Coping with COVID-19
On New Yearís Eve, Gideon and I celebrated making it through 2020 without contracting COVID-19. Perhaps we celebrated too soon. Last week, we both tested positive for the virus and have been on lockdown ever since.
Iíve noticed that a lot of people seem ashamed of contracting the virus. Itís almost like they think a positive COVID-19 diagnosis means you are dirty or something. Well, Gideon and I are habitual hand-washers and we havenít left the house to go anywhere besides work and the grocery store in a year. We did everything we could to prevent it, and we still got the virus.
Thereís no shame in getting it, and thatís why Iím sharing our experience with all of you. Regular readers of this column might say Iím a pretty transparent person. I find that transparency especially important when dealing with COVID-19, a virus that has killed, debilitated and divided so many Americans.
Hereís a truth most of you can get behind: COVID-19 sucks. I had very mild symptoms, and it still sucked. Gideon got sick two or three days before I started having any noticeable symptoms. His symptoms were quite noticeable ó the first night, he couldnít regulate his body temperature and barely slept a wink.
We immediately quarantined separately in case I didnít have the virus. I felt well enough to clean the kitchen, feed the kitties and prepare meals for Gideon. He ate and tossed and turned and took the medicine I gave him, hoping it would help him sleep. It really didnít. Gideon didnít get a good nightís rest for days.
Monday night, I started to feel kind of gross. As a professional writer, I should probably have better words to describe it. But any time I get sick, thatís the first word that comes to mind. Come Tuesday morning, I worked extra hard just to get out of bed. While I had some mild congestion and a headache, I felt overwhelmingly exhausted.
If you know me, thatís not normal. I usually pop out of bed, drink a glass of water and complete my morning skincare routine right after my morning alarm goes off. Iím not the type of person to drag my feet once I get going, so I could tell something was wrong when I slapped on my hyaluronic acid moisturizer and immediately fantasized about going to sleep again.
Gideon was finally on the mend, but he was looking really bad for a while there. One night, he said his throat closed up if he slept on his back. I barely slept in case he needed to go to the emergency room, something he contemplated several times over the first three days of his illness. Fortunately, he never lost his sense of taste and smell.
I was not so fortunate. I havenít had a sense of taste or smell since last Friday, and it is one of the strangest sensations Iíve ever felt. Iím still putting on deodorant, but I really wouldnít know the difference right now. Iím still eating to live, but mashed potatoes taste the same as ice cream.
Overall, Gideon and I are so lucky to have mild symptoms of the virus. We havenít needed emergency room services, and weíve been blessed with a wonderful support system to keep us fed during quarantine. Gideonís quarantine is complete on Wednesday, when he will go back into the classroom. My quarantine lasts a little longer since I started showing symptoms later than he did.
By next week, I should be back in the office ó hopefully with working taste buds!
While Gideon and I are lucky to have mild symptoms, we know that many folks have it much worse. We will continue to wear the mask and practice social distancing to protect those around us. And if my sense of smell takes a while to come back, Iíll still wear deodorant ó also to protect those around me.