Canes Covering Coronavirus, Florida

My mom was tested for coronavirus

Inés Eisenhour
Amelia Island, FL


My mom was tested for COVID-19

Hi, my name is Inés Eisenhour. I am a rising junior majoring in political science and public administration and I am currently quarantining in Amelia Island, FL.

My parents left for Spain in the middle of February, planning a beautiful 39-day trip that spanned Spain, France and Italy. When they left, COVID-19 was a background story, with little expectation for interference in their plans.

But life went from calm to chaos within a single day.

The White House announced travel restrictions from Europe at 2:30 a.m. local time where my parents were. I scrambled to find plane tickets for them and thankfully, the airline worked with them to bring them home in a few days later, but for about an hour I panicked thinking my parents would be stuck in France for another 30 days.

When they flew into Miami, out of an abundance of caution my parents drove straight home to avoid contaminating me.

My parents said they were comfortable with me staying on campus until classes started again since I was trying to preserve my routine as well as I could. Not 24 hours later, UM announced the partial closure of on-campus housing and I received a text from my father saying he was on his way down to Miami to pick me up.

This was a six hour drive that he had made only two days earlier.

Back home on Amelia Island, I stared at my pile of boxes taking up a corner of the garage and felt my anxiety and depression coming back after months of good routine and healthy habits.

For the first week, I couldn’t get close to my parents, my mom was sick and unwilling to communicate. The atmosphere in my house was tense and miserable. I felt completely and utterly alone.

Earlier this week, mom announced that Mayo Clinic Jacksonville was finally allowing her to take a COVID-19 test.

We are a particularly vulnerable family to a disease like COVID-19; my mom has fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s disease, two auto-immune disorders, my dad has a smoking history and has survived a heart attack and I have had pneumonia several times.

She took the test and the results were supposed to take 24 to a maximum of 48 hours. It took three days. For those three days, it felt like we were all unraveling.

The test was negative.

Our lives took a 180 after that notification. The collective anxiety and mental incapacitation we had been experiencing finally lifted, and we found some semblance of peace in our isolation.

Amelia Island is a vacation destination; its economy depends on tourism. A large majority of our residents are above the age of 65. My father is a sole-proprietor who has practically been put out of business.

I am currently figuring out how to manage my mental health in isolation, which I am looking forward to exploring in future blogs.

Stay home everyone!


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April 7, 2020

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Leah Harper


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