14 Days of Self-Isolation For My Partner's Asthma

A few weeks before COVID-19 became very serious, I had got on a flight to go visit my family. COVID-19 was in the United States at this point, but there weren’t really any hotspots (except for Seattle). I wasn’t too concerned about contracting the virus myself, but, of course, took necessary precautions like bringing hand sanitizer, washing my hands frequently, and not touching my face. However, my partner has asthma, and my return home would be a potential threat to his health.

My original plan

After visiting my family for a week or two, my original plan was to volunteer at a yoga retreat center in Portugal. That plan quickly dissolved when the news came out about how bad Italy was getting, and how the virus was spreading in Europe. I proceeded to cancel my plans to be safe.

Trying to make the best of the situation, I decided to extend my stay with my family for an extra week. I purchased a plane ticket to return home to my partner at the end of the week.

But wait!

After purchasing my plane ticket, we realized I had not thought this through enough. I had been through 3 airports recently, one of them being Seattle. Before the stay-at-home order was put in place, I had been grocery shopping, at a brewery, and at a few restaurants. As I did on my flights, I took all the recommended precautions in public places.

But still! I could have easily been exposed. I had no symptoms of COVID-19, but it could still be in my system. If I were to go home, I would be putting my partner at risk. My arrival could cause him to contract COVID-19. He could suffer from complications due to his asthma, and this is something I am not willing to risk. My flight home was approaching shortly, and I made the decision to cancel my ticket.

What next?

Not knowing when I can come home is a scary, unsettling feeling. Amidst all of this craziness, the person I truly wanted to be with is my partner (not at the cost of him getting sick, though). With a lot of tears and confusion (on my end), we attempted to figure out a plan.

Not coming home for potentially months seemed unrealistic. I came with a small bag of stuff and my computer, so being stuck for who-knows-who-long might be challenging.

Non-essential travel is a part of the stay-at-home order. Through reading the Governor’s announcement, it was determined that traveling to return home is a part of essential travel. But what would I do when I got back? Following the CDC’s COVID recommendations, I would have to be in self-isolation for 14 days. Symptoms of COVID-19 could take up to 14 days to appear, so this was a necessary precaution.

My flight back

Getting dropped off at a nearly empty airport was bizarre. There were way more airport employees and TSA agents than passengers. On my first flight, there were 9 passengers; on my connecting flight, there were about 20.

I wore a mask the whole time and used hand sanitizer any time I touched anything like the screen, the seat, seatbelt, etc. I was very mindful of not touching my face. It was a surreal experience, and since there were so few people, my travel experience was surprisingly smooth.

14 days of COVID self-isolation

I am back home and am quarantined to a section of the house. My partner and I will not sleep in the same bed, share a bathroom, or cook together for the next 2 weeks. Luckily we can eat meals on the porch if we are sitting considerably far from each other. We can talk through the wall when we get lonely, or Facetime if we need to feel like we’re closer.

It is day 3, so I have 11 more days to go. I plan on reading a lot, finishing up a cookbook I am writing, and doing a lot of yoga!

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