My husband Randy, two good friends, and myself were getting together for New Year’s Eve. Just to be safe, everyone took a Covid test. Our friends soon texted pictures of their negative results. Randy also tested negative. Then came my turn. Imagine my shock when that dreaded pink line appeared.“Oh my God. I’m positive,” I told Randy. “That makes no sense,” he said, looking equally befuddled. I’d been feeling fine.
To our sadness, we had to cancel our plans and I went into a 5-day quarantine (with my Yorkie Libby adhered to my side, of course). It was a strange sensation, spending New Year’s Eve in our bedroom alone, feeling like Quasimodo, too dangerous to be let into polite society.
And yet as the days went by, I found myself grateful for three things…
I felt fine – Staying asymptomatic after testing positive for Covid feels like standing unharmed in the eye of a raging hurricane. All around are stories of death, hospitalizations and serious sickness that go on for weeks and sometimes longer. I heard of people in their twenties and thirties with days of spiking fevers. Although many had mild to no symptoms, when you see that ‘positive’ line, you don’t know how your body will react.
Modern medicine – Three weeks before testing positive, I had my booster. It had been over nine months since I’d gotten my second Moderna vaccine and I have no idea how effective it still was. I’m convinced that booster kept the symptoms at bay. Several people I know who had become very sick hadn’t received their boosters yet. The vast majority in the hospitals are unvaccinated. Modern medicine has helped so many. I have undying admiration for the scientists.
My home – I’m one of those people who have no problem spending lots of time at home. After testing positive, I didn’t just avoid the outside world, but my housemates too: Randy, our two grown sons, and my mother. I stayed in my bedroom and noted there were worst punishments in life than sitting on my bed with its soft pillows, windows overlooking our birch trees and binge-watching old episodes of ‘Downton Abbey.’ I wore a mask when I walked around. Randy slept in his office. With a more compromised immune system, he doesn’t want to catch Covid. I don’t blame him.
For these things I’m grateful, but one questions lingers. Where did I catch Covid? Was it the local fish market that day? When I picked up our take-out order from that rowdy neighborhood pizza joint where no one wore a mask? Did I take mine off, thinking it was safe? I don’t remember and I’ll never know.
After five days, I never had any symptoms. None. But I was taught a lesson. Never take anything for granted, especially our health. If Omicron is still raging and everyone’s mask-less, I will keep mine on. I won’t take it off just to blend in. I see how things happen in an instant.
The word ‘Covid’ still sends shivers down most spines with its memories of overcrowded hospitals, morgue trucks, and people gasping for breath in the ICU. I can’t imagine what they and their families went through.
Somehow, mercifully, I stayed in the eye of the hurricane. I’m forever grateful.
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