We Got An Antibody Test!

We drove to Columbia, SC, last Thursday, to get an ARCpoint Lab to get an antibody test for COVID-19. Because Hans had an exposure on March 11th when he went to work to someone who had tested positive for the nasal swab test, we thought that there was a good chance that he (or we) may have already had it. He had some fatigue and dizziness in the days after the exposure on March 11th but before he was notified by SWA on March 18th.

Due to new COVID-19 rules for doctors office and lab visits, we waited in the truck to be called and entered one at a time wearing our masks. The lab tech was also masked and gloved. The test consisted of a finger prick (painless) and then the blood was dotted onto a plastic tray that looked like a pregnancy test. Also like a pregnancy test, there was about a 10 minute wait for results.

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The website for Biotest Company in Hangzhou which made the COVID-19 antibody test we took.


The website for Biotest Company in Hangzhou which made the COVID-19 antibody test we took.

Why would we wish that we had already had this awful virus? Well, if we had it already, in theory, we wouldn’t have to worry about getting it again any time soon because we would have acquired immunity. Although there are reports coming out of Korea that would indicate otherwise. Also, if we tested positive for the antibodies, we would have had a very mild case of it as seems to be the case for many people who contract it.

But most importantly,  we would not have to worry about unknowingly spreading the Virus to other people. Although this is not a given, either.

Because this virus is so new and scientists haven’t had a chance to study it, there is just so much that isn’t yet known.

Also, it really isn’t clear how well these antibody tests work. According to the local health department in Laredo, TX, the antibody test they were briefly using “had a reliability of about 20%.” So, the $70 each we paid to ARCpoint may have been a glorious waste of money. Also, as you can see at the bottom of the page with the info about the test, it says that “this test has not been reviewed by the FDA.”

Going forward, we will assume we have not had it and will continue to take reasonable precautions such as washing our hands and using homemade hand sanitizer(I use vegetable glycerin instead of aloe vera) and wearing masks when we go in public to protect other people from us as I will continue to fly when we get back to Colorado.

All masked up!

I do believe that this virus will prompt many people to become more conscious and intentional about their health. We have been on our own health journey for many years now and health is something we are passionate about. I will write more about our health journey in future posts.

For now, thanks for reading and be safe, peaceful and well.


One Year In

June marked a year since we set out from the ranch in Texas and truly commenced on our full-time RV living adventure.

We have learned so much about our new way-of-life and how we operate in this new realm.

One thing we have learned is that we need so much less than we thought we did. Although the back of our truck may say something different. We took time out at our friends the Marshes house in Montrose, CO, to empty the back and reorganize/reevaluate our gear. We had a decent sized donation pile afterwards and left our donations at the Salvation Army.

Even so, I would say that we could easily cut our stuff down by half again and possibly move into a more mobile and versatile unit such as a truck camper or a conversion van. A 250 square foot travel trailer seems like the height of luxury these days.

I had this affirmed for me when we stored our trailer, and I set out on a month-long journey. With the help of 2 space-saver bags from Dollar Tree, I managed to get enough clothes for 9 days of work, a beach vacation, a visit to my parents’ ranch in Texas and my semi-formal Anniversary Banquet at Southwest Airlines all into my 21-inch roll aboard that I use for work. I didn’t even have it expanded out (at least until the last flight back to the home-sweet-trailer).

I didn’t feel like I was doing without or that I had forgotten anything. Having access to a washing machine in all the places I stayed, did help. I did do a couple of panty wash outs in the sink.

Another quirk in our personalities that I have begun to embrace is that, even though I used to plan our lives for months out when we lived in a stick and brick is that, in this nomadic lifestyle, we are loathe to commit to anything. We do not know what we are doing until we are doing it. And I love it! It feels good to live loose and carefree!

Something that we began to realize as we began to stay longer in some places, is how limited we were by our resources. We figured out a hack for our freshwater which was to tote collapsible 5 gallon containers of water back with us and refill our tank.

With our gray water, we use biodegradable dish and shower soaps such as Campsuds and all Seventh Generation products, so we could usually let it go wherever.

However, our black tank would fill up after about a week. Sometimes we could stretch it longer if we were out a lot and not using our RV toilet. But inevitably, we would have to break camp to dump our black tank or use our Blue Boy tank to dump it which was gross, scary (as lifting a 180 pound fully loaded tank of sewage into the back of the pick up was suspenseful in a very bad way) and not convenient.

So, to celebrate our year anniversary of the full-time RV living lifestyle, we acquired an Airhead Composting Toilet! https://airheadtoilet.com

This solves our problem with waste disposal as the composting toilet can go weeks before it must be emptied and, when it is time to empty it, you simply discard the “dirt” into a composting bag and discard it into a trash can. Then, you refill the chamber with more moistened coconut hulls to start the process over again with a new batch. The urine gets diverted into the black tank and can go a long time before being emptied. Also, it is more sanitary as urine alone is sterile. When it mixes with number 2, it becomes “sewage”.

A composting toilet is also better for the environment because it uses less water.

While I was in Texas visiting my Mother and attending the Southwest Airlines anniversary party, Hans went to Montrose, CO, to his friend of 30 years, Wayne Marsh, and enlisted Wayne’s help and his shop in order to make the modifications (it took a LOT of modifications, but so worth it) to install the toilet.

I came back to a fully functioning composting toilet with the addition of a bidet. (The first time I ever went to France when I was 17, I was fascinated by bidets and resolved to someday have one. I just never realized my wildest dreams would come true in the toilet of my camper!)The bidet!

I have to say that the composting toilet is even better than I thought it could be. It strangely doesn’t smell AT ALL… even less than our original porcelain toilet.

The price tag is high on the composting toilet, over $1000, but thanks to my mother-in-law, Patricia, we are proudly perched on our new throne. She did something nice for Hans’ sister, and she believes in being fair, so she wanted to do something for him and he chose the toilet for us!

Hans making some mods:

This brings me to another thing that we have learned about ourselves. Somehow, some way, everything that we need is provided for us when we need it. The Universe Has Our Backs. Gabby Bernstein apparently wrote a whole book about this concept, aptly titled, “The Universe Has Your Back”.

Our beloved Arctic Fox 25Y was manifested out of the blue when we happened to find a used one only an hour away and at the right price when we were ready for it. This, despite the fact that I could only find 3 used ones in the country, and they were all thousands of miles away.

From month to month, I used to wonder how things would pan out. Would we be able to “clear our boards” and not have to commute back to Denver to work? Did we manage to work enough to cover our expenses? But I have ceased to worry about these things as apparently, things manage to work for us, even when we aren’t sure at the moment how this will manifest.

I don’t understand it, but I do believe it! And I believe this probably operates for all of us, but we have to give it SPACE TO HAPPEN for it to work it’s “magic”.

When we simplified and slowed down, we created the space to let the magic happen.