One month ago I came down with a really bad cold. I’d gone from a runny nose, presumably spring allergies, to major congestion. It ticked me off. How could I possibly catch ANYTHING with the social distancing, masking, and isolation?
Where I live, virtually everyone was keeping to the rules. In fact, I’ve yet to see anyone in a store without a mask on since about, what, November? Other people tell me they see it more and more, but again, I don’t get out much. However, I work in a school. Mostly I’m alone at a computer, and at recess and gate duty I’m masked and distanced. So again, I was super irritated that some bug had actually gotten through to me.
At least I knew it wasn’t Covid. I’d been vaccinated in Jan/Feb.
It was a Saturday and I felt rotten. I took my temp. It was 99 something. High for me, but not considered, you know, a fever. I had a headache. That night I thought I might have experienced a little hot/cold chills. A couple days later I lost taste and smell. Not a big concern, I told everyone, I have lost these senses before with bad colds/viruses.
I have a schedule that gives me a lot of days off in a row and a lot of days on in a row. I was basically wasting all my non-work days being sick. Because I wasn’t feeling better as I neared my work days, I did the drive-through testing at Walgreens. I called my principal and told him what was up and that I’d decided to take a couple of sick days and wait for my results–just to be sure. I admitted that I was physically wiped out.
By now you’ve guessed the punchline. No one was more surprised than me to see the POSITIVE results. Then began the phone calls, the official quarantine, etc. I started researching “breakthrough” cases. Turns out major congestion, slight tickle in throat, headache and fatigue were pretty much standard. There didn’t need to be a fever or a cough.
Turns out the CDC doesn’t much care to study breakthrough cases unless you die. Mostly you hear how “mild” it is. I guess mild means you didn’t die or be hospitalized. Yes, I get it. I’m grateful I’m alive. But it is annoying to hear that it’s mild when you spend weeks and weeks not having much energy. It’s a month later and I’m still not sure if I can work in the garden one day and not expect to be down the next.
I still can smell/taste very few things. I actually have a cough now, weeks after I am no longer contagious. I’m presuming it’s a cold.
Everyone tells me that it will pass. I’ll feel better. I find it hard to believe.
I feel skeptical every time I hear someone voice their relief: “I’m good. I’m vaccinated.” Yeah, me too.
I went to three stores yesterday, very briefly. Under 10 minutes each time. They all still required masks. Good for them. If you live in a place that isn’t so careful, take my advice: keep the mask on. Wash those hands all the time.
Do I still believe in the vaccination? Of course. We all know that a percentage will slip through. We also know that we don’t know how long the vaccination will last. Please, remain careful and cautious. Because if this is what mild feels like, you really don’t want to go here.
One last thing. It bothers me a lot that people jump all over anything published about the breakthrough cases, like you are trying to undermine the vaccine. People like me are trying to find things out. Put yourself in my shoes, please. I want to hear about the experiences of others who have gotten the vaccination and then gotten Covid. I want to know what to expect if at all possible. And don’t you want to know if in three months time your vaccine “expires”?
Okay. That’s all. This isn’t usually what I post about, but my readers deserve to know where I’ve been for the last month.
I’ve been here. On my couch.
Sandra Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade/YA series, Seed Savers. Visit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on Twitter. Sign up for the newsletter!