One Last Pandemic Story

Melissa Miles McCarter
3 min readMar 6, 2023
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

It’s been over a week, and I’m still sick. Well, it’s “we” now. My daughter started having similar symptoms a couple of days ago. Sore throat. Fever. Fatigue.

Our last COVID two-pack test in the cabinet that had solely housed those tests — was negative for both of us. I had almost forgotten the disease existed until the urgent care doctor online suggested taking the test for my daughter. I was already diagnosed with strep and on antibiotics.

But, no two lines. Three years later, since the pandemic started, and we never had those two lines. I’m sure we’ve taken at least a hundred tests, those cute white cartridges my daughter would sometimes steal to play doctor with.

It’s not that we were never exposed. My husband had it about a year into the pandemic. His test came up positive before the the test line even came up. He was a walking Petri dish of disease that we slept by, ate with, and coexisted with for the two weeks he tested positive.

We never bothered to quarantine from him. He needed us. Imagine a full-grown man taking care of himself with COVID. It’s not pretty, and my sense of humanity prevented me from throwing food into his room and running away.

Three years — no COVID, even though it haunted our house, like a specter out of a Stephen King movie, ever lurking, laying in wait. What about us…