Hello, this is Simon.
I had a bit of a close shave the other week. Being the first week of April, it was to be a fairly light week of work as not all classes had started up. I only had lessons on the Monday, Thursday and Friday, a meeting on Tuesday and on Wednesday a staff get-together to pack textbooks into boxes for each school. Nothing too hectic.
The first two days went well, a good sign for the up and coming school year. However, on Tuesday evening I got a call saying that one of my Monday students had been diagnosed with Covid. I wasn’t too worried because I had had minimal close contact with the student, the room was well ventilated, we were all wearing masks, and I wasn’t deemed to be a “close contact”. Just as a precaution, I was told stay home on the Wednesday. It was a well timed break and I got a lot of things done at home, a very productive day. I went to bed feeling good, but then had a terrible night’s sleep….
I woke up feeling very lethargic, so took my temperature, it was 37.2. I thought “No big deal. I’ll just keep checking it throughout the day.” It started to drop over the next few hours and I felt pretty good after dropping my daughter off at daycare. “It should be down to normal.” I thought, as I checked it again. However, it had gone up to 37.5. I called my boss to let him know, and made a beeline for the doctor’s.
Once there, I was offered the option of an antigen test or PCR test. I opted for the antigen test, because it gave instant results, and after about 10 minutes, the test came back negative (Phew!). I was told to take that day off as well, just in case. The antigen test was new to me, so I did a bit of investigation and found that it can give false negatives in the early stages of infection, as opposed to the PCR test, which is considered the gold standard. It got me a little worried, so I self quarantined from my family that night.
The next day I felt fine, but I was still worried about teaching that afternoon. I called my clinic to see if I could get another antigen test, just to be safe, but was told that I couldn’t. I tried a few other clinics and had no luck. Finally, I called the original clinic again explained my situation: that I had had a negative result in the antigen test and my symptoms had disappeared, but there was still a chance that I could have the virus, and in my job I come into contact with large numbers of children. They finally relented and said I could come in for a PCR test. I went in took the test, and had to wait a day for the results. Again, I was told to take the day off.
Long story short, the test came up negative. I was finally in the clear! I had had all that time off it seemed for nothing. But, I learned that in future, I should just go for the PCR test. Anyway, I was happy to be able to start the following week with a new lease on life.
My first week back at school, felt like it was off to a rocky start, so I thought I’d write about it and include a view words and phrases that may come in handy.
“a close shave”
“made a beeline for the doctor’s”
“I opted for the antigen test”
“the gold standard”
“they finally relented”
“I was finally in the clear”
“a new lease on life”
The expression “a new lease on life” means a situation in which you feel more energetic and active than you did before or have better prospects for your life ahead (e.g. Changing jobs/having a child gave him a new lease on life.)
Hello! My name is Simon.
I am from New Zealand, and have been living and teaching English in Japan since 1999.
My hobbies include movies, playing the guitar, gardening and hiking.