Some of the first people in Tennessee to get sick with the coronavirus are now recovered, including the household of Nashville songwriter Angela Lauer.
Lauer is one of more than a dozen people who got sick after attending a benefit auction for the Covenant School in Green Hills, where her kids attend. It was early March.
“Nobody was thinking that hey, we need to watch out for this,” she recalls.
Then, people started falling ill, including one of the pastors at Covenant.
And Lauer. At first, she thought it could be her auto immune disease.
“I had one day where I woke up in tears because I was hurting so bad. I was just achy all over. I felt like my body was fighting something,” she says. “Then a friend of ours who was at the auction tested positive, and at that point, I was like, I need to go get a test.”
She was sent to a testing tent run by Vanderbilt University Medical Center outside a warehouse in Woodbine. It’s a sad scene people feeling crummy, wearing masks, staring at their phones as they wait for a nasal swab.
But it was oddly comforting to see people just like her. Lauer had been feeling guilty that she had been exposed, even though it happened before social distancing rules had become so strict.
Comfort In Numbers
“Knowing that thought for me of everyone’s going to get it or everyone’s being exposed to it, it kind of helped me,” she says. “It’s really hard to avoid this.”
By then, her husband and two daughters were sick too. They didn’t bother to be tested, just assumed it was COVID-19.
Fortunately, the coronavirus cases were mild enough to still enjoy board games. On the first day of quarantine, March 17, it was Monopoly.
They also passed the time taking family portraits through the window of the house. They made one of those videos where it looks like your dog is feeding itself at the table.
Lauer’s daughter is also a budding songwriter, so she broke out the ukulele and rewrote the words to “You Are My Sunshine.”
Coronavirus, you so inspire us
To stay connected in different ways
We may be quarantined, six feet, no hugging
But you can’t take our sunshine away
While we are zooming there’s flowers blooming
So go outside and embrace the day
Wave to your neighbor, share toilet paper
Still can’t take our sunshine away
The Lauers made the most of the sick time and are now recovered. But they also know their time together at home is just beginning.
We want to hear more of your dispatches from quarantine — whether you’re healthy or sick, still working or unemployed. Send a voice memo to [email protected] about what’s keeping you busy during isolation.