Hot tea with honey
Getty Images

I miss the kids. Over the past 48 hours, I’ve been battling a nasty cold and have been hiding in our upstairs bedroom to make sure I don’t get them sick.

The thought has occurred that COVID-19 found its way into my body, but this is just a good old-fashioned common cold with a runny nose, pounding headache and an occasional coughing fit. Rest, hot tea with honey and chicken noodle soup have been on the to-do list.

I’ve slowed down on my reporting but it’s almost impossible to take a sick day when it’s a one-person news staff. Not being around the kids is one of the most difficult parts of it all.

Jude, the 3-year-old, doesn’t seem to be missing me a whole lot. My wife says he’ll occasionally look around and notice I’m missing and ask “where’s daddy” before getting back to the important task of playing with his toys. Jasper, the 1-year-old, might be noticing a bit more but he’s not exactly a conversationalist so it’s difficult to know what he’s thinking.

A morning routine for me has been to come downstairs and settle in the recliner to watch a little morning news. Jasper picks up his blankie and comes running to me to position himself in front of the chair for the ride up into my lap via the footrest. He settles into a comfy spot on my left side, we put the blankie over him and we listen to a newscaster going on about the pandemic, politics and winter weather. He occasionally needs a toy to play with when the news doesn’t hold his interest.

It might seem silly, but it’s those types of moments that are the highlight of the day.

Sometimes, we need to make daddy some coffee before settling down into the recliner. I’ll hold him in my left arm while I go about the tasks of grinding coffee beans, heating up water and placing a filter in the carafe. I’ve come to most enjoy the pour-over method of brewing coffee and it’s a process that both of my kids should have memorized — they’ve watched me do it enough times.

As I write this, I’m beginning to feel better while hoping that this cold is pretty much behind me. It’s just that you have to be really careful to not get your kids sick. Besides the obvious setback of dealing with cranky, sick kids, there’s also the fact that the babysitter won’t take them. That means you’re trying to get work done with sick kids at home, which in my experience is almost impossible. And when you throw in COVID protocols, that means you may need to get them tested or quarantine them for a certain number of days before child care will take them back.

Yeah, it’s best to just be careful and make sure they don’t catch my cold. I’ll stay upstairs again tonight not just to keep my distance with a cold, but to get caught up on some work that I’ve been missing over the past few days. Maybe tomorrow morning, we’ll make some coffee and watch a little news together.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News and spends what little free time he has with his wife and two young sons. Do you have a fun story to share about your kids or grandkids? Email it to me at and it just might end up in a future post).

2 replies on “Confessions of a 50-Something Dad: A cold and no contact”

  1. Oh man, so sorry to hear that your feeling crummy. However, a great word picture of a dad’s heart sure came through in the article. Your kids are blessed to have you as their dad.

Comments are closed.