COVID diary, day 8 – out of isolation!

My COVID infection and isolation diary, continued. (Previous posts: days 1-2, 3-4, 5-7)

November 5

I slept late again, easily, and only woke around 10 am when a campus public health officer called to check on me.  I felt clear-headed, not in pain, and reported accordingly.

The morning passed quickly in checking RSS feeds, taking a shower, reading the news.  My vitals were fine; my weight, down to 214, the lowest I’ve weighed since… the 1990s or so.

Thinking about weight led to lunch, then reading with Owain.

I thought I should check in with my HMO (health insurance provider), Kaiser Permanente. This meant firing up their website, logging in, and trying to reach a nurse on their chat service.  This took more than an hour; again, it seems like KP suffers from staffing shortages on weekends.

Finally I got through.  The nurse asked for my symptoms, reviewed my file, then pointed out I didn’t need to be in isolation any longer.  I’d been here for eight days, at least four of which were symptom-free.  That was good enough grounds to release me, as per CDC guidelines.

She shared this statement with me:

When to End Isolation:

If you had no symptoms, end isolation after 5 days (day zero is the test date).

If symptoms are gone or resolving, and you have no fever for 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medication), end isolation after 5 days (day zero is first day of symptoms).

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I typed back, disbelieving: “So I can go?  As in, now?”

Yes, came the response.  Just mask up.

No more tests?  Not now, since they will keep generating false positives.

I was floored and disoriented. I ran this past my household on Gchat, plus a nurse friend.

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They approved.

Owain had been napping and woke up as I started picking up things.  I explained the situation and promised to cook for him.

Then I opened the door and walked into the rest of the house.

Bryan out of isolation against yellow leaves blue sky

Everything was normal and delightful at the same time: the kitchen, the mail table, the back porch. I hugged everyone.

Then I did make dinner for Owain, and bring it up to him. I made dinner for Gwynneth, our daughter.  I emptied the dishwasher, filled it up, took out trash and recycling.  I wanted to make more food but they stopped me.

Since then I’ve been relishing walking around the place, taking photos and writing.

So what’s next?

I’m under orders to take it easy for a while. I need to get better details on this, but the idea is no exercising. For me, that means no weightlifting, no bicycling, no hiking.  And apparently more sleeping.

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COVID rebound is also a possibility, due to my ingesting a box full of paxlovid.  I have to watch for symptoms.  Which is tricky, since I often show cold-like symptoms during winter.

I hope this was useful for people to read.  Also, I hope it’s the end of COVID infections for me!

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10 Responses to COVID diary, day 8 – out of isolation!

  1. Enjoy the newness of living post-Covid and do mask inside…glad you’ll be back in the saddle. I’m one of your many fans. Join us at the College Promise Careers Institute on Nov. 16-17 at The Army & Navy Club in DC. No charge and great sessions and food!

  2. Mark Vickers says:

    Very glad you’re out of isolation and feeling better. If everyone were as responsible as you, there wouldn’t be much of a pandemic.

  3. Glen McGhee says:

    I too hope no more Covid to worry about!

  4. Vanessa Vaile says:

    Such good news — and what a happy face you’re wearing. No exercising, taking it easy when you do start, and more sleeping sounds like a long covid mitigation/management strategy. To someone like me who manages a chronic condition with similar symptoms, it’s sound advice.

  5. Sandra Godwin says:

    I appreciated your COVID diary. Thank you for sharing the details! I will take this opportunity to say that I appreciate this blog, especially the recent blogs regarding higher ed and climate change.
    Best wishes!

  6. Jim Parker says:

    You will most likely continue to test positive for some time, so as suggested, don’t bother testing.

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