The Wife came home on Friday, feeling unwell. Fever, chills, achy, a bit of a temp. Luckily, both of the girls were still at daycare, so we had time to implement Infection Containment Protocol (ICP, pronounced ‘ick-pea’) ALPHA. ICP ALPHA is activated whenever a single adult member of the family is exhibiting symptoms indicating exposure to an infectious, possible airborne pathogen. Under ICP ALPHA, the exposed individual is physically isolated from the remaining family members in hopes that the infection can be contained. If the containment area is breached, we can transition to other ICPs, like BRAVO (one adult and one child infected). ICP CHARLIE is when both children are infected. Each one has a specific set of rules that are designed to contain the infections while still maintaining a semblance of normalcy/sanity.
When we hit BRAVO or CHARLIE, all efforts are focused on avoiding ICP OMEGA, where all four of us are sick. The only thing to do during an ICP OMEGA event is smear some lamb’s blood on the door and hope for alms from friends and neighbors until the infection runs its course.
As far as the ICPs go, things looked pretty good on Saturday. I was fine, and neither Aggie nor The Pirate was exhibiting any symptoms, but The Wife was still pretty bad. At about 1:00 that afternoon, she finally called an urgent care doc to get an appointment. The girls and I stayed home and waited. The Pirate took a nap, and Aggie sat on the sofa with me to watch some TV. About 5 minutes after The Wife left, I felt something really warm on my arm, almost hot. I looked down to see Aggies’ head resting on my forearm. Uh-oh.
I grabbed the thermometer. She’s 100.7.
Me: “Do you feel OK?”
Me: “Come with me and don’t touch anything. We’re activating ICP BRAVO.”
I texted The Wife, and informed her of the situation. Aggie was isolated, placed in our bed, and given ibuprofen. The Wife informed me that the doctor confirmed a diagnosis of Strep, complete with a fever of 104. The Pirate and I were keeping our distance as best we could, with baby gates serving to keep babies in and 5 year olds out.
No sooner had The Wife arrived home than she was back in the car with Aggie to go back to the exact same doctor for the exact same diagnosis. I would have taken Aggie, but that would have broken protocol, allowing an uninfected individual come into close contact with an infected one. That would have guaranteed an ICP OMEGA lockdown. The next 24-36 hours were going to be fun. I thought every tickle in my throat was a symptom. Every ache, no matter how small, was the onset.
As with most things, prior planning is everything. With ICP BRAVO strictly enforced, we made it through the contagion period without The Pirate or me getting sick. Aggie was a bit disappointed (we were supposed to visit Grandma and Grandpa on Sunday), but understood. All is (more or less) back to the way it should be. Which is nice.