Covid: Missed Three Years by THISSSS much
I finally succumb to the virus from which everyone has moved on
For some reason, I thought that if I made it this far, I was somehow ordained by God/Allah/Buddha/The Giant Turtle Who Carries the Earth on His Back (look it up) to never be afflicted.
Man plans. God laughs.
I went to bed late Friday night, December 16, with what can best be described as a swollen throat. I could see the swelling in the mirror. An hour earlier I was fine.
I thought “Ruh roh. This is how my colds always start.”
I woke up Saturday morning feeling a bit worse and thinking “Yep. I caught a cold.”
Then, a friend who I had seen a couple of days earlier texted me to say that he had tested positive for Covid. So I tested.
The ‘positive’ line was excruciatingly faint, but EK and I agreed, it was there. Probably Covid.
On Sunday, I felt worse and tested again. It took about 30 seconds for the positive test line to turn so dark, it was almost as if the test makers were mocking me:
“Dude: You have so much Covid, we can see it from our offices in Kalamazoo.” [Editor’s note: I have no idea if the test company is based in Kalamazoo. It’s just one of those funny city names like Walla Walla and Rancho Cucamonga that hacky writers fall back on for a cheap, gratuitous laugh.]
EK, being the quick-thinking, action-oriented person she is, immediately dons a mask, retreats to the remotest part of our house, locks the door, cranks up the industrial air cleaner, ties the dog to a stake (he was angling for a steak) outside her door and orders him to keep me away, up to and including barking at me until my skull splits open from my screaming Covid headache.
Which takes us to my symptoms. In no particular order:
Moderate muscle aches (legs, mostly)
Stuffy nose and sinuses
Aforementioned 12/10 headache, manageable with over-the-counter cold and flu medications, and which I am consuming as if they were Christmas-themed M&Ms
Loss of taste and smell
In essence, my Covid experience is somewhere between a bad cold and medium flu, other than the loss of taste and smell. Which is weird. My appetite is fine, and I sort of remember what stuff tastes like. But, I can’t taste it. As I write this, I am sipping a cup of Earl Grey tea with honey, and I imagine it is quite good.
I attribute my relatively un-notable Covid experience to the fact that I have had four vaccines: The original two, plus a booster, plus the “updated” booster this past September.
I called my primary care physician and my cardiologist to see if I should take Paxlovid, given my somewhat increased vulnerability due to my heart condition. The cardiologist didn’t have an opinion one way or the other, but that I had to stop taking a couple of my heart meds if I did decide to take Paxlovid.
My PCP said based on my symptoms and the current variant floating around (variant WTFKs), he didn’t think I needed to take it, which I agreed with as I am not a big fan of taking any more drugs than is necessary (notwithstanding the M&Ms comment four paragraphs up.)
EK is so far symptom free and continues to test negative. Same with my mom, who I saw Friday evening, a few hours before I first started feeling the symptoms.
EK and I have tried to balance risk with living our lives. There are things that we agree that we are still not comfortable doing:
- Going to movies, concerts, theater
- Air travel unless absolutely necessary
- Most parties/gatherings
We do go out to eat, but it tends to be lunch, mid-week, at uncrowded, spread-out places. Or, outdoors in the warm weather.
Yes, we’re still a bit on the cautious side, due to my always-annoying heart issues that keep us on our toes, plus we both have moms that we want to keep healthy and happy.
And, we both hated getting sick BEFORE Covid, and we both hated going to crowded, packed movie theaters, airports, airplanes, restaurants and bars. Layer Covid on top and, you know, we’re good hanging at home, just as we always have been.
Bottom line: My bout of Covid is neither scary nor non-trivial. It’s more like… being sick with that extra patina of being part of a global pandemic/scourge.
I don’t know how bad this would have been if there weren’t safe and effective vaccines, but the death rate is 6x higher for unvaccinated people. That’s a fact. And I would guess that the families and friends of a good chunk of the 6.7 million people who have died from Covid worldwide would like a vaccine “do-over.” Especially all those who died before the vaccine existed.
Take care of yourselves, your families, and your friends. This isn’t over and a little caution could go a long way to avoiding something mild, something bad or something worse.
But it’s always something.
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