COLUMN: Corcoran clan contracts COVID-19

The Chatham Voice’s Bruce Corcoran gets swabbed for COVID-19 in this file photo.

How did you spend your Christmas break? The Corcorans, like a growing number of Chatham-Kent residents, spent it in COVID-19 isolation.

That’s right, we got The Vid, to steal the term from comedian Kevin Hart.

Three days before Christmas, our daughter hung out with a friend who she had not seen in months as both were away at school. It turns out, the friend was at the time asymptomatic with COVID.

This is what happens. People do pretty much everything right, yet the virus can slip past.

So, my wife and I, just a handful of days after getting our booster shots, wound up with COVID.

We felt like crap for days. I’m still hacking up lung gunk as I type this.

For us, the symptoms began on Dec. 27, two days after our daughter found out a friend had tested positive, and her own symptoms began. For Brenna, it was a matter of having a fever, feeling lightheaded and suffering through some nausea to begin with. She, double vaxxed, transitioned quickly to general fatigue, wet cough and stuffed up sinuses.

Mary Beth wound up with nasty body aches to begin with, and waves of fever. Even after the fever, a short walk around the neighbourhood block required stopping for a rest.

As for myself, it went to my lungs, throat and sinuses. I had a fever come and go as well, but not to the same extent as Mary. But it felt like even moving my eyeballs hurt sometimes.

I other words, each of us felt like we were going through a bout with the flu.

It’s the exhaustion that lingers. You wake up and think, “Man, I feel pretty good, better than a couple of days ago.” Then you try to perform a few mundane tasks, and find out you have to take a break.

The naysayers will pipe up and say the vaccines didn’t work; we got COVID. But I am very thankful I was double vaxxed and boosted when the illness got to me.

As Omicron is spiking around the globe, having the improved defenses coursing through us limited the damage. I am asthmatic and overweight; my wife had diabetes, so we are immunocompromised.

As soon as Brenna’s friend got a positive result on a rapid test, we tested ourselves on Christmas Day. That’s when Brenna had a positive. We got her in for a PCR test on Boxing Day, and she got the news just a day later she was positive on the more accurate test.

I immediately went to book Mary and I in for PCR tests at the testing centre. I went online on Dec. 27. The first open date was Jan. 1. That’s how we “enjoyed” New Year’s morning, getting swabs up our nostrils.

Through it all, we isolated and notified close contacts from just prior to Christmas. As soon as we saw Brenna’s rapid antigen test result, we contacted everyone we had been with Christmas Eve. We were at a family dinner of 10 people.

Fortunately, it appears Brenna was not shedding the virus at that point.

As for the people at The Chatham Voice, I have stayed away. Thankfully, we were closed a few extra days over the holidays, so there was no contact through me.

Even with the shorter isolation period for most, I am staying away this week as well. Being immunocompromised means I could be shedding the virus for a longer period of time than most. As I type this, all of us are feeling better in our house, but we are still coughing. And the fatigue lingers.

Better safe than sorry.

This column is not an effort to make any reader feel sorry for us, but rather to share how easily this virus can transmit in its omicron variant form.

There are reports some folks are afraid of what other people might think of them if they test positive for COVID. Some ignore symptoms and continue on with their lives. But that is terrible, and potentially tragic.

Omicron is highly contagious. It got into our household from a simple gathering of friends, which followed provincial guidelines.

If you have any of the signs of COVID, get tested as soon as possible. More importantly, self-isolate to be safe.

For others, don’t judge people on potential or actual COVID exposure. That could only make contact tracing more difficult, as people shield their symptoms and ultimately spread the virus.

To my coworkers, friends and family, I must express my thanks, for holding down the office while I’m off ill, for delivering medication and groceries to our doorstep, and for being so supportive as we had to deal with the virus.


  1. Unfortunately you are so right. Anti-vaxers will say the vaccine doesn’t work, but they will ignore the point that any illness from the virus would have and could have been much worse. Common sense should be a course in school. Get better Bruce and your family as well. Randy and Brenda Coote

  2. Thanks for sharing, Bruce.

    Hope you and your wife and daughtere will be feeling better soon. Thank God you were all vaccinated before this incident, or things could have turned out worse for everyone involved.

    Again, thanks for shairng, and get well soon!


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