All this time I’d been so careful, but even so… I went grocery shopping, and that’s when the Covid Monster finally found me.
By now, we all know that Covid is a rather unpredictable disease, with some barely noticing anything, and others getting seriously ill and even dying. We also know Covid poses more of a risk to those with certain underlying health conditions.
More importantly, I’m one of these lucky ones who belong to a high-risk group. So I got my vaccines as soon as I could. I had pretty much all of my groceries delivered at home, and hardly ever went anywhere. When I did leave the house, I masked up. And it worked. For over two years, I managed to stay Covid-free.
Meanwhile, my government relaxed the rules. What’s more, the population was done with all of it and didn’t care much about Covid any longer. I think many felt — and probably still feel — the pandemic was over. They longed to go back to normal, and so they did.
I never cared much for our “normal” with all the hugging and kissing and breathing down one another’s necks. I didn’t want to be forced to engage in that kind of behaviour ever again. But I did want to buy my own groceries again. To just be able to go to the shops and buy the cheaper stuff. Not the expensive stuff you are forced to buy when you order your groceries online. My food allergies make life pretty expensive already.
How the Covid Monster found me
I went grocery shopping. That’s all it took. I went to two supermarkets, both of them with a spacious layout. I also went at a time of day when there were relatively few customers. Never did I come close to anyone. I wore my mask. And still I got infected.
The first sign of Covid showed up on Saturday evening, just before Father’s Day. It was just a mild throat ache. Hardly even worth to be called an ache, actually. Still, I was suspicious, and cancelled my plans to visit my dad. I did not want to risk infecting him.
On Sunday, my throat felt a little more irritated, and I had the odd sniffle — but the latter could just as well be caused by my allergic rhinitis.
By Monday my throat felt like the cats had been using it as a scratch pad. What was worse, I was severely ill now. So ill, I couldn’t get out of bed. Couldn’t eat, drink, or even think clearly. My fever was so high, I felt like my skin was on fire — extremely painful.
Looking back, I should have called my GP that day, but that just didn’t occur to me. Somewhere in the back of my mind was that little voice telling me I needed to get tested, but it was muffled by several thick layers of fog, and it never really registered. Not that day.
On Tuesday morning I was feeling very slightly better, and the need to get tested finally got through to me. I phoned the Municipal Health Service, and after some back and forth they agreed to come to my home to test me, since there was no way I would be able to make it to their testing location.
I felt guilty, making them come to me, even though I knew I had no other choice. Doing a self-test was not an option for me, and their testing location was simply too far away. Being wheelchair-dependent, with no driver’s licence and evidently not allowed to use public transportation or take a cab, my choices were extremely limited.
When the test results came in that evening and I had, indeed, tested positive for Covid, I felt almost relieved. At least, I hadn’t made them come for nothing. My relieve was short-lived, though.
The Covid Monster struck again
On Wednesday I didn’t feel the slightest bit better than on Tuesday, and on Thursday I actually even felt worse. I phoned my GP, who made a house visit. Again, I felt bad about it. Even though I lacked the energy to even get out of bed and get dressed, I still felt like had no right to ask her to come and see me. (And it certainly didn’t help that the dim-witted assistant had been trying to talk me into coming to the infectious diseases consultation hour. What was that idiot thinking?)
Anyway, GP came. Though the fever still lingered, my lungs were clean and my oxygen saturation was fine. That was the only reason why she didn’t send me to hospital. But she did emphasise that I wasn’t out of the woods yet, and she’d still have to admit me to hospital should I get any sicker.
Again, there was that incongruous sense of relief. Thank goodness, I hadn’t been imagining things. I was really quite ill, and hadn’t been wasting my GP’s time.
Better at last
The next day I finally started getting better. It’s been almost three weeks now. The cough still lingers, and I still tire easily. I still have to deal with brain fog more often than usual. But all in all, I’ve been lucky. I made it, and even without hospitalisation.
Still, I hope I’ll never have to deal with the Covid Monster again. It was no fun.