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Being quarantined is frustrating, maddening


Working from home didn’t seem so bad at first.

However, what started as a strong suggestion quickly became a sentence.

The Grays are quarantined.

My older daughter had a sore throat Friday night. After looking at her tonsils, my wife thought she had strep, not the coronavirus, so I took her to urgent care first thing Saturday morning so she could get an antibiotic prescribed.

After testing negative for strep and the flu and her fever spiked at 104 degrees, she was sent from urgent care to the ER, where she was given another battery of tests and fluids by IV to battle dehydration.

The one test she didn’t get was one to tell her whether or not she has COVID-19.

The doctor believes she does, but because she isn’t having trouble breathing, she doesn’t qualify for one of the precious few tests available in Trumbull County.

Instead, she was sent home with a couple of prescriptions and told to isolate herself at home for the next two weeks. If her symptoms worsen, she should return to the hospital.

My daughter, Anna, is doing well. If she has the virus, it’s a mild case, and the meds seems to be controlling her symptoms. The rest of us, as of midday Wednesday, remain asymptomatic.

But the lack of testing and the uncertainty caused by it is maddening (as well as confusing, at least to the dog who is not used to everyone being home 24/7).

Here are a few things I’ve learned from this experience:

l Anyone who says, “Everyone who wants a test can get a test” is a liar. I will remember your lies.

l Those stats we print every day about “confirmed” cases are worthless. My daughter isn’t included in those numbers, and I know of others in the same predicament. The penetration of the disease is higher than the numbers indicate, so don’t get a false sense of security and invincibility just because we don’t have numbers like New York City.

l If there’s a bright side to all of this, the mortality rate of the virus might be lower than some of the estimates. As long as she doesn’t get worse, my daughter’s illness will run its course without her ever being counted as a “confirmed” case. If those “suspected” cases were included, the mortality rate would be lower.

For now we wait. I’m doing the stories I can do without leaving the house while listening to those Spotify playlists featured in this section, playing the 20,000 or so songs on my laptop and digging into the vinyl.

Since I’m trying to get something accomplished, I can’t just sit at home and binge watch Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

I’ve been watching Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere” (look for a story next week with the production designer responsible for recreating 1990s Shaker Heights in California) and did see the season finale of “This Is Us.”

The healthy daughter and I watched a couple movies she never had seen — “Get Shorty,” which still holds up; and “Purple Rain,” which was worse than I remembered, at least when the focus was on dialogue / acting instead of music.

I finally watched “Late Night” on Amazon Prime, which I really enjoyed, even though Emma Thompson’s late night talk show host is a collection of personality traits that are necessary to make the plot work, but make no sense in the same person.

I want to watch some other newer releases, but Amazon Prime also has two of the greatest concert films ever made — The Band’s “The Last Waltz” and Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense.”

Judging by my Facebook feed, I’m the only one not watching “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” on Netflix. At least right now, I’m just not interested.

Maybe not murder, but there’s enough mayhem and madness in real life right now that I think I’ll stick to music and comedies.

Andy Gray is the entertainment editor of Ticket. Write to him at agray @tribtoday.com

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