SOLC Day 27: Uh Oh

March 2022 SOLC–Day 27
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

I noticed my nose was running a little yesterday afternoon, and put it down to the chill lingering in the March air. 

Then last evening, my throat started to hurt. Just a little. You know, like it does when that post-nasal drip is scouring its way down the back of your throat drip by drip.

“I think I’m getting a cold,” I said to my daughter, as we relaxed by the fire. I paused then finished, “I’m a little paranoid it might be Covid.”

She made the appropriate comments (a mix of reassurance and understanding) and we talked about how lots of people are getting colds these days. 

“I guess I’ll take a test tomorrow if I still have symptoms.”


At about 1 am, I woke. 

My throat really hurt. 

“Aw, s&!t” I thought. “I’m going to have to take a test in the morning.”

I lay there, throat feeling raw, contemplating getting up for some Motrin, contemplating what would happen if I did have Covid.

If I’m positive, how many days do I miss? Five? Would that start from yesterday, when I first had “symptoms” or from the test day? 

I honestly can’t keep track of all the changes to the protocols. I’ve given up, figuring I’ll just find out if I ever need to know. Now I wish I knew. My mind kept spinning.

Addie and Ash are supposed to come up on Thursday. If I’m positive, they won’t be able to come. But Addie needs to be here on Friday. Thursday would be the fifth day, right? But if you start counting from yesterday, it would be the sixth? Would that be okay? I’d wear a mask inside. I could hide in my room. What will they do?

Oh, no! Andrea was here yesterday. I’d have to let her know. How would that impact her?

I could move into the spare bedroom…or maybe Kurt could. Which would work better?

Then my thoughts veered back toward school.

If I’m out all next week, or through Thursday, that means I’ll only have four days back at school before I’m out again for three days. Then a few days in again before break. How in the world am I going to have subs teach most of the last bend of the unit and put together conglomerate books? Would I even be allowed to go into school to pull together plans and materials?

Finally, exhausted by my mental vortex, I spun myself back to sleep, then woke again around 5. I quickly did a body scan. My throat still hurt, although maybe not quite as much…or was that wishful thinking?

I went downstairs, drank my orange juice and started the coffee. Then I pulled the Covid tests out from the cupboard where they’d languished (happily to my mind) since December. Within a few minutes, I’d opened a new box, read the materials carefully, swabbed my nose thoroughly, and set a timer for 15 minutes.

I left the test card flat on the counter (as directed), poured myself a cup of coffee and walked out of the room and over to my morning spot. I took a sip of coffee. Its warmth soothed my throat. 

Wait…did I taste that? I took another sip. Faintly. But even if I only have a cold, that influences taste, right? And I just drank OJ. I tasted that, right? Wait. Did I? I think I did. Ugh. I’m just getting paranoid. 

I restrained myself from sticking my head into my husband’s blue cheese container or the fermenting compost bin. Barely. 

I’ll know soon enough.

I started writing in my notebook, skipping haphazardly from one topic to another, unable to remain focused.  





I wrote a page. 

Then started on another. 





Halfway down that second page, the alarm sounded stridently.

I stood up and walked slowly toward the kitchen. Toward the test card. I imagined it pulsing red…warning! warning! warning! 

I didn’t want to look. 

I wanted to look. 

Taking a deep breath, I finally looked.

There was a single pink line. 

Oh no. That doesn’t look good. But, wait! What does that even mean? Is that definitely positive? 

I realized that I hadn’t read the part of the instructions about how to interpret results. Quickly I scanned. 

“One positive pink line = negative.”

I heaved a big sigh of relief. Reread it again to make sure. It still said the same thing. I maybe read it once more to triple check. Then, I bundled up the test materials, threw them all into the garbage, and sent up a heartfelt thanks to the universe. 


18 thoughts on “SOLC Day 27: Uh Oh

  1. amyilene says:

    You capture that familiar anxiety and dread that most of us know all too well. I especially like how you vacillate between the self talk and the ticktocktick of the time passing. Take care of yourself and rest if you need…one thing I was reminded of this past week is that there are still other ways to be sick!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Debbie Lynn says:

    Oh my gosh, the anticipation I had reading your story to the end…I wanted to skip to the end first and see the results. Very glad you tested negative. Gargle with salt water and let your body heal. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You created the tension in this piece, and yes, there are SO many protocols to keep up with!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. maryleehahn says:

    What a nail-biter. Glad you have the weekend to rest and recuperate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. humbleswede says:

    This really captures the way my mind works at night when I should be sleeping. You did a great job of running us through the panicky thoughts as they spiral. I also loved the tick tock and the attempts to distract yourself. Finally, how great that at the climactic moment you looked down at the test and didn’t know whether it was good or bad news…just news. I’m glad it was negative, and hope it stays that way. It’s a good day for chicken soup. Feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So brilliant, Molly! My husband kept trying to get my attention while I was reading and I kept yelling, “Stop! I have to finish reading this! I need to know what happened!” Well done, Molly, and I’m so relieved for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Phew! Isn’t the congratulation you get for getting Wordle in six tries. It’s easy to spin forward all that you won’t be able to do when you get a cold that might be Covid! And you in our classroom are in such an incubator. Congrats on dodging this bullet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I also dodged another one last week when a parent had a conflict and postponed a conference from Wed. afternoon to Thurs. Then on Thursday morning, she wrote to let me know she had just tested positiive for Covid and could only meet via Zoom. Yikes. That was close!


  8. Amanda Potts says:

    Oh – it felt like I was in your head the whole time – or maybe like you were in mine. And the tension kept rising, especially when you got to the part where you couldn’t remember if you’d tasted the coffee. I’m glad you were negative (but I’m still sorry to hear you are sick.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks! I’m very thankful that test result was negative. I was pretty sure it was just a cold, but I’ve heard too many people say that to feel really confident!


  9. kd0602 says:

    It feels so weird to have colds again! Glad it wasn’t COVID (ah, the dread of writing lesson plans…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      It’s kind of crazy that the thought of writing lesson plans is more dreaded than the thought of having Covid…or at least it’s a very close second!


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