Feature Art by MJ.Hiblen
I’m sitting in my basement studio typing on a Saturday afternoon, looking back on nearly two weeks straight up sickness. The first week I was under the impression that I had a sinus infection. Woke up in the middle of the night Sunday, November 8th with chills and body aches. I had a low grade fever. By morning the fever was nearly gone but my head was congested and I had a sinus headache. I felt beat up and exhausted with the occasional ping of a back ache.
I stayed home from work the next day to see if the fever would persist and it did not. So for the rest of the week I’d go to work, keep my distance from everyone and do my job(masked and socially distanced.) By Friday my head was still congested but I didn’t feel terrible. But also by then my wife and son both were exhibiting symptoms(sore throat, fever, headache, exhaustion, head congestion.) We spent all of last weekend literally on the couch binge-watching movies and shows. It was definitely what we needed. On Sunday our daughter said she couldn’t smell anything. Neither could my wife.
Monday we all went and got tested for Covid-19. Friday morning our results were texted to each of us via the State Health Dept. We all tested positive for Covid.
It’s not like I didn’t believe in the severity of Covid-19 before, or that I wasn’t smart about masking up and social distancing. We all were, and continue to be. But until I got that positive result I just didn’t think I’d ever get it. I’m safe, I’m (somewhat) healthy, and I didn’t think I was ever around someone that had it. Yes, very naive to think, but I was at work for four days prior to knowing I was sick thinking I was just suffering from a sinus infection.
But I can say now that for the last almost two weeks I’ve been in a pretty sorry state; tired, head hurting, body aching, sinuses impacted, and that annoying post-nasal drip that turns into a scratchy cough. It’s been a solid two weeks of it, and from the sound of it I’ve been pretty damn lucky. No hospitalization, no sense that I was descending into some kind of health emergency, and I’ve been hidden away for the last week so as not to spread this. My employer has allowed me the opportunity to stay home and continue to get paid so I can be over this completely before clocking back in. Many of my fellow Americans don’t have that luxury, which is probably why we’re in the sorry state of epic cases in the country.
So heading out of this Covid tunnel with a clearer head and an immense gratitude for the reasonably mild symptoms I and my family endured, I want to bestow some advice to all reading this. If you start feeling bad, regardless of the severity, get tested. Low grade fever? Body aches? Cough? Persistent headache? Runny nose? Sore throat? Nausea? Go get tested. The one regret I have is that I didn’t get tested as soon as this started. Did I get my family sick? Possibly. Did they get me sick? Maybe. Did that trip to the mechanic shop to pick up my van days before this all started get me sick? Could be.
Honesty, it doesn’t matter at this point where I got it. Once you have it it is your responsibility to stop the spread. I compromised others for four days. I’ll have to live with that. You don’t have to, though. As soon as you feel like shit go get checked out. Isolate, quarantine, renew those streaming subscriptions and root into the couch for a few days.
Now here’s the other bit of advice I want to lay on you, cancel those family gatherings for Thanksgiving. I know, I know, but grandma is old and maybe this is her last one. Well, if you go and share this virus with her it will more than likely be her last one. You see, there’s this thing called a telephone. You have one. It’s that pocket computer you order Door Dash from. You can call grandma and instead of her making you your favorite pie you can just have a nice long conversation with her. Tell her about school, work, the kids, and maybe even ask her some questions about her life. Or if she’s the one insisting on a physical covid Turkey Day party then explain to her that you love her enough not to kill her unknowingly. It’s that simple.
No amount of candied yams, stuffing, deviled eggs, and godawful political arguments around the dining room table are worth the life of family members. Yes, even the ones that say this Covid isn’t any worse than the flu. The armchair experts and Youtube conspiracy theorists and Trump-worshipping MAGA zombies that defy health mandates and still walk among us with naked faces and shit-eating grins. I don’t want anyone dying from this, no matter how annoying they are. They still have family members that love them but just cant get through to them.
Those folks may say this isn’t any worse that the flu, but I’m here to tell you it is. I know. Firsthand. Covid-19 is very real, and very deadly. So wear a mask, social distance in public, pray at home with just you and God and not the whole congregation, and stay the hell home this Thanksgiving. Eat some turkey, but in isolation.
Love to all. Stay healthy.
Editor’s Note: Yes, I know it’s not just Trump supporters that don’t believe. In our county alone most of the positive cases are people in their mid-to-late 20s going out to bars and drinking. I’m sure a good portion didn’t cast a vote for Trump. Or for anyone, more than likely. So stupidity knows no political faction or age bracket.