positive covid test

Covid companions

January 24, 2022

   Carol and I joined the Omicron club this week. Her symptoms began a day or two before mine, and then we both tested positive for Covid. With all the grit and resilience of a Yonkers girl, Carol accepted her fate, making a pot of chicken soup (out of what was supposed to be chicken tenders, mind you) and buying a humidifier. She never once complained, ceding that entire stage to me, should I need it.

   I didn’t need it. Are you kidding me? Covid with moderate symptoms has been paradise. (Salvation having been achieved by virtue of being vaxxed and boostered.) The isolation alone is a gift from God. Not once during this past week did I have to defend not leaving the confines of the house. (We’d even returned to the good old pandemic days of home wine deliveries.) My days on the couch were seen as recuperative, instead of further evidence of decomposing. Alas, symptoms continued to diminish as the week progressed. All good things must come to an end, I suppose.

   There is one thing I noticed between the worlds of avoiding Covid and contracting it. The almost two years we spent trying to avoid it were spent in a world of varying degrees of paranoia, where every cough or sneeze or Trump rallygoer was seen as an existential threat to your life. Once you get it, though, the paranoia changes to a kind of altruism to all that you are willing to do to avoid spreading it to anyone else (except maybe in the case of the Trump rallygoer).

My days on the couch were seen as recuperative, instead of further evidence of decomposing.

   Something else I observed was that Carol and I really didn’t get on each other’s nerves, as might be expected from a week-long confinement in a double-wide. I was surprised, given my propensity for getting on people’s nerves (at least, that’s what my mother always told me). I’d actually begun to consider, as the week wore on, that maybe I wasn’t as annoying as I’d been led to believe. But Carol reassured me it was her tolerance that had actually increased.

   The main experience I wanted her to have was to see how it was to sit on a couch all week and do nothing. I thought if Carol could feel first hand the buddha-like peace and harmony that I feel every day of my life now, she would embrace a whole new respect for my lifestyle. Unhappily, though, as the week ended, she fixed me a stare and said, “How do you do this day in and day out every day of your life and not go insane?” I had hoped to reply, “See? Not so bad right?” But the stink eye that accompanied her remark told me to just shrug noncommittally.

   A week with Covid in the house that had started out so promising, ended the way it began. My traditional answer to her perennial question, “Are you just going to sit on the couch all day?” will not produce the newfound enlightenment I had hoped for.

   I’ll miss these Covid days, when a catatonic stupor would be seen as therapeutic.

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