The Washington PostThe Washington Post

We're living in virus hell

By Caitlin Gibson

09 Dec 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

For parents, this was supposed to be the winter in which things went back to normal—with the pandemic over and kids in school. It hasn’t worked out that way. A Washington Post writer tells the story.

The first positive coronavirus test in our household occurred Oct. 26, and in the beginning, we were fools who believed it might be over fast - my husband was quarantined in the basement; perhaps the rest of us would be spared. Five days later, I tested positive. Then our preschool-aged daughter did. Then our toddler was diagnosed with RSV, which devolved into a terrible cough, which turned out to be pneumonia.

After 20 days trapped at home together, during which time my children started referring to their Pedialyte ice pops as "ice lollies" because they'd watched 4,000 episodes of "Peppa Pig," my son at last returned to day care. He lasted two entire days before contracting a new virus, this one accompanied by the sudden appearance of hideous red welts all over his body, which sent him to urgent care just before midnight. Over three weeks, we'd gone from bad to worse to biblical.

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