Arts and Living Editor
Two days before I left for the Thanksgiving holiday, I received a text from my dad saying that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He had no symptoms and was hopeful for a quick recovery.
He was even cracking jokes.
“Isn’t it ironic that the person who was the most worried about wearing his mask is the one who got it,” he told me.
Yet still, in my mind, the unthinkable had happened, and now I had to spend Thanksgiving without either of my parents, exactly when I needed them the most.
My parents are cautious people. As a result, they produced a cautious daughter. When news of the COVID-19 outbreak reached my campus, my parents were the first ones to urge me to move back home for the remainder of the semester.
When I was little, my dad used to take me with him while running errands, and I would get mistaken for his granddaughter. I did not understand at the time, but I quickly came to realize what it meant. My parents are older than all my friend’s parents.
Hand sanitizer was stationed at the front door of my house, and my dad never left for the weekly trip to the grocery store without a mask on. I thought to myself, if things keep going like this, COVID-19 will never enter my house.
Eventually, we all had to return to our routines. I moved back to campus for the fall semester, and my parents went back to their jobs at a pre-K-12 school in Reserve, Louisiana. My parents still wore their masks, as did I, but as Louisiana moved from phase to phase, we all let our guards down a little bit.
I spent my Thanksgiving break with my boyfriend, who lives barely three minutes away from my parents. He was close, and if things took a turn for the worse, he would be by my side.
For a while, things were not looking good. My dad struggled to breathe while my sister was on the phone with him, and barely ate any of the Thanksgiving feast he and my mom prepared in quarantine together.
At one point, my mom considered driving him to the hospital.
My dad is getting better, slowly. I am becoming aware that recovering from COVID-19 is a long and arduous process. I know that if anyone can overcome it, it is him.
Everyone is learning the best ways to overcome COVID-19, but it is not something any one person can do by themselves. Teamwork is the best viable way for us to return to normal and give people like my dad a fighting chance.
Wearing masks is still important. Social distancing is still important. It does not matter what phase we are in, or if you know the people you are not wearing your mask around. My dad is a testament to that. He did everything right, and still tested positive.