So it finally happened. Nearly three years in, and (coincidentally or not) just after my first real trip in years, I got COVID, and so did all of my family, which I guess qualifies this as the latest post in that particular series.
I cannot begin to explain how stupefiyingly annoying this is, since we’ve been super careful – we wear masks when we go out, we avoid crowded public places, etc. I wore masks on all four cab rides and on the train, and other than my kids (who have indeed stopped wearing masks at school), we’ve had very little exposure.
Plus, of course, we’re all vaccinated–and I was waiting to see when my age group would get another round. I got the seasonal flu vaccine a couple of weeks ago, and there had been a tentative announcement of there being a COVID reinforcement at the same time, but it did not come to pass.
I wasn’t the first to show symptoms and test positive, but on Wednesday (which is when I did test positive) I was already pretty much out of commission.
I then spent the next few days holed up in my office with a makeshift TV (which I turned into a placebo fireplace to help with the chills and napping), alternatively dozing off and watching the Twitter meltdown unfold, and now that everyone has tested positive, I can finally go back to the main living room.
The Local Take
In case you’re curious, doctors here are not keen on over-medicating unless you’re in risk group or things evolve unfavorably, so I’m on over-the-counter ibuprofen and anti-histamines and being told to rest a lot.
Serendipitously, on Friday morning I watched a government live stream on the COVID response, which was less than helpful and bordered on the idiotic, full of academic self-congratulation (with some nuzzling up to politicians by prattling on about how the research budgets were amazing).
The hilarious thing for me is that they actually referenced the local COVID tracing app, which has been an abject failure in more ways than one and has stopped loading for me three months ago. But at least they acknowledged that the pandemic was still ongoing, which has to amount for something.
Because, you see, from the moment testing stopped being free, they lost most of the meaningful signal that would come from confirmed cases. There are no mask mandates and no visbility of the situation in the media (and no, there is still no decent public dataset), so the prevailing mindset is that “it was much worse before”.
The Government will be moving forward with vaccinations for my age group in the meantime, but I have to wonder why it took them this long–it’s not as if this was rocket science.
I’m the kind of person who believes themselves to be more alert with high than low fever, but even if the temperature was manageable (and seemingly gone for most of the day, replaced by headaches) the initial days were all over the place and my resting heart rate got bumped up to 20bpm above what it usually is.
Right now it feels like a bad case of sinus trouble that just won’t go away, plus an overall lack of stamina and focus. It’s been very slow going overall.
The net effect is that most of the time I’m heavy-headed, sleepy and lethargic and with a lousy attention span. I can’t be bothered using a computer, so I’ve been tracking the Twitter meltdown and posting various quips from my phone, plodding through books and watching one or two TV episodes a day1 in between dozing off.
A bit more worryingly, around Friday I realized my sense of smell had taken its leave. Since I have frequent sinus trouble I’m used to all sorts of upper airway annoyances, but being unable to smell ketchup is a first.
Or ammonia, or lye, or IPA, or hot plastic, all of which are “nice” things to be able to be aware of that I’ve stumbled upon already, and which does not bode well.
But hey, at least we’re all vaccinated. I suspect it could be much worse if we weren’t, but I also suspect that if people hadn’t become unduly careless over the past few months things would have been a lot better.