I’ve been fully vaccinated and had a booster. I should be fully protected from Covid, so I don’t fear catching it as much as I did when this all started. I interact with coworkers normally, but tend to stay about 6-feet away from anyone regardless of their vaccination status.
I think I do pretty good with risk mitigation and prevention.
- I got vaccinated.
- I wash my hands regularly and don’t touch my face.
- I never get close to anyone outside of my immediate family.
- I even take my shoes off at the door and shower before unwinding for the night.
I don’t have many opportunities to go out and socialize, and when I do, I don’t get close enough to anyone to risk catching anything. Actually, I think the closest I’ve been to another person was while passing someone in a shopping isle.
My Covid-risk is pretty damn low, so I didn’t think twice when a coworker chatted with me one night before the office shut down for Christmas. It felt nice hearing how great of a job I’m doing and wishing each other well and happy holidays. I left soon after and did my normal work-night routine (shower, eat, play videogames, and sleep).
Sometime that night, I got a message from that coworker saying he tested positive for Covid-19.
My heart went cold for a few seconds after reading that message. I immediately recalled how he hung out around my cubicle just before leaving work that previous night. He even hovered over me as I pointed to something on my computer screen.
I did what any reasonable person would do… I tried to get tested.
Unfortunately, with only a few days left before Christmas, everyone in the city was trying to get tested before seeing their families. It seemed like there were absolutely no Covid tests available in all of Harris County, unless I went to the ER and pay the equivalent of $10,191.
I don’t love anyone enough to pay that. There will be other holidays.
While I was riding around town trying to find a Covid test, my mind kept going back to the beginning of December when I saw a couple boxes of those test sitting on the checkout counter of a CVS. I thought they were a waste of money at the time. Just that week, I started seeing people proudly post their at-home test results and joked at how they looked like pregnancy tests.
Well, I guess the joke’s on me.
Failing in my attempts to get tested, I did what any responsible person should do.
I told my family I was exposed to someone I know is positive for Covid. I told them I didn’t feel sick, but had to miss out on the Christmas party. I said I’d show up wearing an inflatable spacesuit costume to drop off the family’s Christmas gifts.
I couldn’t help but follow up that message with a joke I had just thought up:
As a gay man in his mid-30s, I thought the fear of a late night or early morning “I’m poz” text was behind me…
I was still feeling healthy when I arrived wearing a spacesuit costume (closest thing to a hazmat suit I could find) to drop off presents. I even did a moon-jump!
I’m not upset with my coworker for “ruining Christmas”. Not in the slightest. He did the responsible thing by telling me he tested positive, and I’m thankful for that.
It’s been a few days since Christmas and I’ve finally been able to get tested for Covid, but the results won’t come for another day or so. I’m glad I did the responsible thing by avoiding family, because now I’m exhausted all the time and my lungs feel like I’ve got a mild case of bronchitis.
Being ill and having to wait on my test results, are causing thoughts to creep into my mind:
Imagine what could have happened if my he hadn’t told me he was poz for Covid. Without that warning, I would have unknowingly contaminated everyone at the party.
Imagine what could have happened if I did the irresponsible thing and shrugged off that warning, and went to the Christmas party without telling anyone.
Imagine what probably happened all across the nation… and around the world.
 HIV Poz: Thankfully, I’ve been lucky with my love/lust-life and have remained HIV negative.
 Ruining Christmas: I’m not a “socialist” and loath social events, even family get-togethers. Which means he may have done me a favor.
 Notify when Positive? There’s no law requiring your coworkers to inform you if they’ve, personally, tested positive for Covid. If you work at a large business, the infected person(s) are supposed to inform their supervisor or HR, and it’s recommended that the company/firm alerts workers who may have been exposed to someone who tested positive.
Also keep in mind that it takes a lot of courage to tell someone you are positive for an illness or disease. The person has to overcome the immediate fear of rejection, and risks being stigmatized as being “dirty”. I’m glad my coworker told me because it shows that he’s a good person and that he cares for my wellbeing.
He could have easily kept quiet about his test result.