When COVID Got Real

After two years of waiting for it to happen, COVID finally hit my house. And I’m sitting here in a hotel reverse-quarantined from my family to avoid getting sick.

And I feel sick about it.

My wife, who is doing quite well considering her status as being COVID positive, is currently at home, with our three kids only one of which is showing any symptoms, while I hide out in a hotel room for the next three days hoping I somehow don’t wind up sick because in less than 48 hours I’m supposed to perform in this murder mystery I wrote.

My wife was supposed to be performing alongside me, and did last weekend, but had to bow out last minute because it turns out she’s yet another to fall victim to this crazy disease we’ve all been trying to get rid of for the past two years. And I spent all day trying to determine whether I should be in the same house as her and risk also having to not being able to perform.

It was not an easy choice.

Whenever anyone in my family is sick, I tend to want to be right beside them, snuggling them until they get better, disregarding my own health so they can feel some comfort in having someone taking care of them. And the very idea that I might move out for a few days and have her not only deal with her own illness but also the kids, while trying to keep them from getting sick (one of them is already sick, just not confirmed by testing) just doesn’t sit right with me, even while I am laying here in this comfy bed in a warm hotel room watching a movie by myself, where I know I won’t be woken up at the crack of dawn by a bunch of screaming and excited children.

Even as I type this, I’m still thinking I should just consider the money spent on this hotel as a loss and go back home, crawl into bed, and accept the inevitable sickness that I already can’t be sure I won’t have come morning.

But then I think of my cast mates. These people who have spent the last two months working hard to try to put this show together, who have helped develop the characters and story that I wrote into something truly hilarious, and want nothing more than to perform this show and have an audience fall in love.

And I’m torn.

I’m so incredibly grateful that the level of sickness in my house is minimal. Happy to note that my wife is still mobile and already has her voice back only one day into being officially diagnosed. That the one kid who is sick is feeling well enough to be disappointed that he spent all day hiding out in his room to avoid getting me sick. That all of them are, for all intents and purposes, well, even if they’re a little under the weather.

But to not be there for them is hard for me. To know that I’m spending money to be away from them so I can perform in some silly thing I wrote that I’m not even getting any money for. Sure, I could use things like the fact that this is helping to support a local non-profit who had struggled through the pandemic, that it will provide entertainment to people who have spent the past two years, like the rest of us, wishing for things to go back to normal. But I struggle with being able to make it more important than being at home with my family.

And if my wife hadn’t booked the hotel, I guarantee I wouldn’t be here.

Instead, I’m here, where I will have incredibly limited interaction with anyone for the next 72 hours, outside of performances and rehearsals, and thinking that the one bottle of Jameson I picked up on my way here might not be enough.

But I guess, at the very least, I can turn the heat up as much as I want to, so that’s something, right?

And if you talk to my wife, tell her that she’s a champion. Because she’s definitely going to have to deal with my sick ass come Sunday when I’m finally back home. It’s Wednesday as I write this, just for a point of reference for how much of a champion she is.

And I guess that’s my real issue, is that our reaction to my wife getting sick is too much about me, and not enough about her. She’s sick, but we’re working to protect me. And a show, that honestly isn’t even that important to me. And I don’t know if I can get over that.

To have the reaction to any sickness be about me is difficult enough for me to take, but if I’m not even the sick one, that takes things to a whole different level.

This isn’t about me. But, we’ve decided together to make it somewhat about me. And so, I’m alone in a hotel room, feeling all the regrets about that decision.


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