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Saturday, August 20, 2022

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Opinion: The week covid paid me a visit

For over two years I’ve witnessed the world dealing with covid. The relentless uptick in total cases and tragic deaths day after day. Like billions around the world, I’ve been forced into necessary lockdowns, and have had three injections. All of it aimed at trying to stop or at least dampen the impact of this relentless pathogen.

This past week though, the virus caught up with me, and I thought I’d share the journey I went on with it.

How did I get infected?  It could have been brought into my home by my husband who went to Wellington in a plane probably jam-packed with Covid Caroline’s. Or it could have been someone I interviewed that week in my studio. 

I may never know.

By Thursday the 19th of May, I was feeling excessively tired. I couldn’t put it down to anything specific, and thought “I wonder if I’m getting a cold.”  I don’t actually think I was infected at that stage, simply because it doesn’t quite fit the timing of my subsequent illness, but again, I may never know. 

On Saturday, my husband started feeling a little “under the weather,” with mild cold symptoms. We joked “what if it’s covid?” The following day, he tested positive. I was feeling tired and had a stuffy nose. If this was covid I thought, it’s not too bad.

Uh-huh.

On Monday I woke up to a sneezing fit. My nose and sinuses felt congested and I had a mild cough, slight sore throat, and ongoing tiredness. “Well,” I thought, “if this is covid, it’s not too bad.”

Uh-huh. 

The following two days were not pleasant at all. Each morning I woke with an intensely sore throat, my body ached, particularly my legs. I was coughing a great deal, I sneezed a lot and my nose dripped. Tuesday morning, I took a test, and the result was a weak positive. I felt miserable in the morning and evening and just ok during the day. Wednesday was worse. Thankfully, though, I had no trouble breathing, and I didn’t have a temperature. I woke a couple of times in the night and prayed for death. I wasn’t anywhere near death you understand, but I am a man, and we all know sickness is much worse for our gender. 

I awoke Thursday morning to an improvement. The symptoms were still there, but less severe. I managed to smile. Well before the smile, I managed to cough up something rather unpleasant with a very vivid colour to it. Then the smile came. Sounds odd right? But for some strange reason, when one is ill, there is something profoundly satisfying about expelling noxious substances from the body. 

From this, I knew I was on the mend. Whenever I get a cold or flu, the ‘cough up’ stage is towards the end of the infection. It’s a bit like a viral exorcism.  

Over the weekend the symptoms diminished, but I also tired really easily. For example, I changed my sheets Sunday morning, and needed to lie down almost immediately. 

This week I have continued to improve, though mild symptoms such as coughing, raspy voice, and congested nose persist. They aren’t unbearable, but they are there and I’m feeling restless and fed up. 

Today (Wednesday), I have enough energy to work, and I’ve done a lot. 

So what helped me survive the past nine or so days? 

Well first up, three covid vaccinations. Yay for them!  

Each morning, and evening I took two capsules of Panadol, (signature range). I prescribed myself regular doses of lemon or lime Calippo ice blocks. Seriously, folks, they are the best for sore throats!

I staved off boredom by watching all four seasons of Stranger Things, and re-runs of Schitt’s Creek and The Big Bang Theory.  

Having plenty of food in the house helped enormously, especially things that I could turn into casseroles really quickly. 

Perhaps the biggest help of all though was texts and messages from friends checking in to see how I was doing. 

Was it mild you ask?  In fact, many people have asked!

Well, that’s hard to say. It sucked that I had to miss some theatre plays, and also the premiere of Top Gun Maverick!  

But in terms of sickness? Hard to say. Some people I know say they only had 3-4 days of mild illness. Others it hit hard. For me, it was really unpleasant for a couple of days, but for about five days it was like a really bad cold. 

Now, those symptoms have not vanished after nine days. Yes, it has been bearable, but I’m unsure I could call it mild. I’m also very conscious of not rushing back to strenuous exercise or doing things that are taxing because I’ve also heard of people whose symptoms have persisted for months because they went back to normal too quickly. 

According to the official guidelines, I’m no longer ‘infectious’ and can venture out again, but frankly, with some symptoms persisting, I’m going to stay home for a few more days.

Problem is, I have a lot of stuff on next week, so please body, get over it already!

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