After almost three years of pandemic I’ve managed to avoid COVID. I social distanced when advised, masked up, and got my vaccine plus a booster. I wondered if I could keep outrunning the virus indefinitely, especially since it seems like so many people I know have gotten it. Well, my time has come.
I started to feel a bit weird on the night of Tuesday October 25th, but I didn’t know what to make of it. I did have a bit of throat irritation, but that happens to me frequently due to acid reflux. But the next morning I definitely had cold-like symptoms like headache and overall aches. The at-home testing kit confirmed it, I have COVID. 1
And the timing could not have been worse, as I was supposed to go to Southern California on Monday November 1st, first for work with Emee, then for pleasure. Emee still went, but I did not. Instead I got to isolate in the basement until Emee left town in hopes that she wouldn’t get sick (she didn’t.) Then I got to spend a week in the main house while everyone else is gone and my symptoms slowly fade.
Thankfully my COVID case has been on the mild side. It’s not been as bad as the last time I had the flu a few years back, where for several days I lay in bed, marinating in my own sweat, too weak to do anything upright, wondering if the Angel of Death is looking over my shoulder. No, this sickness just has the annoyances of a bad cold, but a bad cold that lingers a bit longer, and went back and forth–during the first few days sometimes I felt better, then I get a slight fever again. I’m fortunate that I have someone who cares for me, looking over me. And this sickness could be a lot worse.
Despite all that, it’s hard not to feel all depressed and melancholy and a bit sorry for myself. The first few days of sickness I didn’t have much ambition beyond sleeping (or trying to sleep) and fooling around on the internet. It’s hard to think positive in these circumstances, especially after all we’ve been through over these past few years.
Being sick really makes you appreciate being unsick. And this infection comes after the longest unsick period of my life–the last cold I had was in January of 2020. Being stuck inside makes me long for the outside world and all the things I could be doing. I’ve long felt that I haven’t been seizing life appropriately for a long time. A lot of that is due to fatigue: of the pandemic, of encroaching old age, of self-doubt. But now I feel the pent-up desire to go out and ride bikes, shoot some film, have adventures.
After almost two weeks of COVID, it’s pretty much gone. A slight lingering cough is all that remains, and I don’t feel like my energy level is 100% back, but that’s hard to tell. I pretty much stayed home the whole time–I didn’t really have anywhere to go, and it just seemed the best thing to do. (I knew I’d get sideways glances if I’m out in public coughing, even if I’m masked up.) It’s been a lonely couple weeks, especially since Emee was gone for half of it. I can’t wait to get back out in the world, and also to see Emee when she returns.
1 After several negative tests and waiting out that fifteen minute window for a line in the “T” zone, I was amazed at how quick a positive test reveals itself!