I tested positive for COVID-19—life is paused completely, until further notice

Even though we have made it through more than half of our mandatory quarantine already, I'm terrified by the thought of leaving again—even when I'm cleared to.

woman tested positive for coronavirus

From a bird's eye view, I can see two bright white plates from Homegoods filled with rice y gandules (rice and pigeon peas), fried chicken cutlets, tostones (fried plantains) and a salad filled with red cabbage and arugula. The brightly colored salad is dressed with an apple cider vinegar dressing from a friend's recipe that I've added to the list of comfort foods in our home.

A green olive is peeking out from the mound of rice on the plate, conjuring memories of when my sister and I would count each other's olives to make sure Mom gave us the same amount. (That quickly reminds me, I should double-check to be sure my husband and I have a fair share of olives, too.)


The rice has one slice of a freshly roasted red pepper lying inside out across the top—a classic touch from my mother. The chicken, although fried, is not how she would typically make it. Since we don't often fry food in our home, we don't have breadcrumbs, so I use what we do have—a piece of a baguette blended with coarse cornmeal.

The tostones topped with Grandma's famous tomato mojito, per usual, are tucked neatly on top of each other. The extra mojo (and there is always extra), is in the wood pilon.

This was our Sunday dinner a couple of weeks ago. The beauty of the spread on our counter took my breath away. So I took a photo. The moment I put the phone down, I had my first mini-meltdown since our mandatory quarantine began. I cried hard for about three minutes (which felt like 20) and collapsed into my husband's arms.

Because at that moment—it all felt like too much.

This meal reminded me of home. Not just the place I currently live, but "home" home. That safe space which includes my parents, my sister, my brother and my grandma, too. The place that raised me. The best food that I was raised on. The place where the scent of every ingredient lingered throughout each crack in our home.

The place unlike any other.

It reminded me that my sister is currently in LA in her apartment, by herself, until further notice.

It reminded me that my grandmother keeps crying because she is sad she won't be able to see any of us, until further notice.

It reminded me some of my new mama friends are going through their fourth-trimester postpartum ups and downs and cannot see family or even simply ask for help from friends, until further notice.

It reminded me that one of my best friends is exposing herself to the coronavirus daily while treating her patients and is unable to see anyone, until further notice.

It reminded me that I cannot hug any of these people, the people I love the most—my family, "framily" and friends—until further notice. Hugging, for me, is a sign of affection that has been ingrained in me since I was in the womb.

It reminded me that I currently cannot even step foot inside "home" home right now, until further notice.

It reminded me I cannot even leave my current home for weeks because I've tested positive for COVID-19.

Even though we have made it through more than half of our mandatory quarantine already, I'm terrified by the thought of leaving again—even when I'm cleared to. I cannot stop thinking about the possibility that I could fully recover and then be reinfected, unknowingly carrying this virus around people I love.

It's all frightening and heartbreaking. I wonder, should I even be hugging my husband? Although, this act of affection and love is probably one of the only things helping me heal right now.

I cried looking at this meal full of comfort food I made because I wish I was sitting down to eat it with my entire family. Now, quarantined, until further notice, I don't even know when I will see them again. Although this meal is off from my usual low-carb-meatless diet, my soul has been craving ALL OF THE CARBS and meat. With the belief that food is medicine, right now I'm feeding my soul what it wants, plain and simple.

Although this comfort food brings some comfort, it breaks my heart, too. It's hard to reconcile the fact that we are required to stay inside our home for an indeterminate amount of time combined with the idea that we still know so little about this virus. The truth is though, that we are among the luckiest. I know this.

I feel privileged to simply be alive during this pandemic while so many others are losing loved ones every day. I have a job and am able to work from home full-time, for a company that cares about its employees.

My family is alive and well. I get to hug my husband whenever I want. My awesome brother has been picking up and delivering groceries to our building. And we live in a time of innumerable technologies that enable us to keep in close contact with our loved ones no matter where they are.

For the time being, I am doing my best to trust in our incredibly hard-working essential workers to keep crushing it, to have a positive outlook and to keep smiling. Bringing the feeling of home to my actual home through comfort food, hugs from my husband and FaceTime chats will do for now.

Hang in there, mama.

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.


"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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