Go Ask Mom

My family got COVID and this is what helped us through quarantine

After a three-week quarantine with three small children, WRAL contributor Nili Zaharony has some thoughts on what she needed most.

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Nili Zaharony
, WRAL contributor
RALEIGH, N.C. — This article has changed a thousand times in my head. It started with my anxiety about loosening mask restrictions as I prepared to send my daughter off to Kindergarten. Then it morphed into the efforts of moms to sway the board of education to vote either for or against masks in school. And it landed on this.

With the Delta variant rearing its ugly head, this house, our house, which has been so vigilant for a year and a half, is now COVID-19 positive.

On a Friday night, we received the dreaded notification. Both our girls, ages 5 years and 6 months, had tested positive for COVID-19. Oddly enough, my son, the only one in preschool, tested negative. I’m not complaining, but certainly, the question of where and how we picked this up is niggling in the back of my head. Of course, to dwell on that is not worth the energy, and my head immediately went to the logistics of quarantine.

A positive diagnosis means at least 10 days in quarantine with three small children. As we’ve each fallen to the diagnosis, our 10 day quarantine headed into its third week. The children are high energy and my husband and I are dragging through the waves of COVID symptoms, hoping for a light at the end of this infectious tunnel.

Many well-meaning friends and family have reached out offering help. Amidst the chaos, I’ve had some time to think about what would actually help us. If you find yourselves or a friend in a similar position, hopefully, this list can help!

  • Prepared meals that just need to be thrown in the oven. My brother brought us a giant lasagna that will provide multiple meals. It was delicious. Admittedly, this was a favorite when I had just delivered baby girl #3. Not having to think about a meal is a godsend.
  • Entertainment for the tiny humans. When we first went into lockdown in March of 2020, I spent my evenings surfing toddler activities on Pinterest. I have a pretty good repertoire at this point but the crafts cabinet is quite depleted and it’s not like I can hop over to the Target dollar section right now. Anything new and easy to entertain the kids is really helpful. A craft project in a Ziploc bag. It does not have to be fancy, but relieving the weight of how to keep the tiny humans from killing each other is the ultimate gift.
  • Recommendations for kid-friendly movies on standard streaming services. We just watched "Vivo" today and the kids were laughing their little butts off. Much preferred to the millionth viewing of "Frozen."
  • Periodic check-ins or drive-by visits. Even just standing at the door while a friend is at the curb, provides entertainment and helps the day pass a little quicker. Our sweet neighbors have been dropping off cookies and hermit crabs and the children are loving it. The children love the visits and I get to bask in a few minutes of adult conversation.
  • Wine, coffee, or bubble tea. These are my go-to treats. I am spending every waking hour taking care of everyone else. Self-care quickly gets chucked out the window and so any little moment I can steal, even just a sip of hot coffee is rejuvenating.

Admittedly, these COVID cases are mild. We are lucky. Everyone has been energetic and in good spirits. It could be worse and I don’t mean to belittle those who are going through much worse. But for us, feeling healthy and stuck in the house, these types of things were the help that we really needed.

The one message I got that was surprisingly helpful, was a friend pointing out that my kids are building their immunity against this awful virus. While survival is the game right now, that was a silver lining that allowed me to relax my shoulders, just a little bit.

Nili Zaharony is a Go Ask Mom contributor. She is the mom to 3 little ones (ages 5, 3, and 6 months) that keep her constantly on her toes.


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