Message from Vika Wood


I am sharing our experience with COVID-19 because I want to spread awareness. It has been an extremely tiring, stressful, and scary time for my family.  For two weeks, it felt like there was an invisible intruder lurking around our house.

If you think you are safe from COVID-19 because you haven’t gotten it yet, you are wrong. If you think your circle is small enough, it probably isn’t. If you think you are being careful enough, you can probably be even more careful.  If you do happen to know someone who has COVID-19, don’t assume they got it because they were irresponsible and careless. Have you reached out to see how they are doing? If you do happen to reach out to them, consider why you are doing it. Are you genuinely concerned and want to see how you can be of help? This is a scary thing for people to go through. Showing some sincere compassion instead of being critical, being nosy, and making assumptions can go a long way.

With two children (daughter, age 10 and daughter, 6 months) and elderly parents whom we are around frequently, we have been extremely careful about whom we spend our time with, the things that we do, and the places we go. We have not gone to any large gatherings or been to parties. We wear our masks. Regardless of how careful we have been, COVID-19 still found its way into our household.

In all honesty, it may have gone unnoticed except that one day my husband was unable to smell our daughter’s soiled diaper. Once this happened, we took no chances and rushed over in the outboard straight to a testing location. To be safe, we chose to quarantine until test results came back. Within 48 hours, my husband's results came back positive while my results came back negative. That day, I spoke to 3 doctors, and with their advice, we decided to quarantine separately. Thanks to family friends who have not been on the island since last year, my husband was able to stay in a different house. I sanitized our house top to bottom and washed everything. Our 6-month old and I stayed home, and my 10-year old was not able to come home from her dad’s. Luckily, she had been with her dad long enough that she was not exposed.

During the time that my husband was contagious, he had been around 4 people. All 4 people were notified immediately and were tested within days. All tests came back negative. We spent a number of days staying in separate homes and went nowhere. Even though I tested negative, I was told to stay quarantined just to be safe. Five days after the first test, we tested again. This time it took 72 hours for my results to come back as negative, but my husband’s results leaked in transition; therefore, his sample was untestable. So we tested again. Another 72 hours of impatiently waiting confirmed our 6-month old and I were negative. My husband’s lab was lost, so once again he did not know the results of his test. By now, it had been over a week since his last symptom, we had been home for 2 weeks, and our daughter and I tested negative—showing that we were in the clear. The doctor also gave the okay for my 10-year old to come home.

I did not leave our property for 11 days. I wore a mask often, including while holding our daughter or putting her to bed. I also wore a mask while cooking. Every dish towel, hand towel, bath towel, or piece of clothing got washed after each use. Every surface was washed after it was touched. Hand washing was constant.

This takes a toll on people. I wasn’t able to hug my husband, kiss my baby, or see my oldest. I had a 2-week-long headache. I didn’t sleep well; I didn’t eat well. I was convinced I had COVID-19, but it was the stress that I was experiencing as a result of all of it. Once we knew that we were okay to come out of quarantine, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders, and I instantly felt better and relaxed.

We have a good idea where my husband contracted COVID-19, and without going into detail, it was something he was required to do and something that both of us didn’t feel comfortable with because we knew he could potentially be exposed. As a result, he was careful after the fact about whom he was around, and it was due to this diligence that we were able to know exactly whom to contact when it was confirmed he was sick. Our being careful, as well as our quick response and staying home, prevented this case from being spread. COVID-19 was not contracted due to not wearing a mask or being irresponsible.

It has been scary. I worried about my husband, my children, and those we could have exposed, but I hoped for the best. I didn’t see my 10-year old for almost 3 weeks, and my husband got sick, but we are all alive and no one else got it. That is a best case scenario. We are thankful for the great support from our family, friends, and co-workers during our 2-week quarantine. We are so appreciative of all the help and well wishes we received, too. 

Having said all this, it is a good example that no matter how careful one can be, this virus is vicious and anyone can catch it. While there are people that get very sick, it can also go unnoticed. Please be careful, stick to small groups, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, and don’t forget COVID-19 is still very much active and spreading.

Also, just because we are on the island does not guarantee our safety. Try not to be critical and judgemental of those who are exposed to or have COVID-19. Be safe, be well, and most importantly, be smart.

Vika Wood