I guess, I’ll share a poem because that’s the easiest way I can get words onto the screen today.
C19 – Bingo!
Dear loved one
Dear little girl
Dear – anxiety
I wake up thinking it’s been a bad dream
I know that many of you probably feel the same way
There’s speculation, there’s new research, mandates and pointing fingers
No one has answers, everyone has answers
Our routines have been placed in a blender and put on high speed
We’re hoping that it’s been blended smooth
No one likes a chunky smoothie – that kind of defeats the purpose of blending
It’s one thing to want to stay home, creating a safe space – removing yourself from stimulation and interaction
It’s another to be told what to do – it makes you want to escape that much more
It’s the dance of maintaining something that looks and feels like a normal routine and accepting that there are going to be a lot of changes quickly
I wrote this poem almost two years ago at the beginning of the pandemic. I was scared, I was curious and all of a sudden everything I learned in epidemiology was happening in front of me. That made it more interesting – I actually understood things being discussed about the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve all shared our opinions, our frustrations and our tips on how we’ve been managing… or not managing.
The first year I did everything I could to stay home and be as safe as possible. We had things delivered, ordered takeout, stayed home and continued to work to the best of our ability. I have asthma, but I don’t need inhaler regularly. I do, however, need one when I get sick and sometimes in cold weather. I also learned last year that I have allergy induced asthma – so that’s fun too. I know how hard it is to breathe and that fear kept me home and is always in the forefront of my mind.
I moved during year two and I thought a lot about how I could get some interaction while acknowledging that while there’s burnout from the pandemic and many of us are over it – it’s not over. Getting outside in the nicer weather was Godsend – being cooped up inside made everything worse during the transition year.
After two years, I caught COVID from my boyfriend, who is in the Army and goes to work in person every day. He had symptoms the first day he was here visiting, and I started to have symptoms on the second day. Thankfully, we stayed home all weekend and watched movies so we could relax and get some rest. We date long distance – it was nice just doing nothing after a busy work week even though we were both feeling crummy.
While I canceled all of my in-person appointments for this week, I have been working my day job and was waiting to see if my symptoms improved. DayQuil and NyQuil have made me comfortable – yes, I keep these on hand. I was having a tough time finding an appointment to get tested that fit my workday. Thankfully, I found one for today at lunch for a lab test and while I was the CVS drive-thru, I picked up a rapid kit for at-home, which confirmed that I do have COVID.
I wouldn’t change a thing about the precautions I took the past years, while sometimes they were frustrating I know they kept me and others safe. I wouldn’t change the precautions I still take like wearing a mask, staying home as much as sanely possible, getting vaccinated and boosted, canceling appointments and networking events when people say they don’t feel well and getting things delivered when I can (thank you Target!).
It really has become a dance and balance of finding people who will understand and respect you and those who will invalidate your feelings.
I’m lucky because the symptoms I have feel like a bad cold. But I really have to thank Pfizer for knowing their shit. I support vaccines, but I also understand why people get curious and skeptical. However, my concerns for myself are what can this become because of my asthma and since I knew a vaccine would lessen the impact of the virus – it was a risk I was willing to take. Usually when I have a cold, I’m on an inhaler for 4 to 6 weeks. While I can’t stipulate how different it may or may not be, my experience does make me nervous. I believe if I hadn’t been vaccinated this could’ve been a lot worse than what it is.
So far, I’m wheezing consistently and noticing that after a coughing fit I struggle to calm down and catch my breath. I also have this sexy-raspy thing happening because of the coughing and I feel as though I can’t drink enough water (this is a more normal symptom for me regardless of the kind of illness).
After a telehealth call with my doctor this afternoon, I’m getting an inhaler (from the drive-thru at the pharmacy because while it won’t help COVID symptoms, it will help my asthma and help me be more comfortable. And I believe I have a date with my couch and some movies over the next few nights to unwind and recoup.
So, I’m over it too, but I’m also over people getting sick dying, people thinking this is fake, people thinking that masks are the worst thing in the world. In reality, lacking empathy and being a complete asshole because others are scared are two of the worst things in the world – not my donut mask.