Covid-19 Impacts Teacher

Teacher describes his family’s bout with the virus over the summer, when infection rate was lower.

December 14, 2020

Even if it hasn’t directly impacted your life, there are plenty of people in the world who had to deal with the effects of the coronavirus. AP Euro and Art History teacher, Robert Lynde, had a very personal experience with the virus and its effects on his own family. 

COVID hit the Lynde family in late-June. “My wife is the only one who tested positive,” said Lynde. “It was scary because she started feeling bad on a day where she and I were out shopping together. We spent the whole day in the car together. I was breathing the same air she was breathing and [she told me], ‘I got this funny pain in my back’ and then that night she started feeling really bad.”

The following day, his wife came down with a fever which prompted Lynde to call the doctor and get her tested. “My wife is very careful,” said Lynde. “She always wears a mask, she is super healthy, very fit so it was scary.”

“I was scared too, not so much that I was gonna get it, but I was scared [because we were around a lot of family right before then and we were worried about that],” said Lynde. “It was scary about who we might have spread it to.”

At this time, the COVID restrictions were starting to loosen up. As more things opened, the Lynde family allowed themselves to open up more, following the rules, but COVID shut them back up in the house.

Their entire family realized that it was their responsibility to keep the virus in the house and do all they could to help their mother get healthy so they decided to quarantine in their home for about three weeks. No one left the house due to their exposure. “We are a real active family, and we just halted all of it,” said Lynde.

“My take on it was: I have an 18-year-old daughter, an almost 16-year-old son, my daughter can drive, so I basically took the idea that I will take care of my wife, and if I need [my kids] to handle everything else around the house, they are old enough to do that,” said Lynde.

Not only were Lynde’s kids a great help with keeping family stability, but neighbors and nearby families also chipped in to help grocery shop or do anything else they needed.

When I see people who say ‘This isn’t real, this is fake, wearing masks is a liberal thing,’ and that is really frustrating to me because my experience is that people who say that didn’t see their wife drop 20 pounds in three weeks. They didn’t see their family members sick.”

— Robert Lynde

“When it started it was just aches and pains. That night it was a headache, and then in the morning it was all of that and more, but still not unbearable,” said Lynde. “My wife basically got better after the first week. The fever went away after two days, the aches and pains went away and all she felt was tired. Then it just got really bad on day eight.”

During the eighth through eleventh days of her having the virus, the only thing she had strength for was getting up to go to the bathroom. “Day eight, she couldn’t even get out of bed and she had difficulty breathing.” 

Lynde was expecting to get the virus from his wife. He realized that he needed to expose himself to it to make sure she was cared for, but he never tested positive. He took both tests for the virus and for the antibodies and he came up negative for both. It was a strange result because he had been actively engaging with someone positive.

There was a sense of practicality when Lynde was expecting to test positive for the virus. It was still summer, so he wouldn’t be exposing himself to students, when school returns he would have already got the virus so he would have a bit of immunity, his daughter would be able to go to college because if she had it, she also would have some immunity– it didn’t seem like the end of the world. After seeing his wife go through the worst part of the illness, he rethought his optimism for testing positive.

“We never disbelieved the virus. We always believed that it was real, that we should take precautions, but now I get a little bitter when I see people who say ‘This isn’t real, this is fake, wearing masks is a liberal thing,’ and that is really frustrating to me because my experience is that people who say that didn’t see their wife drop 20 pounds in three weeks. They didn’t see their family members sick,” said Lynde.

After experiencing the virus, the Lynde’s perspective changed from a family who had only heard of the effects, to a family who personally were affected and experienced the fear that came with it. 

The greatest change was that they isolated themselves from their extended family since June. “It’s been six months since [we have seen our grandmother],” said Lynde. To keep in touch, they have been setting up Zoom calls, but it was a big change not seeing family over the holidays. 

“Since my wife and I married, I don’t think I’ve had a holiday gathering that was less than 25 people, and this time around it was me, my wife, and my two kids,” said Lynde. “We did a Zoom on Thanksgiving, and it was really sad. Nieces and nephews are bigger… they are applying to college and I’ve always been the guy to help them, and it’s just not happening.”

The Lynde’s didn’t necessarily have a bad case, but it was bad enough that they have remained fairly isolated with fear of bringing it back into the house. They are all continuing to take precautions by wearing masks and keeping distanced, and they will continue to stay safe hoping not to spread it.

“Once it’s all over, I think we owe it to ourselves as a society to go back to as much normal as we possibly can. If we don’t, we have allowed the negative to change us in a way that’s not good,” said Lynde. Those who have embraced this and stepped up the responsibilities that are required to handle this virus will become stronger people. “I want things to return to normal, but I am not going to do that until our scientific community says it is the right time to go back to normal.”

“When you see someone you love suffer through this, you understand and know that you don’t want this to happen to someone else.” COVID is strange. It is unexpected and scary, but it is important for everyone to understand its effects and the way it can change an entire family lifestyle. Luckily Mrs. Lynde was able to recover from this virus, but not everyone does. It is important to continue to wear masks and take all the necessary precautions to ensure that COVID doesn’t continue to spread. Even if you’ve never experienced it, millions of people have, and we must do our part to end this pandemic and get back to normal.

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