Covid-19 diary: Part 3

March 25, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
March 25, 2020

When I woke up on Tuesday, March 24, I felt slightly feverish. I went to what I still think of as the orange bathroom, even though its colors are now predominantly brown after a renovation in 2018, and again opened the closet. This time, I was searching for a thermometer.

I found what I wanted almost immediately. However, after I pulled the silver tip from beneath my tongue, I saw that it registered my temperature as… nothing.

After fiddling with the thing for a couple of minutes, I determined that, yes, in fact, this thermometer seemed to be entirely out of mercury. Where did it go? Good question.

I called out to my parent, who said there was a thermometer in the dressing area off the master bathroom. I asked Parental Unit to get it for me.

P.U. did so. It was a digital thermometer. P.U. fiddled with a sheath but tore it while removing one of the protective pieces of wax paper. The second try was the charm, and we soon learned that my temperature was a not-so-searing 97.3 degrees Fahrenheit. This was, we both agreed, very unlikely to be a sign of fever.

It occurred to me that if I am suffering from Covid-19, even this relatively innocuous interaction could have passed the novel coronavirus on to my parent.

By the way, I decided that I imagined feeling slightly feverish on Tuesday because my head was particularly stuffy. This is likely because I’ve been taking expired Benadryl since arriving at my parent’s house.

Aside from the stuffiness, I felt pretty normal on Tuesday and continue to feel that way today. I arrived here Sunday evening, so I hope I’m safe to be around my parent. We have not spent much time in close proximity; I’ve avoided sitting in P.U.’s family room, for instance. But I have been petting the family dog, who potentially could pass on the coronavirus, even though canines don’t appear to be susceptible to Covid-19.

Since getting my computer and a few other items, I’ve had only two occasions for ducking into what we call grandma’s room. One of them was Monday evening, when I went to grab my laptop’s charger. The other I’ll get to in a moment.

Before I drove up from Durham, I packed the car with some fruit, a container of soy milk, some hard drives, some recent mail, some of my 2020 financial records and some documents that I’ll need for my 2019 tax filing. With one exception, all of this stayed in my car.

The odd item out was the soy milk. I thought it might need to be refrigerated, because the temperature was supposed to get a little warm on Tuesday. (I’m not sure if it actually rose that much.) After grabbing my keys from the clothing I’d left on the floor of grandma’s room, I stepped out of the house around 1 p.m. yesterday to retrieve the milk, which I rinsed off in the sink before putting in the refrigerator.

My next project will be to get the other things from my car. I think that I’m going to bring it into the garage and leave it there for a few days, out of an abundance of caution. I will, naturally, wash my hands when I’m done handling items from the car.

The big question now is when I’m next going to go out in public. The dog has a veterinarian appointment on April 2 at which she’s going to be injected with vital medicine. If we have enough supplies in the house, and I think we may, my inclination would be to go to the vet that afternoon; return the dog to my parent; do some shopping; and stay away from anyone other than my parent and the dog for at least the next two weeks. We’ll see how things work out.

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