Ringing in the New Year with COVID

 A week before Christmas, I saw a meme that said something like "I checked my calendar, and I'm free to get COVID sometime after January 1." And with Omicron rolling through the United States, seeming not to care much about vaccines, I totally understood that sentiment. 

I was really looking forward to seeing my sister and her family, and to return to what our normal Christmas looks like. Christmas in 2020 was a bit of bummer (understatement of the year.) We tried our best to smile through it, but we were still being very careful. The pandemic had brought on a fresh new anxiety that I had never felt before. I like to chalk it up to this sudden feeling that my parents weren't invincible. I suddenly felt my age and a sense of responsibility for the older members in our family.

Christmas is full of traditions for me. Ordering takeout on Christmas Eve when my sister and her family come into town. After the kids are in bed, all the adults taking turn "stuffing stockings" for the kids and adults alike. The kids waking up and seeing what Santa left them and checking out stockings before the rest of the family comes over for breakfast and then presents. Cooking ham - along with some other new recipes I've found on New York Time Cooking or Half Baked Harvest most likely. Oh, and I can't forget my sister and me trying out a new holiday cocktail.

Well, 2020 was a disappointment with all of that. We did a small Christmas with just us and the kids (picture above for documentation.) We sat out in the cold for a little with my parents, six feet away, and I gave them some of the ham and other fixings to take home to eat. It was all fine. But it wasn't my traditional, family filled Christmas.

So 2021 held promise. We were all vaccinated (even the kids!) and mostly boosted. My sister and family came, and we all had a great time together over Christmas. More family came after Christmas and the family celebrations continued. 

And then on New Year's Eve day, we found out we had all been exposed. The kids were suppose to return to school on the following Tuesday and my husband to work. And the rules on returning were all complicated and vague. If you're fully vaccinated you can return to work/school even if you've been exposed. Unless you're showing any symptoms and then you can't. Oh, but the vaccines aren't very effective for Omicron. And if you test positive you have to quarantine for 10 days. No wait 5 days. Maybe try 5 days and a negative test. You all know the drill.

Well, my mom (who was vaccinated but not boosted) tested positive on that Sunday. We made PCR appointments for the rest of us for Monday. Called in sick for the kids on Tuesday to wait for the results and Jonny was starting to get a cough so he also stayed home Tuesday to wait for the results. On Wednesday morning we all got the results - all positive.

The vaccine did its job and kept it mild for Jonny and kept the kids and me asymptomatic. But we were home together for an extended holiday. 10 more days. Oh, did I mention I work from home? It was hard to find time to work, since the kids mostly wanted to play family games (see above) when they weren't in front of a screen. In the end, we got through it, of course, and we are so thankful that we quarantined immediately and didn't spread it to anyone else. (The thing that has been my biggest fear since day 1 of the pandemic.)

Why am I writing all of this here? Because I feel like people aren't really talking about it. Maybe it's shame that others feel after being so careful and vaccinating. Maybe just sadness and stress. I don't know. What I do know, is that when I put it out there on social media that we were home and isolating because we tested positive, I had a lot of people reach out and say they either had gone through the same thing or they were going through the same thing. Even a week after being negative and back out in the world - I'm still getting calls and messages from people who just want to vent and share similar stories. 

Just a good reminder that sometimes our experiences can help other people get through theirs. And I'm totally happy to be that person for people.

Let's continue to stay safe and care about other people. Check in on your friends. They might just like to vent about something. Especially if they are mothers. Oh and if you want a good laugh - watch The Holderness Family sing "We Don't Talk about COVID."


  1. Ugh. I'm so sorry you all had to go through this! It's so frustrating for everyone. My husband (luckily) is the only one who has had it from my family (that we know of), but we've been in multiple contact traces in Korea, and we have to get tested every single time. It's frustrating, of course, because we're all vaccinated. I'm holding hope that 2022 is the year we can find some light at the end of this tunnel!