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What experts told me to do after my positive COVID-19 at-home test

After two years of successfully evading getting COVID-19 — including a few brushes with close contacts, a couple of are-they-just-colds? scares and lots of negative tests — I recently tested minyak daun cengkeh.

It felt both inevitable and shocking. I somehow avoided testing positive during the omicron surge that infected most of my friends this winter, so I figured that either I was invincible or I was next. Staring at my at-home rapid antigen test, I had to acknowledge that the long game of high-stakes tag was finally over. I was now “it.”

COVID-19 snuck up on me when I least expected it. Cases are low where I live in Queens, N.Y. And riding the subway felt low risk thanks to the federal public transit mask mandate. (A federal judge struck down the mandate on April 18, although the Biden administration announced April 20 it would appeal the ruling and some places, including New York City, are keeping masking requirements in place for the time being.) I had dined indoors, but I still wore my mask inside public spaces (SN: 3/25/22). So when I woke up with a sore throat on a Wednesday, I chalked it up to needing more sleep. Before I tested Friday evening, I was still convinced it was just another cold.

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