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My Covid Adventure
In early December, I got Covid – the Wuhan Flu, ChiCom Fever. This is the disease that has California and New York locked down. The one that has us cowering in fear. (That’s not a joke. I have several otherwise-sane friends, who are locking themselves in the house, venturing out only when they have to. Two are MENSA members.)
What was it like? Are you ready?
It was like having a chest cold. Not even a severe chest cold – a mild chest cold. That was it.
I am 65 years old. I have controlled hypertension. I am 75 to 85 pounds overweight, depending on how you define my ideal weight. I have allergies that affect my respiratory system. I get occasional asthma. All co-morbidities. It was a mild chest cold.
Do you want to see me at my worst during the disease? (Or pretty close to it?) Look at David March’s podcast The Historians Give their Two Cents. That’s me on the left. I was well into it then.
I had a mild sore throat for the first couple of days. Then a little bit of chest congestion – a very little bit. I was a little more tired than usual, but that was due to insomnia rather than Covid. (Mainly due to worry and frustration. I sleep poorly if I let myself get wound up.)
The day job is as a tech writer. I am also a freelance author, and I have another part-time consulting gig I do a couple of hours a day. I had just started a new short-term tech writing gig that runs through mid-January and I have a book on deadline. (I always have a book on deadline.) So I worked 10- to 14-hour days throughout the period I had Covid. I had no trouble working those hours. It was all work from home so I did not have to go anywhere. Just sit at my computer and write.
I cannot write if my mind is foggy due to illness. I was writing at least 10 hours each day. I had no problem banging out words on my book and no problem working 8 hours Monday through Friday doing some finicky editing of a complex technical document. Covid was no more than an inconvenience. (In some ways it was a benefit because I was forced to stay home and work.)
I know I had Covid. An adult nephew, who lives in my house, got it. He had just started a new job. He thinks he may have picked it up at the clinic where he had to go for his pre-job physical (or possibly at his workplace). He lost his sense of taste and smell on December 7, so he got tested. His results came back positive. Three days later, I developed a mild sore throat. (You know how your throat feels the day after you go to an exciting football game and spend most of it loudly cheering on your team? It felt like that.) So I got tested.
I have a certificate that says I tested positive for Covid. The County Health Department called me to tell me not to leave the house for ten days following my first symptom. So, yeah, I had it.
My nephew had a worse case than I did. He is in his twenties. He says his case was equivalent to a mild case of the flu. I had loose stools; he had full-on diarrhea. His case lasted about ten days. I had symptoms last six, maybe seven days. His case was much milder than the norovirus he contracted two years earlier.
Why was I stressed out and losing sleep? Because I had Covid. Because relatives were afraid I was going to be very ill and half my friends seemed to be measuring me for my coffin. My nephew was behaving as if he had given me the Black Death and was guilt-tripping over potentially having given me a fatal disease.
I was worried. I had been told it was a very serious disease for people my age and with my health conditions. I kept waiting for it to get worse. Even though it was not severe, I had been warned since March it had the potential to very suddenly turn very, very bad.
It never got worse. The mountain gave birth to a mouse.
So here is a question: was I lucky or typical?
If I was lucky it is the first time in my life. Luck never breaks my way. Plus there was my nephew’s mild experience. A son got it last December (2019), and had the same symptoms as my nephew, except it was more like full-blown, but typical flu. In November a niece got it, as did her husband, child, mother, and stepfather. Everyone except her mother got cases that were mild to medium. Her mother had a more severe case, requiring a trip to the ER and being released later that day. Ricochet’s Doctor Robert wrote about his experience. It was not that bad.
If my nephew had not lost his sense of taste and smell he would not have gotten tested. He thought what he had was allergies. If he had not tested positive I would not have gotten tested, and never realized I had the dread killer Covid.
I suspect I am more typical than lucky. Those who get mild cases often do not get recorded. Even if they do, those cases never headline the news articles about Covid, the only add to the shrieking case count numbers.
Yes, we may have had 300,000 Covid deaths. That is still less than one-tenth of one percent of the US population. More, overall morbidity with Covid is less than 1 percent for those that get it. The deaths are clustered in the elderly (over half of those who died from it are over 75) and the infirm (the vast majority of those under 75 who have died of it had life-threatening health conditions.)
I’d like to expand on the chest cold theme I raised earlier. People die from chest colds. The elderly and infirm contract chest colds which develop into pneumonia, and then they die from pneumonia. The profile of those who die from chest colds seems pretty similar to those that die from Covid, it seems to me.
What if Covid is the functional equivalent of a chest cold? What if its behavior is highly similar? Covid mutates. So do colds. Both are viruses. Both spread the same way. Neither Covid nor colds have high mortality rates. Do you know what is more likely to kill you than Covid if you are under 50? Going to work each day if you are a logger, a professional fisherman, an oilfield worker, or a long-haul trucker.
We have been trying to find a cure for the common cold for at least 150 years, including attempting to develop a vaccination. We have not succeeded so far. What if we are as successful in finding a way to control Covid? Would that be surprising?
Do we remain in hiding and locked down if that happens? Can we? If we lock down for Covid shouldn’t we lockdown during the cold season? The two seem very little different if you ignore the names given to each disease. The lockdowns, social distancing, and masks appear to be taking a greater toll than Covid.
I really believe a lot of the fear about Covid boils down to superstition. Some examples:
I have had Covid. I recovered from it. According to what we know about the disease, once you have had it you cannot catch it and cannot pass it on.
Do I need to wear a mask? According to my county health department I do. Why? They said it was so I will not pass on to others a disease that I already have had and cannot pass on and so that I will not catch a disease I already had and cannot catch from others. Because Science!
Do I need to get vaccinated? According to my county health department I do. Why? They said it was so the vaccination will train my immune system to resist a disease my immune system resisted before getting immunized. Because Science!
That is not science. It is superstition. It is endowing science with magical powers. Superstition is defined as excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings. We are treating Covid, masks, and immunization as supernatural beings, with powers beyond natural forces.
Immunizations train your immune system to resist a disease. So does getting the disease and recovering from it. The immunization is intended to substitute for getting the disease. If getting the disease and recovering from it doesn’t make you immune an immunization won’t. All an immunization does is trick your immune system into believing you had the disease. You endow a vaccine with magical power if you believe otherwise.
Throwing a pinch of salt over your shoulder will be as effective in preventing a reoccurrence of Covid as getting an immunization from a vaccine developed before you got Covid. You already have an immunization for a version of Covid more recent than that for which the immunization protects you. The vaccine is protecting you from an earlier strain of the virus. It is the same reason this year’s flu shot protects you from last year’s flu and not this year’s. It was developed from the previous year’s strain.
I am not against vaccination. I have favorably reviewed books arguing against avoiding vaccination. I was planning to get immunized before I got Covid. However, someone needs to give me a scientific, rather than a faith-based reason, for me to get the current Covid immunization. Explain how it is supposed to provide better protection than my own immune system has already provided.
Moreover – at least for me – Covid wasn’t a serious disease. It did not endanger my health any more than the colds I have suffered previously. Why should I even worry about a reoccurrence of a strain for which the current vaccine protects me from?
We need to stop treating this disease with superstitious dread. Or it will kill us all. It will scare us to death. And we will deserve to die.Published in General
Love the post, Seawriter. Thanks for sharing your experience, and glad it was mild. Merry Christmas.
Last January my wife and I were really ill for about two weeks and it took another two weeks to get our strength back. But, we were never worried because at that point we had not heard of COVID-19. When we did learn of COVID we thought the then media described symptoms and what we had just had was a perfect match.
We were ill – about as ill as I’ve been as an adult, but I slept a lot and that was key to getting better. The absence of anxiety, made it all no big deal. I think it could have been much worse had I been laying awake with worry.
Pretty much what happened with the son that got it, although he did not get it as bad as it sounds you did. He didn’t worry about it because “it was just the flu” in December.
Oh, my. Sounds like your county health department hasn’t been hiring the best and the brightest.
I have never had the flu. I am not afraid of getting COVID, even though I am 71 years old. I do not expect to get COVID, so I am just living my life as normal as I can.
My daughter had it. We did not isolate from her here at home. None of the rest of us got it, but then she had a mild case. Still, as I wrote here at the time, we were ordered to stay a home for a full month “just in case” (2 weeks to the day after my daughter was declared “over it”). Mindnumbingly stupid.
My mother has a bunch of co-morbidities. She refuses to be cowed. She just turned 70 and has no expectation of making it to 90 (both her parents had long-lasting dementia that proved an agony for the family to deal with – years and years – my mother doesn’t want to either go through that or put us through that). So she’s out and about all over.
My father barely leaves his land. Has different health issues, but of the same magnitude as my mother. Completely different response.
Then again, I know of at least 2 fatalities due to COVID complications, 1 near-death case, and several hospitalizations lasting more than 48 hours. And the age ranges and health profiles of the cases are all over the map. My priest’s 99 year old grandmother has COVID at her nursing home, but it’s no worse than the sniffles, even as others in her home have died. No rhyme or reason.
Precisely what happened to my sister, at 64, two years ago. A cold, pneumonia, and then sepsis. She was gone in 5 weeks. My healthy “baby” sister, I might add.
It’s good to hear personal experiences with this – thanks!
I know a few people who have had this, and all of them had mild symptoms.
I remember when my Dad was in his 80’s and increasingly frail. I knew that the next problem he had would probably be too much for him. And he did get pneumonia and didn’t survive it. If it were today it might have been COVID, and he would have been in the COVID stats. But really it would have just been whatever the next thing was.
Fear = control = power, money, ego
Are you done with this?
What do you believe in today’s media?
What can you believe?
I suspect 70% of all I read on media is false (and my sources are primarily considered “right”.) and I distrust the rest.
This trust issue starts with everything covid, and seeps inextricably into every other political and social issue. Why are seemingly unrelated events so convincingly, directly entwined? I think i know.
What do you think?
This is my recurring question. And I think I know, too.
(But I don’t want to get into conspiracy theories.)
I think you can get around the COC violation if you substitute the word “poppycock” for the word I suspect got you put in COC time out. It means essentially the same thing.
Glad your case was mild.
Had an email from my lefty sister. She and her hubby , kids and grandkids (less than 10 people) are in Redding, CA for Christmas dinner. Which they will eat outdoors. I think it was mid 50’s in Redding today.
I emailed back that last night the two of us had Christmas Eve dinner at another couple’s house. We were there for 4 hours, sat less than 6 feet apart for the entire time, wore no masks and hugged one another hello and goodbye.
I refuse to quit living.
Rob Long tweeted earlier today, “For my Christmas present to myself I am currently manufacturing, inside my body, a bespoke Covid vaccine in a totally sustainable way. Merry Christmas to everyone!”
His test was Christmas Eve. I hope he does as well as Seawriter!
This is the image:
The User ID is “admin.” I wonder if they use the default password, too.
That’s what they did with the Dominion voting machines, so why not?
On March 4 I had a procedure to crush a large kidney stone in my right kidney. It didn’t go quite as planned and I felt terrible but as time went (3 weeks) I began to understand that my symptoms had probably nothing to do with the procedure. I gradually got back to normal. Several weeks later I developed a kidney stone in my left kidney and 24 hours later I passed it. I felt fine in a day. I have not been tested but I think I had COVID after the procedure. I had fatigue, backache, sore throat, headaches and not a very well know symptom pinkeye. At no time did I think I was dying. May have wanted to though. I am 75 and have asthma but otherwise healthy.
I started to post a bunch of anecdotal stories from friends and family. But they don’t make any difference.
Here’s the facts:
Something similar happened here in the Weeping family early last year – January? February? Almost all of us came down with a really bad cold for about a week. We had to sleep sitting up because we couldn’t breathe if we laid down. We stayed in bed almost all day, sleeping. Thankfully it was more of a chain reaction than everyone getting sick at once; 0ne person got it and then another. Was it COVID? We have no idea – maybe, maybe not. But whatever it was, it was a tough thing to kick.
Your last line made me wonder, though. If it was COVID was the fact that we had never heard of it why we assumed it was just a bad cold and never went to the doctor? If we had thought we might have had COVID, would we have gone to the doctor just in case things might have gotten worse? I don’t know. But it does make me wonder how much fear plays into the decisions people make regarding this virus. Wow. This cold is really bad. I feel horrible and just want to sleep all day. But I can’t breathe when I lie down because my nose stops up. Propping myself up with a bunch of pillows at least allows me to breathe. So there’s that. But what if this isn’t just a cold? What if it’s that COVID stuff I heard about on TV? That stuff kills people! If I have that, things might get really bad, really fast. I might die!!! Better go see the doctor, just in case.
This jibes with my experience of about a year ago. I rarely get sick but last year, I was waylaid with something unlike anything I have ever had (coughing, lung disturbance, little appetite, low energy. I needed to sleep a lot, and ended up taking 2 weeks off of work). It took me a full two months to feel as if my energy had returned. A doctor diagnosed ‘viral flu.’ If this had happened currently, I know I would be scared, however, as it was a year ago, I slept a lot, prayed a lot, ate chicken soup when I could, and gradually returned to health. As Brian stated, I “was never worried.” My doc did advise a flu shot, which I submitted to for the first time ever, because he stated, “We have already had a number of deaths due to the flu this season in Washington State.” This was 2019 turning soon to 2020.
To iterate, “The absence of anxiety made it all no big deal.” This is a key factor.
I had roughly the same thing in March. The doctor diagnosed it as Pneumonia. I slept a lot and barely ate. Lost 15 pounds which was kinda a good thing. I actually had a little bit of a 6 pack ab going on.
I have not had COVID. I am mildly afraid of COVID – I have some co-morbidities, and I neither want to die, nor to be quarantined, nor to be unable to work out for a few weeks. Christians are supposed to not fear death, to accept it as part of life, but I would prefer a longer life span to a shorter life span. Life involves risk – you can’t avoid all risk, so make reasonable choices. Don’t give up all that makes life good to just potentially make life longer.
COVID’s physical effects vary greatly and that seems to be what bothers doctors most. It’s worse than the flu in regard to deaths, but far short of a plague. The social problem is that it is treated like a plague that kills 10% or more of the general population. More would have died of COVID had they been infected back when treatment methods were blind, but fewer would have died and suffered of the public response.
An associate got it last week and was immediately sent home from the hospital with medication, which probably means she could have just seen her GP (as with flu).
In any case, 2021 cannot be like 2020. The same restrictions cannot be tolerated or else American society will be permanently changed — less freedom, less accountability, less trust in each other, and slavish adherence to claims of government authority.
I am most angry with our bishops for accepting worldly ways and presumptions.
The only reason to get tested for Wuflu is because of work. I am not privileged enough to work from home. Work requires a temp check every morning. I do not see the need for a test otherwise. People have been getting different flus for many years. People have died from flu and the state never cared before. I don’t remember people wearing masks and hiding in their basement in prior years.
In my case, I came down with COVID on Tuesday, in terms of low fever, saw my GP (who had taken the vaccine) the next day and got the positive confirmation, and he had put me on z-pack even before that came back, because winter viruses with me have been chronic going all the way back to Christmas of ’59.
That turned out be pneumonia. This so far has been mild flu with a sore throat and some congestion — certainly way less painful than the flu I had back in mid-February, where the throat pain was so bad I had to gargle and then hold Pepto-Bismol in my throat to coat the walls in order to get to sleep. Logistically, I can do almost all of my work at home, and this is a hyper-slow work week anyway (I did have to violate quarantine Friday to go to the office and get some stuff to work at home with, but nobody was there Christmas Day, this is Texas so as long as I’m not in Austin and a few other areas the COVID police aren’t going to care if I self-distance outdoors on a holiday, and in case anyone at the office is concerned, I spritzed the front door and light switch with sanitizer).
My doctor did tell me, and other reports already have indicted, that whatever COVID wave there is right now is largely offset overall in the number of annual winter flu cases by the fact that no one is reporting getting any other type of winter flu (and/or all winter flues in 2020 are being classified as COVID). He also said local doctors are seeing fewer cases of STDs due to the current rules, though in the Blue states, politicians are unlikely to tout their lockdown rules clamping down on casual sex, since their Blue state immediate-gratification voters seem to be starting to chomp at the bit (or chomp at something) over COVID keeping them from getting their groove thing on….
Congratulations. You got lucky.
You are one of the majority who their covid infection was no worse than a bad cold.
So you have a universe of 1 case. That doesn’t negate the fact that for a lot of people it’s much worse.
Is it the Black Death ? Nope.
Is it just the Flu Bro ? Nope.
We are seeing about 10 times the number of deaths from this then we see in the worst flu seasons.
Nearing 340,000 dead in 10 months with 28,000 currently in serious or critical condition.
Not advocating for lockdowns.
I am advocating for wearing masks, keeping your distance, and getting vaccinated when you can.
A few weeks ago the news in our neighborhood was “Did you hear —- was taken by ambulance to the hospital with Covid?!” A week later we got the true story. He had been recuperating from rotator cuff surgery and was getting in-home rehab, but began feeling ill. He got a Covid test, was positive, and was sent home with medications. A few days later he fell and cracked two ribs, which is why the ambulance was sent. A week later he was back home.
Stop making sense!
And what will I catch if I do not? I’ve had it. And who will I infect now that I am over it and no longer contagious? And what good does getting vaccinated do for me that my immune system has not already done?