They were right. We’re all getting Covid.
It happened. Just shy of two years into the pandemic, Covid came to our house. I could say that the CDC docs were right and it looks like we will all eventually get it, which I think is true, but I would be lying if I omitted the convergence of stupidity, mainly on my end, that facilitated The Coviding.
Like everyone else in the world for the past couple of years, we’ve found ourselves smelling things to make sure our olfactory hasn’t gone on the fritz every time we had a remotely sus encounter or quietly worrying that our seasonal allergies could be the Big One. But when the clock struck Corona time for realsies, we didn’t have to wonder. We got a test, but we knew. Covid might be like a cold for some people or like a “mild flu.” But it wasn’t for me.
I’m starting to feel better, but I’m still taking naps every few hours, and I can barely get any work done without feeling completely wiped. I feel like one of Lestat’s victims (stop before the heart stops) and I look like I speak in riddles because I’m a literal bridge troll. I know a lot of my readers are getting hit with it right now, so I thought I’d share our experience.
Covid seems to somehow skip over people like tornadoes skip over houses, but I’m not sure if that’s true. I don’t know how long immunity lasts from the jab, but my second vaccine was more than 9 months ago. My husband Justin got a little sick, but he took his booster about a month ago. Noah didn’t get sick, but he’s self-quarantining in his bedroom, not because of Covid but because he’s 14 and apparently can’t grow into a man unless he cocoons himself in a hibernation chamber surrounded by Dorito wrappers and X-Box. Arthur is a little sick, but he has both his shots and a teenage immune system. Lucy, who is 10, and I were the least protected, and we got hit the hardest.
Arthur has been back at school for in-person learning since the beginning of the year because he doesn’t learn well online and despite really loving the idea of not having to deal with gym class, he knew he was better off in the classroom. But we kept Lucy home because she wasn’t vaccinated and we know that elementary kids tend to be less hygienic than older students. They’re also more likely to get sent to school sick because their parents don’t have a childcare option, and no, I’m not judging. What parent among us hasn’t given their child a Tylenol and sent them to school? We live in a society where sometimes, there are just really no good choices for working parents.
But at-home learning has always been a disaster for Lucy. If I sit next to her and force her to focus all day instead of earning a paycheck, she can generally stay on track, and she works fine when I teach her myself, which I have no time for. It’s those in-class Zoom sessions where she has to focus that get her. Up until now, it was a compromise we had to make just to accept that she would have some catching up to do eventually. But once the vaccine was approved for kids under 12, it meant we could send her back to school safely.
She was very proud when she got her first shot. I think she was a little scared, but she put on a brave face, especially when she realized how needly-shy some of the other kids were at the vax site.
Over the Christmas break while we waited for her second shot date, we changed her enrollment to “in-person learning.” Somehow in the holiday chaos, and I don’t even remember how at this point, we missed Lucy’s second shot appointment. We called Walgreens, but they didn’t offer children’s shots near our house. I was also having trouble getting my booster appointment scheduled, and we were running up on school starting, so we decided to go ahead and send her to school for the first week and get both of our shots taken care of on the following Saturday.
Here’s the timeline of what happened next:
Tuesday 1/4/22: Lucy goes back to school. She comes home ecstatic. She’s joined the debate club and she wants to rack up more medals than her brother.
Friday 1/7/22: Lucy comes home from school coughing. Within a couple of hours, she has a severe headache, fever, and body aches. She says her hands and feet hurt. We give her Claritin, honey, and ibuprofen.
Saturday, 1/8/22 – Monday 1/10/22: Lucy continues to feel terrible. She doesn’t do much besides lay on the sofa.
Tuesday, 1/11/22: Lucy seems to be feeling a bit better. We take her to CVS for a Covid test. Justin, Arthur, and I are extremely congested but we’re all convinced we won’t get sick at this point since it’s been four days.
Wednesday, 1/12/22: Lucy’s test results come back as positive for Covid.
Thursday, 1/13/22: Justin runs a 101.4-degree fever near bedtime.
Friday, 1/14/22: I am achy and have a sore throat when I wake up. By lunchtime, I have a 103.4-degree fever and a severe headache and I can’t stay awake.
Saturday, 1/15/22 – Monday 1/17/22: Justin feels okay but very tired. Lucy is still coughing. My fever runs between 101 and 103, rarely dropping below 100. I have a sore throat unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and I had inpatient oral surgery when I was 18 and had my tonsils removed as a kid. I can’t even swallow broth, so I just don’t eat for days. I literally sob for my mom, who is deceased and was not a very nice mom when she was alive. I lay under two heating pads to try to stay warm. I become dizzy when I stand up to go to the bathroom, and I feel disoriented.
I can’t focus to watch anything good on TV, so I end up watching to shows about people wondering around in search of a plot: “Walking Dead: World Beyond” and “A Discovery of Witches.” Spoiler alert: They don’t find one.
I make my own witchy discovery when I realize that part of my belly is covered in a rash. I am coughing so badly I have trouble catching my breath. Covid mucus feels like cement, I realize. Justin calls my primary’s on-call nurse, who gives us a list of OTC medications and vitamins including high doses of zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Mucinex, Flonase, and Robitussin DM.
Tuesday, 1/18/22: A friend delivers the medications and vitamins on my list, and I start taking everything right away. By 6 p.m., my fever doesn’t seem to be returning.
Wednesday, 1/19/22 – Friday, 1/21/22: I can breathe okay when the Mucinex is working, but toward the dose wearing off, my coughing gets out of control again. I wake up in the morning and go back to sleep almost immediately. I’m napping for two or three hours at a time throughout the day. I try to work on my writing, but it feels like I’m trying to work through a haze.
Arthur and Justin are also coughing at this point, so they start taking the meds and vitamins my nurse recommended as well. Lucy goes back to school. Ironically, Arthur’s school closes for Thursday and Friday due to Covid. Because of course it does.
That brings us to today, where I’m sitting here contemplating the quality of this blog post through the pain of a burning chest and realizing I don’t know if it’s helpful or not. If there’s one thing I would want people to know, it’s that you should probably have the things you’ll need when you get Covid now.
I don’t want to give medical advice because so many people have a unique physiology. But if you haven’t yet crossed the darkened border of Covidia, it’s not a bad idea to stock up on vitamins and OTC meds now ahead of your journey because figuring out how to get them when you are quarantining is quite the puzzler. But honestly, keep trying not to get it, because this bug is more soul-sucking than a Jerry Springer marathon.
Take care of yourselves. Until next time, I’ll be sleeping it off in my little nebula. And just possibly, shame-watching some middling quality sexy vampire TV.