Coronavirus

Strangeite

Well-known member
Despite being told it is a bad idea, my father insisted on taking a 3 week trip out west. He and my niece drove his horse trailer to go trail riding in Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, etc. On paper, it wasn't THAT bad an idea. They would be sleeping in the trailer, riding in the wilderness, they wore masks while in public, etc.

They got back late Friday night. Monday my father had a temperature and was feeling really weak to the point he didn't want to get out of bed. If you knew him, that would raise alarm bells. Tuesday morning they got tested at different locations. Yesterday, he was feeling much better. Today he felt back to normal. They have been isolating though until they get their results.

Today my niece got her results back.

Positive.

My father and I work together, so this morning has been fun. Him being gone for three weeks wasn't ideal but we had planned for it. Now he is going to be out of the office for at least another two weeks. This morning has been spent dealing with the immediate logistics of dealing with office stuff and writing lists of people they have seen for contact tracing. Haven't even started thinking about the health consequences.

Screw Covid-19
 

Alcachofa

Member
Despite being told it is a bad idea, my father insisted on taking a 3 week trip out west. He and my niece drove his horse trailer to go trail riding in Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, etc. On paper, it wasn't THAT bad an idea. They would be sleeping in the trailer, riding in the wilderness, they wore masks while in public, etc.
My first question is: they slept in the horse trailer??

My second is: this is very surprising. He must have gone to a restaurant or something during those three weeks? Or perhaps he actually got it while in transit; did he stay in a hotel or something on the way back?
 

George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
Today my niece got her results back.

Positive.
Did your dad's come back positive too? Sounds similar to what happened to my brother, brother-in-law, sister, and nephew; yes, his came back positive too, though he's not showing any symptoms or feeling sick. B and BIL were pretty much back to normal after four days or so, but my sister's still running a temperature (about 101 at the high point) and feeling icky and sleeping a lot. She's taking a lot longer to recover.

This virus is so contagious, and you don't know you have it until you've spread it to others.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
My first question is: they slept in the horse trailer??

My second is: this is very surprising. He must have gone to a restaurant or something during those three weeks? Or perhaps he actually got it while in transit; did he stay in a hotel or something on the way back?
No hotels, but plenty of gas stations, restaurants, tack shops, etc.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it was a horse trailer that includes a sleeper cabin, kind of like a combo trailer/RV. They can be exceptionally nice: Horse Trailer Sleeper
Yeah, he just bought a new one a couple of months ago that cost more than I paid for my first house.

Did your dad's come back positive too? Sounds similar to what happened to my brother, brother-in-law, sister, and nephew; yes, his came back positive too, though he's not showing any symptoms or feeling sick. B and BIL were pretty much back to normal after four days or so, but my sister's still running a temperature (about 101 at the high point) and feeling icky and sleeping a lot. She's taking a lot longer to recover.

This virus is so contagious, and you don't know you have it until you've spread it to others.
He is still awaiting the results. They said today or tomorrow, but the likelihood that it will be negative is extremely slim given their close proximity and the fact he was showing symptoms Monday and Tuesday. He came into the office on Monday for a bit but I never got within 6 feet of him and even then it was two minutes or less and we both had on masks. I had been vocal that I thought the trip was a bad idea before they went, and so on Monday, I was keeping my distance purposely. Looks like I was correct. Since they returned, we can narrow down the list of people that they have been around to around a dozen. Most of those were brief interactions. Six of those are getting the rapid test today.
 

George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
He is still awaiting the results. They said today or tomorrow, but the likelihood that it will be negative is extremely slim given their close proximity and the fact he was showing symptoms Monday and Tuesday. He came into the office on Monday for a bit but I never got within 6 feet of him and even then it was two minutes or less and we both had on masks. I had been vocal that I thought the trip was a bad idea before they went, and so on Monday, I was keeping my distance purposely. Looks like I was correct. Since they returned, we can narrow down the list of people that they have been around to around a dozen. Most of those were brief interactions. Six of those are getting the rapid test today.
Hope he continues to feel better.
 

Not That Josh

Well-known member
Despite being told it is a bad idea, my father insisted on taking a 3 week trip out west. He and my niece drove his horse trailer to go trail riding in Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, etc. On paper, it wasn't THAT bad an idea. They would be sleeping in the trailer, riding in the wilderness, they wore masks while in public, etc.
I had been looking at the idea of a similar trip and trying to see if I could work out the logistics of reducing risks. Early in thinking about it, I realized restaurants would be one of the bigger risk increasers (not a word, but I like it).

I think you are right though, it's probably not realistic.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
I had been looking at the idea of a similar trip and trying to see if I could work out the logistics of reducing risks. Early in thinking about it, I realized restaurants would be one of the bigger risk increasers (not a word, but I like it).

I think you are right though, it's probably not realistic.
While we will never know for certain, I would wager a large sum that they were infected in a restaurant. In the three week period, it would be the only times they were in an enclosed space for an extended period of time with strangers.
 

Micah008

Moderator
Staff member
Sorry to everyone here dealing with family and friends who have tested positive. We know some neighbors and others that have/had it, but we have been fortunate that our close family and friends have all stayed healthy so far.

We just returned from a quick trip to South Dakota and Wyoming, which replaced the WDW trip we cancelled. We tried our best to avoid any situations where we were putting ourselves (or others) at risk, but it is hard to account for everything. Of the entire trip the only two times I really felt uncomfortable were at Wall Drug and Deadwood, both of which we wore masks (but many weren't) and we just left quickly when we saw how busy the place was. We packed lunches in a cooler each day, and only ate dinner outside or doing take-out/drive thru, mostly outdoor activities, and saw things like Mount Rushmore early in the morning before it was busy, etc. Hopefully we were careful enough, but we are limiting what we do and who we visit now that we are home, just in case.... but seeing the stories here reminds me that no matter how careful there is still a risk.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
On the way back from out west, my father and niece stopped in South Dakota to spend the night on my wife's family's farm, who were gracious enough to allow them to park the trailer and tie the horses out. I really enjoyed having to call them and be like, "So, thanks for letting my dad stop at the farm. They really appreciated the cinnamon rolls you all made them. Soooo, three days after they left..."
 

Anne

Well-known member
While we will never know for certain, I would wager a large sum that they were infected in a restaurant. In the three week period, it would be the only times they were in an enclosed space for an extended period of time with strangers.
I am so sorry you and your family are going through this.

I have seen a workplace outbreak where transmission was likely related to eating. Universal masking required at all times except when in an office with the door closed or when eating while socially distanced. Staff was sitting more than 6 ft apart but eating, indoors, with masks off. Transmission occured to those eating their lunch in closest proximity (but still 6 ft or more away) from the index case.

I've been thinking a lot about CDC and public health guidelines. Every day I talk with patients about what the guidelines would recommend in their specific circumstances. I also often get asked "what would you personally do" and the answer does not always match up with the guidelines. I think it's important to be conscious of the fact that the goal of these guidelines is to decrease the R (reproductive number) of the virus by preventing large outbreaks and containing small clusters of cases. These are population and public health-level recommendations. The guidelines are not designed to protect you or me personally.

I think that's an important distinction. Every single day I have the following conversation, sometimes multiple times per day. "We have followed all the guidelines how can my child be sick? It can't possibly be COVID, we are low risk". We often lose sight of the fact that LOWER risk activities are not NO risk activities. For most of us there is some degree of risk in our day to day life. This does not mean I'm advocating everyone stay home and have no contact with the outside world until a cure or vaccine is available. More that we be concious that we as individuals still have the potential to become ill and/or infect others even when "following all the guidelines ".

Shifting to more practical thoughts. Things are more challenging in my office the last couple weeks now that more daycares, sports, and activities have been open and people are taking vacations. During the shutdown I was barely seeing colds or ear infections. We'd have maybe 5 sick kids per day for 7 docs. Now the colds, sore throats, random fevers, and ear infections are rolling in. Nine out of ten (a rough anecdotal estimate) of these illnesses aren't COVID. So how do you figure out which is the one that is COVID? I've come to the conclusion that short of testing every single person who is sick there is no clinically reliable way to differentiate (and even then the test probably has a 20-30% false negative rate).We don't have enough tests to test everyone. I've had asymptomatic and very minimally symptomatic (99 temp x 2 hrs mild sniffles) who are positive. High fevers, sore throats, and bad coughs who are negative. The only clinical symptom that has very high sensitivity and specificity when present (better than the test) is new sudden onset loss or alteration in taste or smell. The "alteration" in taste is specifically everything tastes salty or spicy.

Daycare guidelines from our health department are that kids who are sick but "not sick enough to be tested" can return to daycare once fever-free (without medication) for 72 hrs and symptoms are "improving". So if this child happens to be a minimally symptomatic COVID positive individual who "wasn't sick enough to be tested" the guidelines have allowed this child back into a group setting while still contagious. These are the same guidelines most schools are using for reopening.

As for the question of children not getting or not spreading COVID. The most recent study from South Korea showed equal transmission rate to adults for kids 10 and up. That's the majority of our children in school. 5th grade and up. Lower rates ages 2-9. Again I'd stress LOWER not NO transmission. I have personally seen cases of child COVID transmission under age 10. And the data from South Korea was AFTER schools were closed and younger children were predominantly at home with less opportunity to become infected or to transmit virus. An even more recent pre-print study shows equal viral load/shedding for any age COVID positive child compared to adults. And viral load was not lower in asymptomatic, presymptomatic, or minimally symptomatic individuals. I don't think we can count on grade school age kids not being a source of infection spread when schools open if we are at our current rate of community prevalenc

ETA: One more thought on schools. "But if masks and social distancing are so great at preventing spread, why can't schools reopen with these precautions ?"

Again masks and social distancing LOWER spread and help from a public health perspective to decrease R. They do not completely ELIMINATE spread. Schools will have positives and will have spread. If a child or someone in the home of that child, or a teacher is high risk I wouldn't go back to school right now.

Add to this the question of compliance. How good are kids at keeping masks on and keeping distance all day long, every day? What about lunch when it's too cold to go outside? What about recess and sports, can they/will they stay masked? I know personally (child of a friend, not information from work) of a group of 6 teens in my city who got together at a beach. They were outside so didn't feel they needed masks. One asymptomatic teen infected 3 others in the group. Outside is better than inside but without masks and without maintaining distance it again is not risk free.

With public health measures can schools reopen without triggering major community spread? For example, yes there was a case in Bobby's classroom but because of masks and distancing only 1 other child became infected. Maybe in the future this is viable in the US. Other countries have had some success, but they are starting with lower baseline incidence rate and better testing/tracing abilities. And some schools in other countries originally touted as a success have had clusters of outbreak and shutdown.
 
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paxsarah

Active member
Thank you so much @Anne for your updates. I know you're mainly relating personal experience/anecdotes from just a single perspective and is in no way universal, but the reality you describe is, for me, a helpful antidote to the gaslighting that I see coming from other corners of the internet - a gaslighting that I can recognize intellectually for what it is, but which still seeps into my consciousness.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
Get this. My father was getting impatient yesterday, so he called his doctor's office to see if they had his results. No, apparently somebody messed up and failed to write his birth date on the sample, so it was lost in lab limbo. 5:30 rolls around and still no one had called him. Fed up at this point, he calls the number for the on-call doctor. The on-call doctor just happens to be the infectious disease specialist that treated him back in March, when he almost chopped his foot off with a skid-steer and spent a week and a half in the hospital.*

The doctor looks and says that his test is not even in the system. Dad explained the situation to him and says that "Yes, you are almost certainly infected. No, you don't need to get another test, just assume you have it. Follow the protocols of isolation for 10 days and watch your symptoms closely. If any pop up again, no matter how mild, immediately call back."

Knowing my father, now that a doctor has told him that he doesn't need to have another test and gave him a date he can end his isolation, there will be no convincing him of anything else. Interestingly, his girlfriend (who was also on the trip) got her results back and they were negative. However I think that says more about how well they were getting along on the trip, which my niece reports was not very well.

*His week and half in the hospital in March was interesting because it was right when the virus first appeared in Kentucky. Watching the hospital transform and get prepared for it was eerie. The place became more and more empty as time went on. Trucks were unloading new hospital beds daily. Boxes of equipment were being stored in hallways.
 
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