positive lateral flow tests

And Then We All Got Covid, The End.

At the start of this year I decided, in a moment of absolute madness, to take on two ghostwriting projects simultaneously, meaning I’m currently writing a Scottish historical romance and a “billionaire romance” (Don’t laugh, it pays the bills…) at the same time.

I say “madness”… Crazy though it might sound to attempt to write two novels in the space of a few weeks, I’d worked it all out, and it was actually totally do-able… assuming absolutely nothing happened to interrupt my precious writing time.

“It would be just my luck if we all got Covid around about now,” I thought, as I signed the contracts. “I bet we all get Covid.”

Naturally, then, this week we all got Covid.

I mean, OF COURSE we did.

My symptoms started on Sunday afternoon, when we were on our way home from a trip to the zoo, where we’d met up with some friends of ours and their children. Here is a photo of Max reluctantly looking at the penguins while waiting to ask when we’d be having the picnic we’d brought with us:

watching the penguins at Edinburgh zoo

Here is Max reluctantly looking at a tiger while still thinking about that picnic:

the tiger at Edinburgh Zoo

Here are some giraffes:

giraffes at Edinburgh Zoo

They don’t actually have any relevance to this post at all, but they are very pretty, and will hopefully make things a bit less Covid-y, because, trust me, it all goes downhill from here. Yes.

So, anyway, we had, as I said, spent the day at the zoo with friends, having first of all taken lateral flow tests before leaving the house, like the responsible citizens we are. The tests came back negative, and we all felt absolutely fine, so off we went, and had a fantastic day. (And a picnic, as you will have gathered.)

It wasn’t until we were on the way home that I realized I was feeling a bit off. Not massively so, you understand, but my nose was a bit runny, and my throat a bit scratchy, which worried me, because I knew a sore throat was often cited as an early Omicron symptom.

“My nose is runny and my throat feels scratchy,” I said to Terry. “I bet it’s Covid.”

“Mine is too,” said Terry cheerfully. “I bet it’s not, though.”

I felt better after a good night’s sleep, but I still had that tickle in my throat on Monday morning, so I did another lateral flow test. It was negative, as was the one I got to Terry to take, so I allowed myself to relax a little, assuming I just had a mild cold of some kind.

That was when my mum called to say she’d just tested positive.


My dad tested positive later that day, and by the time I went to bed that night, I was feeling so rough I was absolutely convinced I would too. Sure enough, the next morning, Max and I got these:

positive Covid-19 tests

Max was absolutely fine, which was a huge relief, obviously – he was completely asymptomatic, and just devasted to find out that he wasn’t going to be able to go to nursery. I, on the other hand, had a pretty rough 48 hours, mostly characterised by muscle aches, a constantly spiking temperature, sore throat, headache, nausea, the works. It was no fun at all, needless to say, but it was, at least relatively short-lived, which was something.

As for Terry, meanwhile, who, as some of you recall, is classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable due to his kidney transplant, he still had nothing more than that slightly scratchy throat he’d mentioned on the way home from the zoo. All of the lateral flow tests he did had come back negative, but we were pretty certain he probably had it, and we wanted to know for sure, so he could get treatment if necessary (As someone classed as CEV, he’d been given a number to call in the event of a positive test, so he could be given an antibody transfusion: he’s having it today, in fact…), so we booked him a PCR test, which came back positive the next morning.

Anyway. It’s a measure of how far we’ve come – both in terms of the pandemic itself, and the extreme anxiety I had about it way back at the start of it all – that, unpleasant though it was to feel so ill for that couple of days, none of this was overly concerning to me. To be totally honest, my biggest concern was for the friends we’d walked around the zoo with, and who I was paranoid I might have infected (I didn’t, thankfully), and for those two books I was supposed to be writing, while barely able to function, and with a four-year-old bouncing off the walls with boredom.

I mean, Lord only knows what my Highlanders have been getting up to while I haven’t been in full control of my faculties. Knowing my luck, I’ll have mixed the two books up, and the Highlanders will be driving cars and hanging out in bars, while the billionaire businessmen fight each other with swords or something. That seems like something I would do. Really dreading reading back over it, tbh.

So it was all a bit of an anti-climax, in other words.

I say that with tongue firmly in cheek, obviously. I realize Covid hasn’t been an anti-climax for everyone, and I’m incredibly grateful to have had a relatively easy time of it, compared to what some people have gone through – and are still going through, in the case of those with Long Covid.

All the same, I REALLY wish I’d known this is what it would come to back when I was freaking out during the first lockdown because I wasn’t sure I’d bleached the groceries thoroughly enough. And it’s not that I was worrying for nothing, obviously. Things have changed significantly since March 2020 – hell, even Covid itself has changed, and we have, of course, all been vaccinated since then. Terry, in fact, had his fourth dose (Yes, the CEV are offered no less than four doses…) just a few weeks ago, and while we can never know for sure, we can’t help but think that might be the reason the most vulnerable member of the family was the one who was least ill. (Other than Max, who was always likely to be asymptomatic.)

And so ends our Covid experience – although not, unfortunately, our self-isolation, which will continue until Monday at the earliest, when Max will finally be allowed back to nursery, assuming he’s had two negative tests by then. Until then, if anyone needs me, I’ll be buried under a pile of cushions, pretending it’s a “house”. Pray for me…

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books by Amber Eve
  • Donna


    I’m so glad you are all doing better! Enjoy your cushion house, maybe have a picnic inside it?

    January 28, 2022
  • Barbara West


    I am very glad to hear your illness was relatively mild and that everyone is on the mend.

    January 28, 2022
  • Miss Kitty


    Glad to hear you got through it relatively easily, it seems like we’re all going to get it at some point 😕

    I don’t think the lateral flow tests (or RAT tests as they call them here) are as accurate as PCR tests, for the simple reason that most people don’t poke them as far up their nose, or as far down their throat, as they need to, to get accurate results. I watched my husband do a test the other day, and he barely tickled the end of his nose, and flatly refused to go any further up. His test came back negative, which we were expecting as we were only doing it as a precaution, but I couldn’t help but think that if he did have Covid, the test probably wouldn’t have picked it up anyway. Not saying that’s what happened with Terry, but I have to wonder how accurate most people’s testing is, and it’s a bit of a worry given that the govt is relying more on self-testing to cope with the pandemic.

    January 29, 2022
    • Anneke+Caramin


      One of my doctor friends told me they can be unreliable because of user error but also because the virus needs to be present in a pretty large quantity before it’s picked up, meaning that if someone tests too soon after a high risk contact it can be negative, only to be positive two days later. I was advised to wait a few days before testing after having a high risk contact to account for the incubation period.

      February 4, 2022
  • Leah Steele


    “ Lord only knows what my Highlanders have been getting up to while I haven’t been in full control of my faculties. Knowing my luck, I’ll have mixed the two books up, and the Highlanders will be driving cars and hanging out in bars, while the billionaire businessmen fight each other with swords or something”

    I mean… you jest, but I want to read that!

    January 29, 2022
  • dublinerInDeutschland


    Hey, glad to hear your experience with Covid wasn’t too miserable. It seems like Omnicron is milder than other variants and thankfully you and Terry were vaccinated. Great to hear that Max was asymptomatic too. We’ve managed to avoid it so far but I know it’s only a matter of time!

    February 10, 2022
  • Amy


    I’m so glad you’re all okay! Very relieved that Terry wasn’t impacted too much and you’re all safe.

    February 17, 2022