Several months ago, I warned everyone that the Corona Virus was not a good thing to politicize. In spite of the politicians, experts and the media whooping it up into a terrifying thing, there were still too many unknowns. That is still true today, but now that I have had it, my partner has had it and probably all my kids have had it, I think I can speak with a little more authority on the subject. Yes, around 200,000 people have died nationwide where the virus was involved, and that is a terrible thing. But it is a far cry from the millions that were projected. Like the common flu, it can be life threatening to certain people, but it is in no way living up to the doomsday fear that has been projected on us for months.
We did everything right. We quarantined the extended family for weeks. We wore masks. We sanitized after being out. We washed our hands religiously and disinfected everything in sight. We spoke to our out-of-the-house family and friends only through windows. We said our prayers, and like most Americans, we were quite frightened.
Our best guess is that we got it from one of our three college boys in Lincoln. Note the picture above. That’s largely what is happening at every college campus in America. It’s spreading like wildfire. They know the chances of suffering any significant sickness are minimal for them, so they pretty much don’t give a shit. Our boys have all had very light symptoms of one kind or another. The biggest one is just an unusual feeling of fatigue. They say that most everyone they know has experienced the same thing. They say, most of the kids at school assume they’ve had it or will get it. They don’t bother getting tested. They don’t bother calling their parents. They’re not worried in the least.
My partner is 66 years old, is overweight and has diabetes. By all accounts, he was on the short list to die. He had the gastrointestinal variety. He started to feel a little puny one night and went through two days of intestinal discomfort, assuming you know what I mean. He experienced a slight fever off and on, chills and about a two seconds of feeling like he was going to pass out. At the end of his 48 hours, he felt fine, even good. The day after that he went on a long walk and has felt great ever since. When he tested for COVID, he tested negative, because most of our tests don’t detect the gastrointestinal strain. If he didn’t have it, he’s flat out superhuman, because I can guarantee he was exposed.
About two days after his recovery, I started to feel a little congested. It was like a little head cold. Normally, I would not have been concerned, but after months of having fear poured into me like corn into a fatted calf, I decided to get tested. I tested positive. My head cold/allergy symptoms persisted for about a week. Then, I went through several days of feeling exhausted off and on, and gradually began to feel good again. In truth, most colds are much worse.
I fully appreciate the fact that people are dying, and I've studied the numbers and causal relationship in those deaths. And I am embarrassed by the incongruity between the media coverage of this illness and what is really happening. We all know why this has been blown way out of proportion, but now having experienced it for myself, I can tell you without reservation that the fear surrounding COVID is far more nasty than the illness itself.
In my personal experience, there are a few folks who truly deserve my heartfelt praise. First, is my employer, Ritter Marketing. I let them know I tested positive, and they got behind me one hundred percent. They gave me all the time I needed to recover; offered to get me anything else I needed; and they even sent me flowers. What a wonderful company. Second, was Bergen Mercy Emergency. Even in the middle of the night, facing two somewhat frantic idiots, they were professional, thorough and very friendly. I felt like I was in a great hands no matter what happened. Finally, my family, my friends and my partner were all super in their support and expressions of love and concern. I kind of felt guilty that I wasn’t as sick as I was supposed to be.
As researchers in Sweden, Yale, Stanford and other places have been saying for months, isolating ourselves may only delay the inevitable. My guess is that vastly more people have been exposed and experienced this disease than anyone really knows. All-in-all, I guess COVID isn't any more stupid than a million other things being blown out of proportion these days. It's good to be back. I missed you.
Photo courtesy collegedilemma.com.