickroom holding dishes so we will get them into the dishwasher with out my touching the handles or having to clean my dry, uncooked arms much more. “I feel like we’re talking to each other more like equals now,” she says. She is true.

I am consumed with making an attempt to maintain us secure. I wipe down the doorknobs, the sunshine switches, the taps, the handles, the counters with disinfectant. I swab my cellphone with alcohol. I throw the day’s hoodie into the laundry at evening as if it have been my scrubs. I wash all our towels, repeatedly. When CK needs to bathe, I wipe down the entire foremost lavatory — the place T refills his water cup, the place he has had diarrhea, the place he coughs and spits out phlegm — with bleach, take out T’s washcloth, towels and bathmat and exchange them with clear ones, telling CK to attempt to not contact something, to bathe and go proper again to her room. Then I do the identical. If T wants to make use of the toilet earlier than we’re able to bathe, I do the entire bleach routine once more earlier than we go in. Twice, within the first week of the sickness, I eased him into an Epsom-salt bathtub. But not since then. He is simply too weak. It could be an excessive amount of. There is not any means. When he shuffles down the corridor from the bed room to the toilet, he lists in opposition to the wall. He splashes water on his face within the lavatory, and that must be sufficient.

I run by way of potentialities. I’m not so fearful about CK getting sick. I can nurse her too. It’s if I get sick. I present her tips on how to do extra issues, the place issues go, what to recollect, what to do if — What if T is hospitalized? What if I am? Could a 16-year-old be left to fend for herself at residence, alone? How would she get what she wanted? Could she do it? For how lengthy?

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