After two years of wellness, COVID finally hit this family, but thanks to vaccinations, the symptoms were mild. (Jennifer Bardsley)

After two years of wellness, COVID finally hit this family, but thanks to vaccinations, the symptoms were mild. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Jennifer Bardsley’s fighting COVID-19 with vaccines and TLC

But even with vaccinations, the disease is scary for people like her with less than robust immune systems.

On June 20, I tested positive for COVID-19. So far my symptoms are mild: body aches and chills, sore throat and congestion. I can still smell the freshly cut roses my husband put on my nightstand. I don’t have a fever, I can breathe well and am incredibly grateful for my vaccines and booster’s help. Three cheers for Moderna!

But even with vaccinations, getting COVID is scary, especially for people like me with crappy immune systems. I have asthma, allergies and a family history of bad lungs that goes back 150 years. My ancestors literally went out west for “the prairie cure.” My husband calls my immune system “the wet paper bag defense.”

How did I catch COVID? How did I not catch it, would be a better question. The high school and middle schools have sent out exposure notices all year. I’ve watched friends in my local community get it one by one, like dominoes falling. Since I have weak lungs, I’ve continued to wear a mask out in public at least 90% of the time, even in places where it wasn’t much fun to wear a mask, like my group fitness class.

My son tested positive first. We sequestered him in his room, opened all the windows, turned on the air filters and disinfected the house. My daughter took the extra step of pitching a tent and moving to the back yard so that she could protect her chances of finishing the last week of school.

I felt fine at first, and continued to bring up trays of food to my son’s room, wearing a mask whenever I opened the door. But then I got sick, too. Now I’m the one stuck in my room being delivered tea trays.

Thankfully, we have lots of free COVID tests on hand to give us daily information. Have you ordered your free tests? Here are the two places I ordered them from:

One thing that surprised me was how my COVID test changed over the course of the hour. At first, the positive line was so faint that I could barely see it. An hour later, the line was much stronger. If I had just looked at it in the 15 minute window I might not have seen the line. After 60 minutes had passed, it was impossible not to.

In some sense, it’s a relief knowing that I’m positive rather than having COVID hang over me like a piano waiting to drop. Two years of wondering “will I or won’t I get it?” have been difficult. But I feel bad for my son missing the last week of school, and for my daughter’s lonely life living in the back yard. Let’s not forget the plight of my husband, who now has two of us texting him constant requests like he’s our personal DoorDash guy.

I hope our cases continue to be mild, and am incredibly grateful that everyone in my house is vaccinated and boosted. COVID found my family eventually, but thanks to Moderna and Pfizer, we were ready.

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at

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