I’ve got Covid. I never thought I would say those words. My family has been in a bubble since last March, and now we all are ill. Four have positive tests. All have varying symptoms, none severe; two lost their sense of smell and taste. When I heard about the first positive test, I had a runny nose with sneezes and muscle aches, and I made appointments for two tests. I was amazed how difficult it was to get an appointment.
The next day I woke with a cough and was freezing cold. After three hot baths, I warmed up some. I soon developed an intense headache. I was achy and sick. I began a five-day Covid protocol I had gleaned from several professionals, taking more than 30 supplements a day. The next day, still with a headache and still freezing cold, I called and canceled the test scheduled for that afternoon: I didn’t need to drive over an hour and have a swab stuck up my nose to tell me I had Covid. I was exhausted.
I had little appetite, but encouraged myself to eat a bit. Friends dropped off soup and groceries. I am familiar with the feeling of being an outcast from my childhood. This was extreme—I was toxic and contagious, an untouchable.
I found it difficult to get a conversation with a nurse at the local clinic; for two days, I didn’t get a call back. I realized I would not be counted as a positive case without a test. I imagine the numbers are very far off because of situations like (and unlike) mine. I was pleased that the grandkids had mild cases: low-grade fevers, scratchy throats and drippy noses. Some of my family had intestinal reactions, others more muscle aches, others longer headaches. The disease seems to be quite individualized.
I worried about the crash that sometimes comes around day seven to 10, but I passed through with no disastrous symptoms. My lungs were mostly clear the whole time; I think the supplements worked. I was advised to borrow a pulse oximeter to check the oxygen in my blood, as it can sometimes drop dangerously low with no symptoms. I stayed above 95 the entire time, but I became too tired to worry much. On the eighth day I was startled awake by my heart racing. My resting pulse was 99. The next morning it was 107, and I cried in fear. I learned this is not uncommon with Covid and usually resolves within weeks or months. I was frustrated that there is so much still unknown about this disease, and I arranged for an echocardiogram. I figured 107 probably wasn’t damaging since I love to push my pulse over 130 when working out; still, I don’t think I’ll find peace until the nocturnal tachycardia ceases.
Early on in the pandemic I wrote a letter to the Light saying it was okay to put my name on the front page if I got Covid. When someone has cancer, we rally around with support. Why is Covid so shameful and secretive? When I realized I was sick, I called everyone I had seen in the previous four days. Three walking partners self-quarantined and I was thrilled that none of them got sick.
I have thought about how time is warped in the pandemic, and how my pandemic brain works differently. But Covid time and brain are more extreme. Time is ever so slow, tracking time is challenging and my memory is sketchy at best. I frequently go into a room and forget why I went there. Finally I felt well enough to make my bed—not planning to be in it all day—and go for a Zoom meditation and yoga class. Once out of quarantine, I was excited to walk to town, but I thought better of it and drove to get my mail. I walked around five blocks and came home exhausted. I long for a hike and a day at the beach.
My friends have commented on how surprised they are that I got sick, saying that I am the most conservative and cautious person they know. It is suggested that the next few months will be very difficult. Please be as conservative and cautious as possible.
Robin White is a Point Reyes Station resident and devoted mother and grandmother who strives for optimal health through diet, exercise, meditation and supplements.