It seems that, despite my mostly radical precautions, I have caught the virus on everyone’s mind (“mostly,” I guess, is the key word, my Type One diabetes warning to into masks and gloves whenever I step out of the car, should I venture out at all). This will be a brief descriptive passage because I am tired and uncomfortable and forced to compose this on my phone (I hate writing these pieces on my phone). So here goes:
I awoke a few days ago feeling terrible. Now I had no particular fever (the highest to this point has been a little over 99°), and I could still breathe clearly. But I was very congested. My body was sore all over. I had uncomfortable chest pains and my gastrointestinal system was fucked. I was coughing and sneezing too, but this seemed more a wet, mucus-splattering cough. I figured I had a nasty cold–maybe even the flu! I took some Theraflu and nodded off.
The next time I awoke, beyond some additional groggyness, I otherwise felt the same–not in terrible danger, just like the puddle of oozing shit I expelled several times a day). Annoyed I realized I needed to get tested for COVID-19.
I was furious, as I told one of the hazmat grabed workers at the drive thru testing site outside a hospital much farther away than the two local joints within 20 miles of my home. I said, “It’s just great that now, when you have a cold, you have to get two sticks shoved up your nose into your brain.” She managed to gargle a laugh through the filter of her mask. Her cheeks betrayed a smile when I asked her if this was the best experience she’d had since she started her job (she said that it was at least better than when she’d started, cleaning bedpans and wiping the asses of those with illnesses and injuries that prohibited their ability to care for themselves).
As I moved up in line (it was like an old-time carwash that you drive through) I could hear the driver behind me shrieking with desperate hysteria, which the lovely nurse handled as adeptly as my frustrated sarcasm.
So I got there, and the med school intern kindly stabbed my nose with long wooden swabs in both nostrils (this is a remarkably unpleasent experience), then told me to go home and isolate myself from my family until the test results were in in “24 to 48 hours.”
My wife and children were/are understandably pissed off (although my daughter kindly feeds me and even chats with me through the bedroom door). My wife has been kicked out of our bedroom, forced to toss our son downstairs onto the couch so she has a bed to sleep on (he hardly cares, sturdy and with a TV for his playstation, busy after his vague online schoolwork). She now sleeps in the filth left behind by a 14 year old boy. She has been cleaning up his mess, something she hates, while busy with her suddenly even more difficult teaching job during the daytime.
When the results came in I was more angry than scared. As my title implies, my case is comparitively mild. Sure, I feel like shit, but hardly worse than previous illnesses not wracked by non-stop news coverage and a variety of conspiracy theories, something I collect for several different projects that form the basis of my professional life.
You know what the worst part for me is (something that for many you certainly do)? That work, those outside projects, are unavailable to me for the shortly foreseeable future. I cannot work and I had been furiously productive of late. See, I’m very particular about my writing process and will not compose outside of a specific program unavailable to my phone or someone else’s laptop. Sure, I have numerous accessable files, but am very anal about where I sit and how I work.
And so I am hammered in here, just as angry as my family, waiting for the end of two weeks when I can get jabbed up the nose again and told I’m all clear. I guess I’ll just write a few more bitter posts while continuing to mostly avoid the news. Stay safe and be well. This might be the only time I wish this on all of you.