What an anxious week it has been.
My dad lives 250 kilometers away from me. A three-hour drive through private transportation, a four-hour public bus ride. Every week or two, it’s either he comes and spends the weekend at my place or I’m the one who visits him. For Father’s Day, I decided to come to his place and this time, I brought a friend with me. Let’s name her JP.
My Aunt likes to include me whenever she has plans with her friends slash colleagues. I hang out with them, spend time with them, and some turned out to be my friends as well. That’s where I’ve known JP. She was supposed to be in the Philippines for vacation but it was cancelled because of UAE being on the ‘travel banned’ list. I called her and asked if she wanted to come to Ruwais with me and as expected, she said yes.
That was exactly a week ago, June 19, Saturday.
The same afternoon, JP got a call from her flatmate that their other flatmate is COVID positive. They’re only three in a two-bedroom flat – JP, alone in her room, and 2 other girls in the other room. She told me this news while I was in line for a sundae at a petrol station.
We were already on our way to Ruwais. With my Dad driving. Fuck.
She keeps on assuring us – mostly herself, I guess – that she has a strong immune system and that she rarely had contact with the girl. She’s my friend; gave her the benefit of the doubt. It wasn’t the time to be pessimistic, as well.
The three of us – JP, my Dad, and I – still took PCR test immediately once we reached Ruwais just to be sure.
Come Sunday night, JP had a fever. She messaged me Monday morning asking for medicines and telling me she ‘thinks’ she has the flu. That she’s starting to feel what she felt when she had her first dose of vaccine. I forgot about that. She had a high fever after her first dose. I didn’t. And I was the one who admits to having a weak immune system. I should have known.
Results came on Monday and we were all COVID negative.
I wasn’t that nervous (at first). We weren’t sleeping in the same room ever since we reached Ruwais. I let her have my room while I sleep on the couch in the living room. It wasn’t a big deal for me. I like that couch. It’s super soft and I can watch TV and play PS4 whenever I want. In fact, I’m writing this blog sitting on it. But then JP started coughing and feeling ‘warm.’ I don’t know what else she felt because she kept on saying she’s okay. Just the flu.
It was Monday night when I told her we should take the PCR test again on Tuesday if we want to go back to the city on Thursday. Since results take 2 days to come. It was also my subtle way of asking her to take a PCR test and not offend her.
Even though I wanted to ask JP to isolate first (and I’m sure my Dad does too) because her cough keeps getting worse, no one talked to her about it. Our shyness was on top of everything. She was still our guest. We wouldn’t want to offend her by telling her to stay away from us first. We don’t want to be rude by asking her to wear a mask. She got negative results on the first test, anyway. If all else, I believe she should just self-isolate based on her decision.
She was roaming around the flat, sometimes staying in the kitchen, dining area, or on the other side of the living room, coughing randomly. We eat our meals together. She cooks for us sometimes.
Tuesday came and we had our PCR test. Wednesday, still coughing…
But then I started feeling something itchy in my throat and started coughing very mildly from time to time. Lord. That’s the time I was refreshing my AlHosn App like crazy, waiting for my results to come. I even woke up early on Thursday morning, so grateful to wake up with a negative result. I wasn’t convinced. I know when something is wrong with my body.
However, as expected, and truly, I’m not surprised at all, JP is COVID positive.