I’ve never been positive on covid. Covid though has turned positive on me. A Rapid Antigen test proved it Monday morning. Just as I attempted to start my week. Apparently over the weekend the enemy finally found, caught and tagged me.
Revenge, I suppose, for all those insistently pro-vaccine articles I’ve written—over 20 so far. And just desserts for getting sloppy on mask wearing. On the day I tested positive Mississippi fell to dead last in case rates at just five per 100,000. I watched the descent religiously, thinking it’s really over at least until July 4th gatherings. A last place for Mississippi to celebrate. So I did, dropping my mask everywhere. I suspect I got the virus while out shopping: standing in line at the drug store? Talking to the clerk at the folksy friendly grocery store? No matter: I got it.
Fatigue with bouts of sleep at odd times marked my way. I did not realize what was happening until the morning of the third day. By then I could not tell my wife the name of the Whole Foods deli salad I wanted because the brain fog kept the exact name from me. I thought the bouts of sleepiness and confusion must be my reaching age 70 and a half. Not so at all. It was a lot more than that. It was covid, as it became clear when I finally woke up to the fact in my head I needed to take the rapid antigen test. As soon as I put the four drops in the test well, the all-important T (test) line turned red. Rats. I have it. No denying it.
Notes to good clients in far off DC have followed that I am sorry, but that I will have to put things off a few days. Then a call to my doctor’s nurse at St. D for antivirals. She reported without explanation the doctor was hesitant. I suppose that’s because the Pfizer pills, though the best (compared to Merck), work through the liver. So, I waited a day. More real fatigue got me to call again and again the next day. No answer after repeated calls. Finally, I got in my car and drug myself down the highway to their clinic. At the window I dictated directions to the nurse in no uncertain terms to get me Palovid (I’d gone to the internet), and to make it snappy. A prescription followed. My fatigue lifted after the first dose.
A few lessons. If you don’t feel right, take the test even if it you suspect it couldn’t be so and a wasted test. If the result is positive, insist on the anti-virals right away. I would not settle for the usual pabulum about more vitamins (I was taking plenty before it all began), but insist on the Palovid, because the sooner the better. No time to waste. Third, covid is not over. It is not 2019 again, as much as at least I longed for it to be. Covid is not done with us yet even if we are done with it. So, wear a mask when standing in line at the drug store with a bunch of people you have no idea of, or when talking to any clerk. And even if no one else is wearing a mask. Let them get it, not you.
Tested positive again this morning but took the antivirals and am feeling better. And I’ve not infected my dear wife at this point who already had her own breakthrough some months back with Delta. I’ve written all this and I’m not falling asleep so I must be okay. And I’m supposed to get on a tall sailing ship in Greece in about two weeks. Yikes! I’ve got to get going and test negative to make it on the plane. Will that happen? It just better. I’ve got so much riding on it. And all that reading about ancient Greece and the limestone speaker’s platform (the Pynx—look it up in Wikipedia) that is still there in a park in Athens where the Athenians in Pericles’ age stood to address each other and vote—the very birthplace of our democracy with a view across the valley from the Parthenon I so want to see for myself. The very inspiration for every move and vote we should all take to protect our own democracy from those so clearly out to subvert it. I’m counting on getting over this mess and onto the Star Flyer clipper ship which will sail us to the islands of an ancient land for a week. It’s just got to happen.
Robert P. Wise is a Northsider.