COVID, after all

A rendering of a COVID-19 virus.
Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

After almost three years of diligence and caution, I contracted COVID-19 this week. The last time I was sick was the week after the State of Colorado shut down over the disease while I was on a business trip there. I caught an ordinary cold from another traveler on the flight home. (“Ordinary” doesn’t do it justice. It was a doozy. But it wasn’t COVID-19; the symptoms weren’t the same.) I haven’t had so much as a sniffle since then, because I kept up masking discipline even as the world began to forge forward with a “What, me worry?” approach to a disease that was still killing tens of thousands of people a month in this country alone. And when people said, “Everyone’s going to get it eventually,” I would think, “Not if I can help it, bucko.”

I got every vaccination I was eligible for. I was super cautious during recent business travel. All was well. Carolyn and I had a trip to Saint Augustine planned last weekend. I tested before and during the trip to be on the safe side, since we were seeing a lot of people. But by Monday morning, I was feeling really low and when we got home, I tested again. Bam. Positive.

I used to joke that after three years of not even having a cold, I would be a giant baby the first time I got sick. But it wasn’t so. I immediately went into quarantine in my bedroom so that I wouldn’t infect Carolyn if I hadn’t already, and I simple… endured. I had a fever that first night that felt no more severe than the side-effect from my recent shingles vaccine. Possibly less, tbh. Since then, I’ve had mild symptoms, mostly congestion, and fatigue. The vaccines succeeded at blocking the disease from truly wreaking havoc on me. I only missed one day of work. I could have taken more time off but I was bored silly and, happily, there’s nothing wrong with my cognitive functioning. Since I am a remote worker, there’s nothing keeping me from keeping occupied.

So far, I don’t appear to have infected anyone else. I contacted my friends to let them know and four days later, they’re all symptom free and testing negative. Carolyn’s fate is still uncertain. Negative so far, but come on. We were in a car for several hours together, in a hotel room overnight, and we live in the same house. Quarantine precautions can only do so much.

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