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My dad caught COVID-19, is my solo trip ruined?

On Friday, January 21st, I saw my parents. On Monday, January 24, 2022, which is yesterday, my dad tested positive for COVID-19. I live alone. I am 38 it this matters. My solo trip to Spain is March 12th, 2022.

Is there now a big risk of me testing positive on my way back from Spain?

Is my trip ruined?

Did I just loose the cost of my plane tickets if my trip is now ruined?

Why do i have get myself tested now?

A lot of you are over 60 and much more hyper-fearful about the virus than I would like to be. I don't know why I am not hyperfearful about dying from the virus. I thought if i was going to die early, it would be heart disease/heart attack, high blood pressure, and/or diabetes. I jogged on a treadmill yesterday. I have no known health problems.

Posted by
2768 posts

Your trip is MARCH 12? That’s too far in the future for this to be an issue. IF you got covid from your dad, you will know within a week of when you last saw him. Test 5-7 days after you saw him to see if you have it.
If so, Then you have to quarantine and recover, I’ve seen different times for that but maybe 10 days. Then you are recovered and can travel as long as you don’t feel sick which, by March will be the case.
Obviously ask a doctor for details, this is what mine said and seems to be in line with the guidelines.

Also, if your concern is coming home - if you are “recently recovered” you don’t need to test to return to the US if you are within 90 days of your positive test. You need a positive test - a documented one, not a self test, within 90 days and a letter from a doctor saying you are recovered. If you have that you can return to the US without a test.

Entry into Spain is under Spain’s rules so will be different.

Posted by
6099 posts

Your trip is a month and a half away. It seems hyper-fearful to be concerned at this point. You could contract it and be recovered by then. Or you may not even catch it.

Yes, ask a MD if you are concerned.

Posted by
16105 posts

Mike, go get tested. Even if you test positive NOW, you'll be beyond the contagious point by your trip in March. That does NOT mean that you couldn't contract it from someone else before you go.

And to be clear, those of us over 60 aren't necessarily more fearful of getting the virus If we've been vaccinated. Some of us ARE more fearful of not being able to either enter or depart our own or someone else's country if we test positive. Not vaccinated? How sick we could get is another subject that doesn't need to be discussed here.

BTW, it doesn't matter that you jogged on a treadmill today. What matters is what your MD has told you about any pre-existing conditions you might have that could be a complication if you contract the virus, and especially IF you have not been vaccintated.

Posted by
27419 posts

You need to know whether you've been infected prior to your trip (even if no symptoms show up), because there's a slight possibility you could still be testing positive at the end of your time in Spain when you need to take a test to get back in the US. I'd check with your doctor to see when you should test--probably at least twice. If you are positive on one of those tests, you should get a letter from your doctor, written before you go to Spain, saying that you've recovered. I don't know the details of what that letter should look like, but someone posted yesterday that it needs to be on the doctor's letterhead and be signed (not rubber-stamped) by the doctor. Maybe those details are on the CDC website somewhere. I'm pretty sure the date of your first positive test needs to be included in the letter.

Assuming you have been vaccinated and boosted, this should not affect your trip. Even if you have not been vaccinated and boosted, there's an excellent chance you'll have a quick recovery if you do get infected. (But you'll be at risk of picking up COVID somewhere else in the meantime.)

As you can see, there is a reason to be concerned about COVID even if you will not die from it.

I am not a medical person; none of the above should be taken as medical advice.

Posted by
2112 posts

PCR testing can be positive for a long time. If you don’t become ill use an antigen test to return to to the US. Use an antigen test to test yourself about 7 days after your exposure to your dad even if you don’t have any symptoms. If you have health concerns, call your doctor.

Posted by
3797 posts

"Why do i have get myself tested now?" You don't say how much time you spent with your parents. You don't say if the time was spent outside. You don't say if you all wore masks. You don't say if your father had symptoms yesterday. You don't say if you are vaccinated or if your father. There are a lot of variables. In any event, you should ask your doctor. When my vaccinated niece spent some time maskless in a car with a maskless person who was symptomatic (she said she had a cold) and then tested positive the next day, the doctor advised my niece to wear a N95 mask, stay 6 feet away from others and test 5 days after potential exposure. My niece has not tested positive since the exposure which was in December and she tests once per week for school. Even if you got Covid from your father, you would not be contagious when you leave for Spain. By the way, it's pretty nervy to call people you are asking for advice hyper-fearful but maybe at 38, you have not learned that yet.

Posted by
496 posts

Are you vaccinated ? I'm assuming yes because otherwise you won't be getting into most countries anyways.

If you have picked up CV you'll know in the next 10 days or so.

What's the infection rate in the area you live in? If its high you may want to avoid bars, choirs, churches etc for the 10 days or so before you go.

Posted by
995 posts

Thanks for your input. [Unbelievably I got a polymerase chain reaction test at a clinic today, 4 days or 96 hours after seeing my parents. My dad started feeling something like a cold on Sunday, or sometime between 36 and 48 hours after I saw him. I spent 2 hours and 45 minutes at my parent's house on Friday evening. For stupid psychological reasons my dad goes to the grocery store every day, always inventing excuses why he has to buy something; and he joined a karate studio(!) after he retired - he goes at least one or more times a week; he goes to his synagogue almost every day. He knows he can't stand staying home more than 24 hours...

I don't pay attention to religion anymore, I am not good at finding events and places to go to. I work in a small office with 11 co-workers. My parents both got all the recommended shots. I got the recommended vaccinations. I cut back to grocery shopping every 6 to 8 days. I went to a board game playing group 5 times between November and this month after going for a long time without going places. I go to a hiking group that meets once a week except for when nobody RSVPs. My mom thinks travel is not safe due to the pandemic. Before the pandemic she thought travel was not safe. She has never taken a plane flight, she has a phobias of riding in boats, crossing bridges, hights or observation decks in tall buildings, going out in bad weather. I feel like I am sneaking around behind my mom's back doing something terribly wrong or something I am not allowed to do when planning a trip. My great-grandfather with my same last name had a heart attack and died just before he would have turned 50. My grandfather on my dad's side somehow lived to be 96 even though he became diabetic, developed chronic kidney disease, had surgery to replace a knee, hip, and a valve in his heart, had a piece of cancer cut off his skin at least once. My grandfather on my mom's side got amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ; while he was in a veterans hospital because of it, he got pneumonia and died, when he was 36 and 7 months old.] I believe part of my brain is irrationally afraid some staff will go crazy and have an outburst of anger at me, like my parents do, for example for traveling when I am "not supposed to travel" because "its not safe".

Posted by
6377 posts

Mike L, I haven't gone back to check, but haven't you posted a number of times about your mother's fears about your traveling? Deep breath, friend, and focus. It's not your mother's trip, it's yours. Get tested regularly, if that will allay your concerns.

One thing you mentioned hit home with me:

For stupid psychological reasons my dad goes to the grocery store every day, always inventing excuses why he has to buy something

Don't put him down; my dad did the same thing. It was important to him to get out of the house at least once a day; usually he went to the grocery store. Once Covid shut everything down, he was at loose ends; his favorite lunch place closed down, our church closed down, and even some family gatherings were cancelled. Going to buy bananas or milk kept him in touch with his prepandemic life. I think his fear was that if he stayed home, he would lose touch with life.

I didn't approve of his going out every day, but I did see how important it was to him.

Posted by
9873 posts

Your dad caught Covid — how is he doing?

This would seem to be the important question.

Posted by
6377 posts

Kim, you put the rest of us to shame. Mike L, yes, please; how is your dad?

Posted by
302 posts

Mike, as the pandemic drags on and into its third year, aside from the seemingly unending ways the virus continues to infect the world many of us also have family issues to consider. I wasn't able to see one of my adult children for 18 months, since it's a cross country flight. My grandchild can't be vaccinated yet, at only 2, a source of ongoing anxiety for all of us and my own depression over not being able to see her (3 states away) as I once did. My situation is nothing compared to the grief of those who have lost loved ones (as Kim wrote, hopefully your dad is faring well) and the situation for health care workers or those in the service industries.
I think it's human nature to want to blame someone or something! I know it's an outlet for my own anger (looking at you, anti vaxxers/maskers).
But the same plane that takes you on your trips could be carrying a dangerous new variant to that destination, and, maybe it's in the stranger sitting next to you! Yes, you spent time with family, and may have been exposed as a result, but you are also working with 11 people who presumably go to stores or maybe restaurants or whatever that can and likely now will expose them to Covid. Do any have kids in school? Etc. Unless you are working from home and never go out at all it's a chance.
It might be useful these weeks before your trip to make lists and make plans. You have the doctor advice already. What if you test positive right before the trip? Cancellation policies, etc. What if you test positive during your trip, or on the way home? Do you have plans ready for those possibilities? For anyone opting to travel during the pandemic this is just the new reality. I would channel your worries into lists with solutions/action plans for each and away from blaming your dad.
Good luck and hope all ends well!

Posted by
6670 posts

Mike, trying to keep the focus here on travel, let me try to answer each of your original questions:

"Is there now a big risk of me testing positive on my way back from Spain?" Not if you haven't tested positive before and follow the precautions you should while on your trip. Your exposure to your dad in January won't affect your trip to Spain unless you're infected now, which you can find out with a test.

"Is my trip ruined?" Not unless you get infected before or during it. See above re precautions and testing.

"Did I just lose the cost of my plane tickets if my trip is ruined?" If you can't make the trip as scheduled, chances are your tickets can be changed to later flights or converted to vouchers, so the answer is no.

"Why do I have to get myself tested now?" To see if the exposure to your dad infected you, to protect your co-workers and others from exposure to you, and to tell you whether you need any kind of treatment. This would all be true whether you plan any travel or not.

Posted by
857 posts

Bottom line - you can use either a PCR or Antigen for re-entry to the US (various times to take apply). If you are positive now, a PCR COULD still pop positive from that same infection, even months down the road. Odds are, an Antigen won't.

So, take the Antigen for return.

Posted by
995 posts

My dad is resting at home. He has some cold and flu-like symptoms. I got a reverse-transcription polymerse chain reaction test at a walk in clinic. I already got my negative result in e-mail. My dad might not have caught the virus until after I saw him. My guess is, there isn't going to be an end to the pandemic. Some of the rules about testing and the travel restrictions might be gradually reduced or canceled. Sort of like how the pandemics of flu and other diseases never went away but the media doesn't keep mentioning the other diseases. Most otherwise healthy vaccinated people will develop enough immuinity. For irrational reasons, my top worry in travel has always been how to break the news of my travel to my mother. I need to read the fine print on my travel insurance. I ordered 2 BinaxNOW rapid antigen testing kits for use in my hotel for my return to the USA. I suppose it seems like I am flippantly not taking the pandemic seriously enough. I don't know why i am not more cautious or fearful of catching the virus. I don't know how I would manage if I thought I would catch COVID in the next 24-hours or in the next week. Maybe people who are doing well at managing the terror of impending death are on average flippantly lacking sufficient fear or caution about the virus compared to others.

Posted by
396 posts

Hey Mike, I do not know if this is still the case, when I traveled to Spain in Sept./ Oct. 2021 Andalucia would take care of you and your travel partners if you tested positive. Hotel, food, medical e-vac, flights, hospital bills, etc. It would be worth checking to see if they still do that. Just peace of mind. And Andalucia is the heart of Spain, I would not skip it. I have huge health issues but I won't ever stop traveling, for me I might as well jump of a cliff. I felt very comfortable at that time to travel I routed thru Heathrow so everybody had to take a covid test to fly. Double N95, hand sanitizer in bucket loads, and away I went. Enjoy your trip J

Posted by
995 posts

joanne1108 : Yeah I am going to Andalucia but I am going to Madrid too. I am leaving from Madrid, so I doubt Andalucia's policies would still apply when I am in the Madrid region.

Posted by
2393 posts

Don’t stress about this. My husband and I tested positive over a week ago and both were symptomatic. Both of my teens, who live with us, have NOT caught it. We were all having dinner together every night up until my husband felt sick. He and I quarantined, and my teens didn’t get it. Success!

If I were you, I would test at least 5 days after you saw your dad. Best case scenario is you test positive now and have no symptoms. Then you get a letter of recovery from your dr. prior to your trip and don’t have to worry about testing before coming home.