The fortress that we we build to prevent Covid and the circle of influence we entrust to protect it, is only as strong as its weakest link. We think we know everyone we come into contact with, but do we  truly know what they're doing, who they're around, how they feel or how well they're protecting themselves?

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Last Thursday, I drove to my neighborhood pharmacy for a 2:30 PM appointment to get a rapid Covid test. They had given me specific instructions about what number to call when I arrived and where to park, but after that I had very little information.  I was nervous, but not shaking.  I just felt like crap;  my throat was sore, my head and chest hurt and my nose was stuffy.

After I parked, a woman dressed head to toe in PPE greeted me on the passenger's side of my car motioning for me to roll my window down.  My nerves got the best of me and I fumbled to roll the window down. Eventually, I got my act together.  As the window lowered and fresh air entered my lungs, I could see her back away a bit as to not get too close.

She handed me one of those Q-tips to shove up my nose. "Don't touch your brain, but get it up there good and twirl it around 5 times per nostril," she instructed. "We need boogers!"

I did what she asked and even though I didn't shove it up my brain, my eyes started to water.  I handed her back my booger stick and thanked her for making it easy, and relatively painless.  She informed me that they'd call in about an hour with the results, but I already knew what they were going to tell me.

One day prior, my girlfriend Samantha had a rapid Covid test and it came back positive so when they called me, I knew.  The voice on the other end was calm (clearly he had done this before) and he said it very matter-of-factly.  My results came back positive, I had Covid-19.

I wrestled with the notion of when I would disclose this information for many days.  While it's not a death sentence, I knew there were many ramifications that came with discussing it somewhat publicly.

First and foremost, I wanted to make sure my 5-year-old son, my work colleagues, my parents and anyone else I had come into contact with were not only okay, but informed.

Dealing with Covid is scary and for me it was less about the symptoms and more about the concern for those around me. How is my girlfriend holding up?  What if I inadvertently infected Chrissy and Matty Jeff and their families, my son and quite possibly his mom, and God forbid my 78-year-old dad and my immunocompromised mom?

The world around me went into shutdown, everyone was scheduling Covid tests and going into mandatory quarantine.  Naturally, there were lots of questions that needed to be answered and I did the best I could to keep everyone informed.   Right now, my son is in good hands at his mom's house - Samantha and I FaceTime with him every day or so - and he seems to be doing well.  My parents ( who I had a decent amount of exposure to) have tested negative and feel good.   Chrissy on the other hand, has symptoms and I'm nervous as f**k that I infected her. Her results will come later in the week.

Here's the reality: I wore my mask, used plenty of sanitizer, lysoled like crazy, Sam and I went out socially maybe one or two time in 9 months and we still got it.  I got Covid inside the one place we all naturally let our guard down, our own house.

We're not placing the blame on any one person because it's impossible to trace, but Samantha and I feel she was unknowingly exposed to the virus by someone she came into contact with.  Once it got into our house, I was toast.

Since my diagnosis, I've had plenty of time to think about the virus and not only how it affects your body, but how it affects your brain. I've felt like crap for the better part of a week; my head hurts, my body hurts, my stomach and throat hurts.  I've had a low grade fever, lost my sense of smell and have been extremely lethargic.   But the worst thing I feel is for those around me whose lives are on hold as they deal with the severity of the virus. I feel awful, I feel dirty, I feel guilty, I feel responsible.  But how could I know?  I wasn't experiencing any symptoms when I went to work everyday, or visited my parents or went to the grocery store.

My girlfriend and I truly thought we were taking the necessary precautions to prevent it.  We didn't live in a bubble but when we went outside of it, we used common sense.  But with Covid, one small slip up and you're exposed.

It's anybody's guess what the long term health ramifications are, but right now we're doing okay. I just want for Samantha and I to be healthy and for everyone around us to either not get it, or recover from it quickly.

Wear a mask, use common sense, stay home if you don't feel well, trust the science and remember that the people you don't see, can be much more dangerous than the people you do see.  You're only as strong as your circle's weakest link.

Stay safe guys...

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