It started with a cough. Day 0.
Coughs are unusual for me. But still, it couldn't be Covid. Nobody I work with was sick, no one I'd come into contact with over the last two weeks was ill (and they still aren't.) So how could I possibly have Covid?* The next day I got a fever. Those are really unusual for me. Nightfall arrived with the blinding headache, body ache and chills. I didn't sleep much. Everything hurt.
We scheduled a rapid covid test for the morning of Day 2, and J drove, as I was unfit to take myself. It was supposed to be a rapid one, but "Oh, the website says we have them, but that's only some locations in the city. Not this one." Sigh. Home again to continue the alternating regimen of ibuprofen and acetaminophen that were doing nothing to reduce the fever and a succession of hot baths that were helping with the joint pain. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.
On day 3 the fever was gone but so was any energy to do...anything. Use the bathroom, lie down for an hour. Put on clothes, lie down for an hour. Sit up to eat some food, lie down for an hour. Was this what they meant by fatigue? It seemed an inadequate word. I could still smell everything, though, and we wondered if it was really covid or just some bad, bad cold.
On day 4 I woke to a text that declared "POSITIVE" in big red letters. I was now a statistic. Still, my energy had started to return, and I was able to sit through a zoom work meeting and remain coherent so hey! Maybe it's not all that bad. I'm one of the lucky ones. And I am, really, even though Day 5 saw the return of the fatigue and mental fuzziness.
Well. Now we had gone into clearly unfair territory. I was getting better! I'd fought this off! We were past the worst of it and ... why doesn't my coffee smell as strong? Why is J saying "hey dinner smells really good" when it doesn't smell like anything? (This is especially unfair when I was making a new recipe of folded, filled tortillas and they were just sort of bland, salty and greasy instead of the fabulous treat they were supposed to be. J said they were delicious.) My sense of smell is largely gone.
I have lousy hearing. My eyesight isn't great and I'm likely getting glasses this year. But my sense of smell? That's the one sense I have that works better than J's. And while the interwebs informs me that a "majority" of people have their sense of smell return in 3 weeks, for some it is up to 6 months and there's just no way to know! I am not good with uncertainty.
We're on Day 6 now, and I'm still about the same, but with increasing congestion. We bought a pulse oximeter to keep an eye on my O2 levels. (They're fine.) True story: my hands are often so cold that it won't work on me, and I have to jump around and rub my hands together to get it to register me as alive.
I have four more days until I'm allowed back at work. Four days to stop being exhausted, congested and achy. And I'm lucky. I know that I am. This is a mild case. And I have a really, really good job that allows for sick leave and even demands that I stay home for 10 days. So I didn't write this to just be whiny about being sick (though I admit, I get pretty whiny) but because someone mentioned that talking about it makes it more real for people who just don't see it yet. I'm not sure how that is, but there are a lot of folks who still don't think it's real or not a big deal. Or that it's all some kind of joke or a hoax. And no, this hasn't been a huge deal for me, and hopefully still won't turn into one. But imagine this happened to a someone who works at a job with no sick time? They'd likely still be dragging themselves into work, sick, feverish, aching or not. And they do. And more people get sick. Some of them, maybe even me, will face lifelong complications from it. Nobody knows. And frankly that's only a tiny bit about what it terrifying about this disease.
It's not a hoax. The vaccine can't get here fast enough.
Wash your hands and wear your mask.
*I have no idea. The choices boil down to one of the unmasked Amish people at the gas station where I used the restroom, or someone asymptomatic at work.