Slogging through Covid

Jul 15, 2022 | Covid

It was a beautiful summer evening for a community event: cider, wine, and beer tasting in a very urban environment. As the center’s name implies, seriously urban environments – Kirkland Urban. One could walk from merchants, art galleries, and restaurants – taking tiny tastes of the beverage of your choice. 

Covid did not seem to be a concern. We were carefree. No one was wearing masks, and we were mostly outside. Besides, I was pretty sure I had the “I am immune to Covid” gene. As I stopped in a restaurant for another tasting, I saw some friends who were not attending the tasting but were enjoying dinner seated at the bar. We conversed, and my day improved as my friend said nice things about me. It was a glorious day indeed.

Monday, I woke with a tremendous sinus headache. It must be allergies. There is a lot of pollen in the air. I took a decongestant and went about my business, working remotely from my home. Later I got a text from my friend telling me he was very ill with Covid and thought I should know. He said we didn’t spend that much time together and weren’t that close.

I agreed. I tested anyway and tested negative. Besides, I have that gene! Yay. 

I should test again by Wednesday, as I understand it might take a couple of days to test positive. Surely enough, Wednesday, June, 29-five days later, I tested positive. So much for that gene. I sent a text to my primary care doctor. No one seemed alarmed. I was told to quarantine for five days, wear a mask for another five days, and then go about my business. Well, quarantine until July 3rd. I can do that. I can then attend July 4th events outdoors with a mask. I notified the doctor’s offices I had been to and told my neighbors in my building in case we had contact. 

If you know me, I am an extrovert. I need to be with people. I live alone in a secure building. All alone. I was still asymptomatic and would declutter some areas, do laundry, and catch up on my writing. I would enjoy quarantine. I was wrong. My energy level was low. I binged on television shows. Well, that was fun. I still believed I was asymptomatic. I did not relate that sinus headache to anything. The low energy had to just be me moping about being so isolated. And moping I did.

I live with a view of Lake Washington. I saw people on boats, paddle boards, water skis, and kite surfing. People had parties on the dock. Everyone was having fun. I was the pariah that could only view the joy from my balcony. There was a virtual happy hour. Not many folks attended as many were out of town for the holidays. Quarantine lost its novelty. I had a zoom meeting on Saturday, still testing positive, and then I went to bed. I seriously went to bed. I hid under the covers. I was not reading, no podcasts, no tv. Just head under the pillow. Deep depression. Was this a symptom or just a response to the quarantine? I will never know. I felt better on Sunday and decided it was my day 5 of quarantine.

Tomorrow I could leave my lovely jail.

I can celebrate the Fourth of July.

My energy level was low, and I was still testing positive. I attended an outdoor concert with a mask and social distancing. No one wanted to approach me. I was on day ten, folks!

Still positive.

By now, I was receiving messages from friends checking in on me. Some people I didn’t even know. A friend brought me wine and a pie. A very simple greeting meant a lot to me.

On July 5th, I had a settlement conference. It was zoom, but I like to be in the same room as my client. I messaged my client, a nurse. I explained that I was still asymptomatic but testing positive even though it was 11 days since I had been exposed. She was comfortable being in our large, well-ventilated conference room. This was a 10-hour settlement conference. This would sap my energy under any circumstances, but it was a real challenge with my low energy. The week went on. Testing positive and only seeing people on zoom. I was learning that some people test positive for weeks. Was that my fate? Do I go about my life testing positive?  

I had a weekend getaway planned for the weekend of the 15th with three friends. Would they understand if I still test positive?

A friend invited me to a concert at a large venue. Outdoors, but would it be OK? Let’s test again. I got up early to buy more tests at the drug store. I almost did the test in the car on the way home, but I waited. You are supposed to wait 15 minutes for a result, and I tried not to watch. Fiddle around in the kitchen. Wipeout the bathroom sink. Waiting, waiting.   I couldn’t help it. I had to look even though it had only been ten minutes. Negative. Seriously negative. Two weeks after exposure. I celebrated and danced around the room. I wanted to shout it from my balcony. Instead, I blurted it on Facebook—our current town square.

I enjoyed the concert immensely. The next day I walked a mile to enjoy time with friends and celebrate my new freedom.

While I generally believed I was asymptomatic, I am not sure if that is true. I still have fatigue, and my energy level is low. Maybe I am old? I will still dance around the room anyway.

So much for being immune. I don’t believe you are either. 

I always thought I would like to do a personal retreat and quarantine somewhere. Guess I can scratch that off the bucket list. 

Karin Quirk

 

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