Florida In Crisis? My Covid Story

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Hey everyone! I hope you've all been well. I'm here to share my Covid story. 

Butterfly mask by @mlwdesignny

I know you've all been hearing about our Covid crisis here in Florida, and the first thing I'd like to say is that we are (mostly) fine! But more on that later. 

I'm not really great at exact dates or anything like that, but let's just say this story starts in that "ok" time around May, when the New York numbers were starting to thankfully come down, and here in Florida, we were starting to open up, and our numbers were just fine. There was this ray of hope in the air. We had all been waiting for the Florida spike for a while and it wasn't really happening, so we were kind of just feeling a bit hopeful that things would get better from here on in.

My eldest daughter and her family had come down to Florida to get away from the frigid and dreary weather in Chicago, especially since her kids were not in school. Of course she didn't come to our house. She rented her own house about 25 minutes away and we tried to be cautious with distancing when she first arrived.

But after a few days we all just chilled and decided to enjoy this little silver lining in all the craziness going on in the world. My kids and grandkids were close by! And this brought immense joy to our lives during a time when we were mourning the loss of our previously very social lives.

The plan was that my daughter and her family would stay in our area for 6 weeks and then go to Orlando for a few more weeks, and then go back to Chicago for the summer. It was truly a blessing. We were able to distract ourselves from the craziness of the world, and hang out with our kids and grandkids. We swam, went on bike rides, and barbecued.

Toward the end of their stay, my husband, who had been spending a lot of time in the pool with the kids, started to develop ear pain. At first, we chalked it up to swimmers ear. He went to his doctor who diagnosed him with an ear infection, and he was put on antibiotics.

It was at that time that the Covid cases in Florida had just started rising. It was about 5 weeks after we opened up. But we didn't even think for one second it was Covid-19. But just to be cautious, he decided to get tested, as he wasn't going to shul in order to be careful.

The interesting part was that when he went to get tested he was already cleared by his doctor as being better and was in fact feeling better. But to our utter surprise his test came back positive. We were shocked. He didn't have any Covid symptoms! Like the good man that he is, he made a commitment to quarantine for two weeks. I was told by my doctor friend that I need not quarantine. That I could still go grocery shopping and bike riding, but I should assume that I could be a silent carrier and to be extra cautious, wear my mask, and keep a distance from people. No biggie. I was already doing that. I made sure to not go to my yoga classes for two weeks and to only go out if necessary.

I did go on a bike ride one day, and I found it a bit difficult. I had to stop several times and my speed was slow, but I chalked it up to the fact that it was 100 degrees that day and I was riding at high noon! The next day I felt a little "funky". I had some stomach issues, which for me are not so uncommon, and my head felt a little woozy. I was also a bit more tired than usual. 

That feeling lasted a couple of days. But I did not have fever, and I kept thinking if I wasn't paranoid about being exposed to Covid I probably wouldn't have noticed anything.

After we finished the 2 week quarantine, we went out to get antibody tests and we both came back positive for antibodies!

So....with great gratitude to Hashem, our Covid experiences were very mild....and quite interesting. It's amazing how each person experiences Covid differently. And that's one of the reasons why it's so difficult to feel secure during this crisis.

I had been posting a lot on Facebook about how mild the symptoms are for most people and that people should stop being afraid. To me, the fear mongering had been the most dangerous part of what had been going on. But, after being told by a friend that my posts were insulting to people who were really suffering with Covid, or people who had lost loved ones, I toned it down and shut my mouth.

Listen...I have my own personal opinions about this whole thing. But this post is not about sharing statistics or getting political, or talking about conspiracy theories. Even though I do believe that we may be overreacting based on the percentage of deaths, and that masks may not be protecting us and others as much as we are being told they are. 

As a matter of fact...if you are in fact interested in seeing a video that shows actual scientific studies about the effectiveness of masks you can click this link HERE

But for those of you who would rather not, that's fine too.

So, I'm not entirely convinced they help as much as we are being told they do, but I am willing to wear them on the chance that they do. And I'm not going to be a Karen about it! (OMG...even being a Sharon is difficult these days. I'll go into Starbucks and give my name, and through the mask they always hear "Karen." I'm like, NO! I'm Sharon, not Karen! But I digress.)

As far as Florida in crisis? Yes, we are now having a crazy spike. And yes, our hospitals are full, but thankfully not overwhelmed. And people seem to be recovering. Thank G-d! But keep in mind that tons of people are running out to get tested now. Everyone that has a sniffle, everyone that thinks they were exposed, and people who are just curious because of the spike itself. 

If I wouldn't know about the numbers? I wouldn't actually feel like we are spiking. Here in Palm Beach County, the stores and restaurants are still open. My favorite gym, Yoga Joint, is still open, although, I just heard that the Yoga Joints in Broward County are requiring people to wear mask in the hot rooms during classes. (Say what??? Talk about elevating the challenge!) People seem to be out and about, on the beaches, walking, biking, shopping. And yes, people are complying and wearing masks indoors, and there are many that are wearing them outdoors too. It seems...we are (mostly) fine. 

Just a regular day walking on the beach.

So here's what I'm going to say: I think for most people, Covid-19 will not be so bad. But for some it will be. And it's for those people that we need to be sensitive...even if you believe your rights are being infringed upon and that the government is overreacting or even trying to control the situation for political reasons. I could definitely go there...believe me! But what I have learned, above all, is to be a little bit more sensitive to others and how they need to deal with all of this. Even though the act of accepting our differences is in itself a bit isolating. It is not easy for anyone right now. Besides for the fear of physical illness, there are huge mental health repurcussions from what's going on. Our world has changed and social distancing, although we can justify it away as acting out of kindness, is extremely difficult for humans.

As I wrote in my latest Instagram post

    "One of the hardest parts about what’s going on these days is this constant feeling of isolation. And I’m not even talking about “quarantine” which most people are out of. First of all we need to acknowledge that there has been a major shift in the way we interact with people and that in and of itself... keeping a physical distance, no hugging, a constant and acute awareness of touching things that others have touched... these are all social changes that can have strong negative affects on the human psyche. Especially now with the knowledge that this is not just a temporary situation... ouch. And another aspect of feeling isolation is realizing that so many people who used to be likeminded, may feel so strongly...and differently... than us. That realization can almost feel like a sense of abandonment. I think it’s really important we acknowledge that this new reality can be extremely painful... and we may be feeling very lonely even if we see our friends from even just a few feet away. It’s just not the same. And those feelings are valid and real. The key is to realize we are all feeling this way TOGETHER. May Hashem heal this world ASAP because we are social beings and we need to connect! So let’s do our best to connect in the ways we can: By offering help to others, reaching out to friends with kind words, and being supportive of other people’s choices even if we don’t agree with them..."

Try this: Make sure you do something that makes you happy every single day, get out of your head (and the news) and do something for another, and know that every day that you're healthy is a blessed gift!

Wishing you all loads of health, peace of mind, and love,


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  1. I’m sorry you and your husband got sick. Steven & I our kids got it right after Purim & we were not well. We need to still be respectful of others, but we need to also remember that there have been actual cases of people getting covid a 2nd time! We all just really need to be cautious & Daven that Hashem takes it away as fast as it came!