I promised to write more blogs but obviously I failed again. Not surprising.
I am out of isolation already. I am feeling OK. Maybe I should just go over what happened during my isolation days.
Where I reported
It's very easy to forget to do contact tracing and reporting once the panic of positivity came in. I am a bit afraid of forgetting them, and I think I did complete what I was supposed to do.
- Report to the Exposure Notifications System. I did a rapid test, and thus it asked me to enter a phone number to receive the verification link from the health authority, under this domain en.express. It then asked me when my symptom started, and boom, done. It's frustrating though I can't have multiple regions active at the same time — not very friendly to travellers.
- Contact tracing. I am in this "living with COVID" state, so no one would call me to do contact tracing. I am pretty sure my Monday visit to the office could be a problem, so I sent a message in the team chat, and sent a separate message to the other people I met that day. Otherwise, no one would stay with me for 15 minutes in Boston. It's fun that I only have this office relationship :/ Seems to turn out fine though. Not causing a cluster.
- Report to occupational health. The company I worked for has a portal to report COVID infection just in case I need to do a leave of absence for COVID. I heard on Twitter that Around May, they cancelled the paid leave.I need to fill in quite a form including dates and offices I visited. On the next morning I received an email from HR saying my case was received, and of course nothing would happen afterwards because I don't need any leave of absence.
It turns out that I would need to take a picture of my test kit if I needed to actually request a leave of absence. I also ended up not taking any time off either. This might have been a bad idea.
Watching "working through" Covid become the norm for people who can work remotely and friends, please, do not further normalize this
— Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) May 21, 2022
And then no one really bugged me afterwards. I even have to self-service figure out my isolation schedule without anyone telling me. :shrug:
My test results
According to CDC guidance, I can either isolate for 5 days, or test on Day 5 and isolate for 5 more days. I have a few rapid test kits at home, so that should work for a cautious perspective.
I also did several PCR tests after Day 10 according to the new PRC entry requirements (2 negative tests + 6 weeks "self monitoring"). It's funny that they updated the policy to no longer do antibody test, just after I became positive. Let me leave this topic for the next time.
It's not going as smooth as I thought though — My fever went away on Day 2, and I did have improved symptoms day by day until Day 5 when I think I am all good, so I assumed I would be fine quickly, but I was not.
- Day 0: Negative
- Day 1: Positive
- Day 4: Positive
- Day 6: Positive
- Day 8: Positive
- Day 10: Positive (PCR test)
- Day 11: Negative
- Day 14: Negative
- Day 14: Positive (PCR test)
- Day 15: Inconclusive (PCR test)
It's around holidays, and the pharmacy testing is a little bit crowded than before, but appointments are still available, a lot. I will get tested later this week again. This inconclusive result just means I am still pretty positive living with the virus now.
My isolation life
I finally find a reason to cook at home, because of this isolation thing. Honestly, I am the kind of person that hardly ever cooked a dish, and will get very upset every time I was brought into a cooking party :(. Now you know it.
I figured ordering online grocery is a pretty convincing way to learn cooking. I got all the ingredients measured and recipes printed. I would eventually get to eat something because I can't really mess up that much.
It does take me a lot of time to cut produce. And I tend to cook longer than suggested for safety (this reminds me of my collage roommate, Zhou, who did this even for BBQ). I mean, as long as I have time, hours of time, I seem to be able to eventually make a dish. It says the size is for 2 persons, but I can always finish them all and call it a day.
And I definitely had less alcohol and sweets. I don't think that materially changed my weight.
Otherwise my life didn't really change. I thought I was able to clean my room on Day 1, and I am confident to say it will not finish by Day 21. One of my colleagues reached out and said my time will fly by watching anime. Well sort of, I mean, my day gets killed by all those videos (the only anime I watch recently though is this Chinese dialect version of Peppa Pig); I don't even use TikTok-ish products.
And now I accumulated a 15-page reading list backlog. It's still going busy. I don't think I am positive at all.
At the end of the month
I am out of the 10-day isolation now, but I don't think I would expose myself that aggressively maybe in the next few weeks until I am cleared by the PRC standard. Or maybe I might just give up if I actually find something fun. Definitely not eating indoors though.
This May might have been the most memorable month this year or even beyond. Physically I did change. Maybe it's not changing as much as it seems. I did get inspired by all these new things I get to, but without deep thoughts and actions it's still pretty frustrating.
It's also a very special day today - Shanghai resumed after the "pause" or whatever the measured way of calling it. Another colleague in my team said they got COVID over the weekend. I don't think this is going away anytime soon.
So what else would I worry about this COVID thing at all? Let me write up another blog sometime, about exiting isolations, policies, and long COVID. Stay tuned. Stay safe all.