As many of you already know, my husband (Emergency Medicine Physician) was diagnosed with COVID a few weeks ago. Our children got it approximately 4 days later and I was tested on day 5, which came back negative. I had a few symptoms, which I will mention below so I am not sure if this was a false negative or maybe I could have turned positive later on – who knows! I wanted to share our story here on my blog where it can have a more permanent place and where I can organize all of the information in one place. I know that IG stories can get confusing and it can be frustrating to fast forward to the exact part you want information about.
Important to note: this is just our EXPERIENCE. This is not about us giving out medical advice. We just want to help others in any way that we can but you ultimately need to make any and all decisions yourself as a family to see what would be best for you. The vitamins that I mention here are just based on research that we did but you should always talk to your own provider before starting any new supplements or medications.
Before I begin, here are some other COVID-19 posts that I wrote recently that you may want to check out:
Where can I donate during the COVID-19 Pandemic? || Acts of Kindness || 30 Days of Activities to Clear Your Mind During Quarantine || Uplifting Movies and Binge Worth TV Shows || Mental health resources || Uplifting COVID-19 Cases from those of you in my community
COVID-19 | Our Story
Husband’s Symptoms/Story: A few weeks ago I returned home from work and my husband was looking under the weather. He had the kids all day during my 12 hour shift and said that he felt body aches and chills. Immediately, we assumed COVID because of our high exposure. He did mention that he felt some slight aches on Friday/Saturday (the two days prior) but he did long runs outside (on huge hills) and assumed it was just delayed onset muscle soreness. Day 2-3 seemed to be the worst for him with fever 104, chills, sore throat, dry cough, chest pain, severe body aches. On day 4 fevers subsided and never came back. He loss his sense of taste and smell and continued with congestion, sore throat, body aches and chest pain until day 8-9. After that, he recovered completely and by day 10 was completely asymptomatic. He was tested on day 3 and received the phone call that he was positive on day 5.
The kids: the kids developed fevers, congestion, dry cough around day 4 of my husband being ill. The kids never had any issues and the fever was gone in 24 hours. Our middle (4 year old) seemed to have it the worst and the fever lasted a bit longer with her but all did great overall.
myself: I am currently 24 week pregnant and I was tested on day 5 because I had a dry cough, weird post nasal drip with phlegm in my throat and headaches. My test came back negative. My headaches lasted about 5 days and I still (on day 14) have this phlegm issue going on but that’s it. Whether its allergy related (I’ve never had allergies), a false negative test, or something else, who knows!
What we did during 14 day quarantine
This is going to look different for EVERYONE. There is NO right answer. You need to discuss this with your immediate family and figure out what is best for ALL of you. Once I came home from work on Sunday March 15th, my husband was visibly not feeling well. He was with the kids that entire day during my 12 hour shift and RARELY complains about being sick. That night he spiked a fever (104) and had body aches, chest pain, sore throat, etc. That night he moved into our spare bedroom, where he slept for the following 14 days. He technically thinks his symptoms started Friday when he had mild body aches that he didn’t think much of (he works out frequently and recently started running our hills more). We suspect that he was probably contagious for 4-5 days BEFORE Sunday. We were obviously all exposed but we wanted to DECREASE the exposure, especially while he was febrile. He stayed in that one room until he was afebrile and then he wore a mask (as did I) for the next 2 weeks. For him to be in TOTAL isolation wasn’t an option that I personally thought was appropriate because we already had exposure and I knew he needed our support and love. He didn’t cook ANY meals for those two weeks and usually stayed 6 feet away from me. Our kids also got it about 5 days later so once that happened we didn’t worry about him being close to the children as much. He used his own bathroom for those two weeks as well. I cleaned the most used areas of the house about 2-3 times a day. This included wiping down all surfaces, door knobs, etc. with clorox wipes and spray. I also vacuumed and mopped the kitchen and dining room daily since we spent a lot of time in there. We opened the windows EVERY SINGLE DAY despite the temperature outside and aired out the house. We spent as much time as possible outdoors in our yard for emotional healing and to keep the germs outside of the house. We live in a secluded neighborhood in the woods so this was possible for us, this may not be possible for everyone (i.e in big cities). I also used a humidifier (viruses hate humidity) and an air purifier on every floor of the house.
How we decon after work
1.) cardboard box in trunk. Shoes NEVER come into garage or home. They come off after shift and go immediately into cardboard box in trunk.
2.) Scrubs come off AT work and thrown into a garbage bag (immediately washed at home on sanitize cycle with vinegar or bleach). If possible, shower at work. We have an outdoor shower that we are using!
3.) wash hair daily / wear scrub cap
4.) wipe down carseat and steering wheel with Lysol/bleach wipes once home
5.) washing hands 7494749 times in between all of this
6.) limiting eating at work. To be honest, eating a full meal before going in is our goal and not eating through the shift because of contamination.
7.) no jewelry. Bring limited items to work because anything you do bring will be considered contaminated. Use your phone the least amount of times as possible.
8.) wipe down your computer space and keyboard before your shift begins. Try to only use that one space and clean it often.
9.) PROPER PPE at all times. No exceptions.
COVID-19 | Resources | Studies | Articles
COVID-19 || Spoon fed version – really easy to red facts all in one place!
An NYC ICU physician breaks down what you can do to protect your family at home – I think if you only read or watch one thing, let it be this. It is empowering and educational || LINK HERE
Great breakdown of daily review of COVID-19 studies HERE
While reports out of Wuhan, China suggested that this illness present with more “flu like illness”, a recent study suggest that symptoms have been much more vague with the critical care patients – “chest pain, headaches, altered mental status” and gastrointestinal symptoms such as “nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.”
Estimates of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019: a model-based analysis || This study published recently in The Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal estimates that about 0.66% of patients who become infected with the virus will die (much different than previous estimates). When undetected infections aren’t taken into account, researchers found the coronavirus death rate was 1.38% (which is obviously the biggest concern since a lot of these cases most likely go undetected or that these people are not tested). This is still much higher than the flu which is 0.1%.
Incubation period | Median incubation period is estimated to be 5 days. For 97.5% of infected persons, symptoms appear by 11.5 days. Fewer than 2.5% are symptomatic within 2.2 days. Estimated median IT to fever was 5.7 days. This is HUGE when it comes to spreading the infection without knowing you are infected yet. Bottom line? STAY HOME. Here is an overview of incubation time.
Virological assessment of hospitalized patients with COVID-2019 || Very small sample size and not yet peer reviewed but bottom line is in milder illness, the virus was most infectious when patients had more mild symptoms and most infectious PRIOR to day 5 of illness. “Peak concentrations were reached before Day 5 and were more than 1,000 times higher” than those seen in SARS patients, the authors wrote. This may be different than patients with more severe illness requiring hospitalization.
As far as supplements go, my husband (and kids) were taking Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D, Melatonin and drinking a lot of hot green tea. Another KEY COMPONENT is staying as hydrated as possible so DRINK DRINK DRINK! I will go more in depth about doses (and also pregnancy) here soon. For those interested in the vitamins for our kids – here they are: multivitamin | Vit D | Immunity
- Be sure to check with your provider before starting any supplement to make sure you do not have any contraindications to taking a certain vitamin/supplement
Melatonin & possible link to aiding in reducing inflammation | LINK HERE | melatonin decreases as we age and the thought here is that this may be one of the many reasons why children are less affected
image via researchgate
Elderberry & Cytokine Storm || This is a very in depth conversation that I won’t get into here. Bottom line? My suggestion is that it’s fine to take it as PREVENTATIVE measures but if you become sick, I would personally stop taking it. We do not yet know how it behaves specifically during COVID-19 and I wouldn’t take the risk. It appears that the cytokines elevated in COVID-19 are not the same as with elderberry so some will say it’s fine, but I would just avoid if you become sick. That is just my personal view!
PREGNANCY, INFANTS & CHILDREN
Birthing in a Time of COVID || A YouTube series crash course – it’s awesome!
COVID-19: Separating Infected Mothers from Newborns: Weighing the Risks and Benefits | Current guidelines from the CDC/WHO and information regarding birth when you are COVID +
Maternal & Neonatal COVID data || These studies (some are before peer review) are summarized by a neonatologist and I have found this really helpful. He adds to it as the studies come out
Pregnant Mother with SARS-CoV-2 delivers virus-free baby in Washington via spontaneous vaginal delivery | source
Sars-CoV-2 in children | typical symptoms, duration of symptoms, etc. Overall, mild course
Clinical characteristics and intrauterine vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women: a retrospective review of medical records || The clinical characteristics of COVID-19 pneumonia in pregnant women were similar to those reported for non-pregnant adult patients who developed COVID-19 pneumonia. Findings from this small group of cases suggest that there is currently no evidence for intrauterine infection caused by vertical transmission in women who develop COVID-19 pneumonia in late pregnancy.
If you are pregnant and diagnosed positive with COVID-19, please discuss with your provider about this study and/or register for this study yourself. These allow for accurate data collection so we all can get more answers on how this affects pregnancy, infants, etc.
Clinical and CT imaging features of the COVID-19 pneumonia: Focus on pregnant women and children || Pregnant women presented with atypical symptoms (i.e. not always febrile, some difficulty in detecting/screening). No pregnant women needed ICU admission, all were classified as “mild” symptoms, no clinical abnormalities noted in the 16 infants born. Limitations include small sample size (41 pregnant women).
A great overall resource for pregnant & lactating women
Another awesome resource for mothers (pregnant and breastfeeding)
This Podcast will kill you || To discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are introducing Anatomy of a Pandemic, a series in which each episode tackles a particular aspect of COVID-19, from virus biology to clinical disease, from control efforts to epidemiological patterns, from vaccine development to mental health coping strategies during this uncertain time.