Life is like a box of chocolates...
I admit it, I was too confident. I’m fully vaccinated. I tested negative when I got on the plane. Then I got to Uganda and was in contact with two COVID-19 positive people. Sometimes I had failed to wear my mask, after all, I’m vaccinated. Right? Wrong.
For the past few days, I felt achy and lethargic. I dragged myself to class, returning to my room to collapse on my bed. My allergies started kicking in, so I started treating them. Then I got the “runs”, which I still have. I think that may be giardia (my not so favorite friend and frequent companion in Africa). Today the tiredness was just beyond what I could stand, and just walking around made breathing difficult. I felt like I had a low-grade fever, so asked Margaret to give me a COVID test. Yes, I’m positive. I’m the 3rd teacher on the course to fall to this.
The first “lucky” positive was the Course Director, Richard. He never got out to Lweza when the students were here, so has isolated at home. Then one of the translation staff, a young healthy man who had tested negative a week before, tested positive. He and his wife live locally, so they both headed home, leaving us down 3 staff members. Then the Sociolinguistics facilitator started throwing up and having the runs. She also lives locally and went home for the weekend. She returned Sunday evening saying she was at about 50% capacity. We did test her for COVID and she was negative. Poor Margaret, the only other fully vaccinated staff member, is teaching a full four-hours each day and trying to take care of the rest of us sick people. Just to be sure, she tested herself and was negative.
Now Bakhita will be carrying the load for Phonetics. Hopefully I can teach via Zoom from my room, but the Internet is really poor. We have a Midterm test coming up this week, but I won’t be able to teach for at least 10 days, I think. Talk about a trial by fire. In addition, Bakhita has just started an online course from Canada for two hours a day for the next three weeks.
Hopefully the Director will be back sometime this week and can help out on several fronts. We are just grateful none of the students has gotten sick so far.
I do have a nice patio attached to my room, and when I’m feeling better, I shall go sit there to get some fresh air. And all those lessons I never had time to finish – Well no time like the present.