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Okay. I am officially an incompetent idiot. I take the blame.


My 90-yr-old mother who has late mid-stage dementia has gone to the hair salon every Friday for over 60 years! Of course, she has had several hairdressers in that time and she didn't go when salons were shut down for Covid.


When the salons opened again, I debated whether it was worth the risk to take her to the salon. The owner assured me that they were taking all precautions, temperatures were taken at the door, masks were required, etc. So, in a moment of weakness (and Mom's dirty hair!) I decided to take her back to her standing appointment each Friday.


All went well until last Thursday, 12/24/20. Appointment went fine. Of course, you can't socially distance from someone working on your hair, so the stylist was right on top of Mom. I was also in the small area where her station is and about 3 feet away from her.


Saturday, 12/26, I get a text from Mom's hairdresser telling me her roommate had Covid and was hospitalized. Then she said she was retiring and Mom needed to find a new hairdresser. Needless to say, I was concerned that I only had sketchy details. When did her roommate get Covid? Had this hairdresser come to work after being exposed to her roommate with Covid and exposed all her customers? I felt sure the owner of the salon would contact me. So far, that has not happened.


Instead, one of the other hairdressers in the salon texted me today and told me that Mom's hairdresser (Donna) had tested POSITIVE for Covid! I can't say I was surprised but was freaked out by the news. The salon informed us that we could not come back for 14 days and that we needed to be tested for Covid.


In my opinion, the salon should close for a deep cleaning. Their clientele is 90% elderly, most using walkers or in wheelchairs. Talk about a vulnerable group!


I emailed Mom's PCP and I hope to hear back from him on Monday. He will most likely say to quarantine and if any symptoms develop, call his office. Guess that's all we can do. Mom has had a cough for 30 years, so I can't go by that. She does not have an appetite, likes to sleep for hours on end and never has much energy. How am I supposed to recognize symptoms? I will check her temperature several times a day, I guess.


In hindsight, I should NOT have taken her to the salon in the first place. That is on me. I guess we will know more in a few days if symptoms develop for either of us. I pray we don't get this awful virus!

I have been watching for an updates, and thank you for it. Glad to know no covid; but sorry about all the rest of it. Always something!
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Wow! You guys are fantastic! So many excellent and caring replies. Now for an update.

The day before we were to have our Covid test, Mom fell while trying to sit down in her recliner while pushing her walker to its resting place against the wall at the same time. She overextended and fell! I was in a different room, and luckily, she remembered my name and yelled for me. I found her laying on the carpet of the family room on her side. Apparently, she tried to break her fall with her right hand/arm and most likely sprained her wrist. There was some swelling and bruising and it was too painful for her to use to grip or do anything with her right hand (she is right-handed.) So....she was not up to getting in the car to go for the Covid test. I tried to get Dispatch Health to come check her out, but could not get an appointment with them for at least 3 days! Wow! They have become very popular here.

However, it has now been 16 days and neither of us have or have had symptoms. I check her temp and O2 sats regularly and, so far, so good. When I put the pulse oximeter on her, I have to remind her to breathe! She tends to hold her breath. It registered 87 one time and I had her take a couple of deep breaths and it went to 98! She is not having trouble breathing. Also, her nails are very long which is not ideal for the oximeter. Her right hand is fine now and she is back to using it like nothing ever happened.

We are both on the list to get the vaccine. It is very interesting here in Fort Worth, TX. when it comes to getting the vaccine. Some people who signed up via the online portal on Dec. 29 were immediately notified and set up with a vaccine appointment the very next day! It is being administered through the County Public Health Department. Mom and I both received confirmation of our registration, but so far, no notification of an appointment. They say you have to be patient because, in my experience, government usually screws things up! Case in point, neither one of us has received the "stimulus' check!

Oh...and I forgot to say that, on top of everything else, Mom developed a UTI! The PA at her doc's office put her on cefuroxime. The pills are huge (like Bactrim) and he is giving her the highest dose (500mg) twice a day for ten days! Everything I read online says the recommended dose is 250mg for 5 days. I am concerned that the PA got it wrong.

It's always something!
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Don’t beat yourself up. Even following all the rules, one can still be exposed. I just fired my mom’s caregiver because one of her roommates tested positive. But the worst part is that this caregiver is not taking many precautions although she works around very sick people. Case in point, the caregiver needed more income so she decided to moonlight as a Lyft driver. Yes, a driver with different people getting in and out of her car. It’s as if she wants to get COVID. Good luck to her. I’ve informed her agency of her moonlighting. They were very upset that she didn’t disclose that info to them, potentially exposing all of their clients and family members. Some people just like taking a gamble in life.
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texasrdr22

Definitely don't beat yourself up and hoping that in the end it just turns out to be a scare for you with no illness! Lesson learned as well!

For me, it's being proactive. The "rules" in every state change so often, that it's best to use the "worst case" set of rules. I limit exposure to anyone else, keep "outings" limited, and wear a mask. So far, so good. I needed to stay healthy as I am the one who managed everything for my mother. If I was down for the count, my bros are clueless!

We live in an area that hasn't been majorly impacted, but cases are out there, and in recent weeks it has ramped up (state has a nice map, showing each town and how many active cases there are - a second map shows cumulative cases.)

FWIW, mom's facility had strict protocols and only one time, a few months ago, did one staff member test positive. The facility is IL/AL/MC, and while they discourage going out unnecessarily, people in IL and AL can go out, but have to stay isolated, for the most part, when in the building. MC can't lock the residents in their rooms, so interaction with "outsiders" is even more limited. Despite that one positive test, not one resident or other staff member got sick or tested positive.

Hope all is well for you, your family and esp your mom!
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NavyVet90
"So he makes $300 and has to waste $95 on the stupid test."

My understanding is that the tests should be free, or at the very least, covered by your insurance. Some people currently don't have insurance, so it should be covered by whatever rules gov't put in place!

I was able to get a test done through CVS at no charge to me. Most likely they charged my insurance.

I would question this charge for the test!
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"Helenn
Jan 4, 2021
Have you heard of the test for COVID????"

Sorry, but this post is so useless and really dumb, that I can't resist saying HAVE YOU LEARNED HOW TO READ?

FROM OP'S ORIGINAL POST:
"The salon informed us that we could not come back for 14 days and that we needed to be tested for Covid."
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Still have the pulse oximeter from years ago.
Just received a thermometer that takes a temperature without touching the forehead.
Just wondering how many times you can shoot yourself in the head with that thing?
What is the technology used?

I am actually enjoying it. I don't get out all that much lately. 🤔
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Wait about 5 days and get a nasal test done for both of you. You should be able to do a drive through in the town where you live. Some CVS and Walgreens do the test, if they have slots open to get an appt. Or go to an urgent care or free standing ER that does the testing. Your mom would be difficult to notice a difference, however take your temps at least twice a day and check oxy levels. Call her/your doctor and see if they can recommend a place to get the nasal swab testing done.

That salon is a fine example of why we can't get this under control. You should have been notified immediately of the hairdresser's positive test - especially since they know your mom, probably have her phone number if others in the shop texted you. Yes, the shop should undergo a very deep cleaning. All the others who work there have a good chance of coming down with it as well as all the patrons who came during the contagious period.
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Imho, the two times that I have been to the salon since March, it was mask protocol for me, the stylist and the shampoo girl. Prayers sent.
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We had a 'Covid scare' just a few days ago. DH has hardly worked all year but worked 2 church services Christmas eve. Found out on New Year's Eve, several people from the church came down with the virus. Then his friend (80yo) that he had worked with there called and said he tested positive. So New Year's Day, my DH is in line with 150 people at Urgent Care getting a Covid test. I was freaking out because I am a nervous Nellie and a worry wart (due to PTSD.) A few hours later he learned it was negative. So he makes $300 and has to waste $95 on the stupid test. He also plays softball, golf, and goes to the gym every day. I on the other hand am high risk and don't go anywhere except the supermarket and doctors appointments. I haven't had my hair cut in a YEAR. My hair hasn't been this long since high school. LOL! If anyone brings Covid into this house it would be him. I am so afraid of catching it that I would be really upset if he was the one to give it to me. 2020 was a crap fest of a year and everyone is tired of this pandemic, but I don't think this year will be any better. It's not going away any time soon, so all we can do is continue to be as safe as possible. I try to keep busy to control my anxiety, prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
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I agree with the previous post about a pulse oximeter. My FIL (age 78) was just released from the hospital from Covid complications and his doctor wants us to keep checking his oxygen. His main symptoms were extreme fatigue and shortness of breath. He has a mild case of COPD so this has exacerbated it and he had blood clots in his lungs so he was placed on blood thinners. I hope all goes well with your mom!
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If it makes you feel any better, a deep cleaning probably would not have made any difference. Much of what they tell us is wrong or changes as they go along. The best thing to do is to get a pulse oximeter and check her oxygen levels periodically. Anything approaching 90% or below is cause for concern. Oximeters are cheap and you can get one on Amazon for about $20. Hope your mom recovers soon.

I am 10 days out from testing positive for Covid and basically am symptom-free. I still have some loss of taste. Too bad it hasn't helped me lose weight. ;-)
My husband has Covid now (pretty sure) and has a bad cough. So far, he is doing OK other than that. Most people, even the elderly with pre-existing conditions, recover. Why some people go on to have major problems is really kind of a mystery.
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And just to reassure you, my 88 yo MIL had it and had very few symptoms. The hardest to deal with was lack of smell/taste. You can’t convince a broken Alzheimer’s brain that you need to eat even when the food doesn’t taste good! My husband and I also had it. Was much like allergy symptoms. Sinus drainage, headache, scratchy throat. That’s one reason so many people don’t even realize they have it and go about their normal business. We are fine. Most doctors in Texas are doing a zpack and prednisone pack and it dries it up and prevents that secondary bacterial pneumonia. We also have been advised to take D3 2000-4000 IU, Zinc 50-75 mcg, Vitamin C 2000 mg-spread out because its water soluble, B vitamins, Quercetin for inflammation, and a low dose aspirin to prevent clotting. If you can find the EmergenC Immunity +, most of that is in there and you can drink a glass 2X a day!
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I am sure you are living in a state of light panic, but things might not be too bad.If you and your mother and the hairdresser were all wearing masks, the amount of virus is likely to have been reduced even if you or your mother should end up testing positive. If either of you were among the cases with few or minor symptoms, you would be staying home,taking precautions, and monitoring symptoms just like you are already doing. It's likely that mild cases of COVID help build some immunity so if you come up with mild COVID that might be to your benefit.

We will all be hoping your exposure resulted in little or no "viral load," and that you will not get COVID at all but
PLEASE update us on the forum b/c we will all be waiting for your results!

Good luck to you both.
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well I take my mother to a beauty place also, but they only have 2 people in their working and each only has 1 person at a time, well apart of 6 feet, must wear masks and I know they do wipe stuff down because I saw them do it.  Now....you never know who you might come in contact with, so was the hairdresser herself wearing a mask?  if so, then she could have gotten it anywhere. but yes the salon girl should have notified you if/when she got it.  just make sure your mother drinks plenty of fluids and make her get up and walk every hour, even if she doesn't want to.  my mother doesn't go anywhere except doctors appts/hair place and I can bet that not everyone is wiping stuff down exactly like they are supposed to, even if they say they are.  just make sure that IF your mom goes anywhere else, that she washes her hands as soon as she gets home before touching her face.  I wash my hands as soon as I come home from store....pray every night that God will help to protect me.  All you can do is take precautions for you and your mother the best you can.  wishing you luck and pray that you all stay safe and healthy.  don't blame yourself.
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You and she have done nothing to beat yourself up about.

COVID-19 is sneaky and it is hard to tell when you have it. Some people may be sick and have no symptoms. Others get all the telltale symptoms. Most people will be somewhere in between. Realize that any time you come out of your house and interact with others there will be a risk of COVID exposure. Face masks, distancing, and sanitization will decrease the risk but nothing except total isolation will make your risk zero. Total isolation is not healthy for anybody mentally in the long run. So, we take calculated risks... and that is what your mom's visit to the hair salon was. So sorry her hairdresser got COVID. If she and your mother (and you) were taking precautions, your mom's risk of developing COVID is minimal. Of course, she and you should quarantine for 14 days. Take both of your temperatures every day. If mom has a slight temperature elevation (most seniors will not get a high fever), then talk to her doctor about COVID testing.
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You both should quarantine for at least 10 days (latest CDC guidelines) and if you have no symptoms during that time you're probably OK. Check her temperature (and yours) and it is also good to test oxygen levels with an Oximeter that you put on someone's forefinger. Her doctor should be able to tell you what ranges to look out for. If you can get her and you tested, that would be best. I think you have to wait for 4 days after being exposed before getting tested (check with your doctor). While the virus is raging, it's best only to do essential errands. Stay at home as much as possible. You might want to try dry shampoo if it's difficult to wash her hair in the shower. I learned to cut my mother's hair. I got the hair cutting scissor at a local drug store.
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Praters she doesn't have it.

If she loses her smell or taste, that's suppose to be a sign that's different then a regular cold or flu.

My 96 yr old Dad had a week visit with an out of town sister who tested positive the day after she returned and my Dad didn't get it.
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Glad you're both getting tested. To stay strong, NOW campbec is on the right track. Focus on the proven nutrients to fight it! D3, zinc, B complex, CoQ10 and Melatonin at night.

I believe the virus has spread world-wide. WE HAVE ALL BEEN EXPOSED, in spite of the huge preventative measures. Protect yourself and your Mom now by taking daily doses of D3, zinc, B complex, CoQ10 and Melatonin.

Prayers are with you!
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my mom is 89 and we all had covid in march before anyone was wearing masks - mom was hospitalized. since recovery, mom hasnt been out of the house unless we go to drs appts and you guessed it "hair" salon - you didnt mess up.....covid strikes so randomly - im assuming you go out etc - you could expose mom from returning from supermarket....of course, you have to be prudent and safe and wear masks(im sure she was masked at hair dresser and temps taken?). I know mom likes her hair done every 5 weeks - so we go - there is risk but in some ways, it helps her feel better.....the risk is everywhere - just wear mask and try to be as safe as possible. Hopefully you remain negative.
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on contact tracing , most people don’t know where they’ve been exposed ...by the time they let people know .. they’re already sick!
huge waste of time money and resources.
governments should step up their game with the vaccines !!!
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I hope you are both well! I was exposed at work to someone who tested positive 2 days later. I visit my mom daily, She has Alzheimer’s but is still at home. I didn’t find out until 4 days after he tested positive and by that time I had seen my mom several days and spent hours with her.
My doctor told me to immediately start 500 mg Vitamin C, 1000-2000 IU of Vitamin D and 10-25 mg Zinc and us both to isolate for 10 days. I tested negative 7 days after my contact so never had my mom tested. I thought I had been extremely careful due to my daily exposure to my mom, but it happens.
I wanted to address her cough. My mom is 86 and had a chronic cough for more than 10 years. Her and her doctor kept saying it was “allergies”. Her neurologist passed away unexpectedly and one of the first things her new neurologist asked about was her cough. She asked if mom took Lisinopril for her high blood pressure. My mom had taken it for years. Th neurologist asked her primary care doctor to switch to another drug in the same family and her 10 year cough disappeared! She hasn’t had a cough since. I thought I would pass that along in case her cough is drug related. Stay well!
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Have you heard of the test for COVID????
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Don't beat yourself up. You did your best and took reasonable precautions.
But I am speechless over all of the comments here downplaying the seriousness of COVID.
Really?
My dad died from this in September with none of the "typical" symptoms; my sister and I are so busy helping out Mom through that we haven't had time to grieve.
All of you posting about "needing" to live...Imagine me having to tell my Mom, laying in the ER waiting for the results from her test (positive), that her husband of 61 years had died upstairs, information passed to me by phone by my sister, in a text, since only one of us could be with her at a time.
It's serious.
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Please don’t beat yourself up!! I agree with the others that in reality, we all have probably been exposed to COVID. some probably caught it but were asymptomatic. This is a virus and it’s not going anywhere (even with a vaccine). I know you would feel terrible if your mother caught COVID but please look at the silver lining here. You have allowed your mother to continue living life by taking her to her weekly appointment at the salon! So many elders are being isolated in the final months/year and for what? In the end they are still gonna die of something. Many seniors are dying of loneliness. Spending their final months alone and for what? Personally that’s not what I want for my parents or myself. As a matter of fact, I am sitting in a hair salon now. My county (and the region) are under a shelter in place order and everything but big box stores are ordered to shut down). My salon has elected to stay open regardless, the stylists have families to support and earning a living is essential. So I gladly support them and kept the appointment I made 6 weeks ago. Anyway you have given your mother a sense of normalcy during this crazy unprecedented time. You are a good daughter, don’t beat yourself up!
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Thanks so much, everyone! You have provided much excellent advice and encouragement. Mom's PCP replied today that we should quarantine for 10 days from the date of exposure and get tested. If symptoms appear, we can do a virtual visit with him, although I'm not sure what good that would do since it is after-the -fact. Guess he could prescribe medications.

I made an appointment online for Mom and I to get tested on Wednesday. I'm not sure if it is a self-test (it is a drive-thru location) or if we get the q-tip into the brain test! Either way, it will take up to 72 hours to get results, which means the quarantine will almost be over by then. So far, so good. I will update here with results and any further developments. Thanks again, everyone!
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I would venture to guess that the majority of us have been exposed at one point or another by now. At least those of us that go grocery shopping, to the Dr., the hair salon etc. We can't live in a bubble. Well I guess there are some that chose to, but that's not me. I have to get out and about occasionally, and as long as I'm taking the proper precautions, I'm willing to take the chance. I REFUSE to live in fear, and it breaks my heart how many folks have chosen otherwise.
You did nothing wrong. Quit beating yourself up. And please remember that more people that do get the virus, recover from it, than those who die.
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I surely do wish you the best of luck. It is valuable information you write here so that those who do not yet understand this can know that to risk the life of the elderly for a hairdo is not a good idea. Are the odds with you? Perhaps. But it is a gamble and the stakes are life.
Hoping you will update us.
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In reality, if we live and breathe air on the earth and leave our house for ANY reason, we likely expose ourselves to SOMEONE who would 'test positive' for The Virus on any given day.

That's the truth.

PeggySue is spot on with her statement about the stylists who were covid positive, wore masks while cutting hair, and NONE of the 160 people they worked on caught the virus.

Try to relax & don't beat yourself up for living life and taking all the precautions you possibly could be taking.
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I do not think you are an incompetent idiot. Taking your mom to get her hair done is not a bad or wrong thing to do. I question the hairdresser, however, if she knew or had known that her roommate even NEEDED to be tested she should have hung back and said "I might have a situation here." That's becoming a problem with a lot of people. "Oh I didn't want to say anything because ______". My husband's coworker abruptly left one day, then notified work that her husband tested positive, but she came to work every day while they were waiting for his results. If she knew that her husband needed to be tested, my opinion was she should not have showed up. When I talked to my husband's manager about what they plan to do when they have an outbreak at work their policies changed overnight. I think I might have mentioned the word lawsuit...My company is making us work from home so I go out rarely.

In my husband's case, his coworker never tested positive despite having someone in the house that clearly was. This virus is insane in how it infects some people and skips right on by others.

The best you can do is definitely watch for symptoms, monitor yourself, quarantine, all the things they tell you to do, and especially do not blame yourself. You were taking your mom for a simple pleasure not purposely doing harm. And if everyone was wearing a mask, that is a good start at least - a mask protects you from that person, and the other person from you.

Like many people I've heard and talked to I'm fairly sure I had it in late January/early February when it started emerging (but nobody will really admit that it was here). I couldn't taste or smell, but at that time all my doctor would say was, "Huh, and you DID get your flu shot right?"

Let us know how things are going but don't get overwrought, that won't do yourself any good either.
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