NEWS staffer contracts COVID-19, says he’s fine now, but it was certainly a serious situation

Posted October 13, 2020 at 12:39 pm

Brett Mug Shot.psd

By Brett Gibson, Clinton County News

Living with COVID-19 … been there, done that. I’m thankful I was able to come out and be able to write this account.

Myself and my wife, Kimberly Gibson, both tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, September 28, and as of Tuesday, October 6, the health department released me from isolation and she was released on Wednesday, October 7.

We are thankful to say none of our children have shown signs or symptoms of the virus. However, they are still under a 14-day quarantine.

During this time, the health department has been great. They have answered all our questions and if they didn’t know the answer, they found out and got back to us.

It’s really hard to say where we contracted the virus from. There are so many different variables in the world today, not a single pin point could be established.

With that being said, our family has always done what we thought was the safest for our children. With ages ranging from 12 years old to five months old, our biggest fear was to bring the virus home to one of them.

It seems we have dodged that bullet … at least for the time being. There is still a chance one of them could be symptomatic, so we are praying the next 14 days goes smoothly.

During the week we got tested, there were more than 20 positive cases in Clinton County, putting Clinton County in the “red zone.”

It’s a serious issue, and just when we thought it couldn’t happen to us, it did.

When we go outside our house, whether to eat or if groceries are needed, we mask up. We have bottles and bottles of hand sanitizer everywhere and the children use it just as much as we do as parents.

Both myself and my wife work and during those times we do wear our masks and we are aware of our surroundings, staying away from what we feel could be potential dangers.

With all that being said, we still were a part of the statistics of COVID-19.

I’m not saying masks don’t work and people shouldn’t wear them. By no means am I saying that, because I believe during the two – three days I was symptomatic and didn’t realize it, by wearing my mask and staying away from people I kept the virus from spreading any farther than it did.

Causing harm to other people isn’t something I care to be a part of, so I’m thankful I was persistent in wearing my mask and social distancing as much as I could.

I can’t speak for others who have had the virus and come out on the other side healthy. I can’t speak for those who didn’t come out healthy and lost their lives. I can, however, speak from my point of view and how it affected me and my family.

My experience wasn’t a walk in the park, nor was it tragic enough I felt my life or my family’s lives were in danger.

It started off with a bad head cold. This time of year when the weather changes it really just seemed like a normal cold for the most part.

A loss of appetite kept me from eating normally and still didn’t raise any red flags. It wasn’t until Monday morning, the day I got tested, that I really believed I had contracted the virus.

When I realized I couldn’t smell or taste anything, I came to the conclusion there was a high probability I would test positive and, if I was positive, then Kim would be also. The only other unknown would be if the children contracted it as well.

Monday morning we both got tested in Columbia, where the tests came back in 15 minutes.

I’m not sure I could handle not knowing for two to three days, so the rapid test was what we chose. With both of our tests coming back as positive, we immediately went into isolation and never at any point did we break it.

During our isolation, we did what we could to keep the walls from closing in around us. It was difficult being cut off from the outside world, and feeling bad on top of that didn’t make it any easier.

I did, however, work from home as much as I could. I wasn’t able to attend any sporting events or do much as far as writing stories were concerned, but I did manage to build pages two weeks in a row from my living room.

There wasn’t much difference in putting together the Clinton County News from my side office to putting it together from my living room, but having to make extra steps to communicate back and forth to the others at the office made it a little more challenging.

At the end of the day on Tuesday, the process went off without a hitch, much to my surprise.

As a matter of fact, both Tuesdays I spent at home putting the paper together were not half bad. I could do without much of the congestion and would have loved to be able to taste a home cooked meal during the isolation, but all in all we made it through.

With being stuck at home, there are many things you take for granted in everyday life, especially now most of us are used to living in a COVID-19 world.

With all the sacrifices most people have already made in order to abide by government mandates, not being able to go anywhere public goes beyond any normal COVID-19 restrictions.

Without the help of family and friends picking up groceries and several meals, running errands, paying bills … it would have been a more stressful event.

To those who pitched in and helped, we greatly appreciate it.

We also had numerous calls and texts asking about our family’s well being and that means a lot to us. Those thoughts and prayers have certainly been heard.

Now we are almost out of the woods with three of our girls being released from quarantine this week and the other two set to be released on Tuesday, October 22.

From this point on, we will begin living a normal COVID-19 life, fully equipped with masks and hand sanitizer much like it was before.

We hope and pray the virus doesn’t strike our house again, but all we can do is what we have been doing.

It’s tough living in a COVID-19 world, but it seems to be the new normal for now. We all just have to live it together and pray for a vaccine. Hopefully that comes sooner rather than later, but if it doesn’t, keep wearing those mask and keep social distancing.

The worst thing you can do is spread the virus. To keep family members safe, people need to be pro-active. If you are feeling any symptoms at all, go get tested.