In my normal, everyday life, I live with my wife, two kids, and my mother-in-law. She’s in great health without significant comorbidities, however, I’d be very concerned about her outcome if she picked up COVID-19. As a practicing hospitalist I’ve been taking care of lots of patients who are sick with COVID-19, and given my exposures, it didn’t make sense to potentially infect the members of my household. So, I’ve been living in the loft apartment above my garage (thankfully not in a tent in my garage like this poor doc). Now this has most of what I need – bed, full bath, mini-fridge, toaster oven – for day-to-day living, but it’s still not the same as home. Setting aside that meals have become my wife prepping food in the kitchen and leaving it on the front porch for me, the hardest part has been the utter lack of human contact for two months. Not being able to come closer than 6 feet to my family has been a terrible strain for me and for them. But at least, they know why it’s happening.
When Lucky, the handsome fella above, would come bounding up to me, I’d have to turn my back and ignore him. If he put his head on my lap while I was sitting on the porch (six feet away from my wife), I had to get up move away. I couldn’t pet him on the (slim) chance I could transmit virus onto him, which my family could then pick up. Given this, I find myself wondering what Lucky thinks. Does he wonder if he did something wrong, and that’s why I won’t pay him any attention? Does he think I did something wrong and got kicked out of the pack? Can he smell the coronavirus on me or my clothes (we know that dogs can smell C-diff, turns out they may be able to smell coronavirus as well)? Will he have lingering resentment towards me after the quarantine is over?
Well, thankfully, I can answer that last question today. It’s been two weeks since my last patient with COVID-19, and as I haven’t had any symptoms, I finally reintegrated back into the family today. I have a glorious ten days at home stretching out in front of me without patient care, before this whole process starts again. It was just wonderful to be able to hug my family again after all of this time. And I can tell you, all is right in Lucky’s world. . .