After Covoid-19, My Life, My Lessons, Your Future?
How it started, People always ask
By now we are sick of hearing about this crazy virus, don’t even say the word. So I’ll use C virus. We especially don’t want to be home, not working or getting paid, possibly laid off, being around kids and family we haven’t spent this much time with since last Christmas for one day.
But what if it were a different scenario? What if a terrorist was looking for anyone on the roads out and about to kill or torture? What if they couldn’t come into our homes as long as we stayed inside safe, away from public areas? Well, that might work for a week, but then we’d expect someone to find them, kill them or put them away where they can’t hurt anyone. We could go on with our lives. But then if more terrorists kept coming and we couldn’t stop them. I think of the virus this way, it’s looking for vulnerable people, not expecting to get caught, their guard is down with no protection or they are weak from an injury, health or physical problem, disability, age and can’t run away even.
Because of our jobs, we knew we were vulnerable. My husband and I are healthy people, we are not exercise fanatics, but we paddle board, we swim and walk. And we eat very healthy. Every year we hear a new virus, new warnings/ aka hype. We never catch it, no worries we thought until my husband started coughing.
My husband and I both work in the resort industry, he’s a server and I work at a retail clothing store. Because of the C virus scare, people canceled international trips and cruises and opted to come to the coast. They flew or drove in from all over the US and Canada and we were at record capacity in the cottage rental industry. For 3 weeks, we were flooded with throngs of kids, people, sunbathing, drinking, partying, and hanging out in great numbers all around town.
As the C virus news got worse, our stores tried implementing ways to limit stores to 10 people at a time. The lines outside weren’t observing good social distancing however. Thankfully the government stepped in, forcing us to close until things calmed down and hopefully the virus finished its course.
For a week, I had weird stomach cramps down near my bladder area, and mild headaches and coughed like an allergy cough. Then my husband started coughing more and feeling ill.
He self-isolated that night but within 2 days his fever spiked up to 102. It stayed around 101 for 2 days and finally broke. His body ached, he laid in bed and barely moved for 2 days and then the coughing choking began. The cough would hit so hard, he would gag for air trying to finish the cough and catch his breath at the same time.
We called Saturday to the online doctor site and he was given a Zpak (told maybe bronchial infection) the doctor said told to self- isolate, drink fluids and rest. Within 11 days, March 30th, I was sick and coughing. My head hurt like a bad hangover, my ears hurt, and my body ached all over. We wondered what are the odds we’d both come down with just the flu? We reached out to the County Health Dept. We didn’t fit in all the boxes.
- We hadn’t traveled outside the country,
- We didn’t know anyone infected we might have been exposed to,
- Our fevers weren’t high enough, and so on.
For me to get a video doctor visit was a 2 ½ hr. wait, then a dropped call. The second day I got through. My own doctor told me go to the ER. We called the ER. Don’t come unless instructed to. I wasn’t dying but definitely did not want to wait hours or be exposed to something else.
My video doctor was thorough. He watched me breathe, said get close to the camera/mic and exhale deeply then listened as I wheezed painfully, coughing automatically from the loss of air. He prescribed antibiotics, Albuterol inhaler, and cough expectorants. Again we pleaded for a test, but the same reply-if you are not a lot better in 24 hours go to the ER. Drink lots of fluids, rest and I’ll check back with you in a few days. He was true to his word and did check back. I did feel better but told him I couldn’t smell now and my taste buds were not all there. He finally admitted they could not send people for testing unless they were in imminent danger of dying, and sounded in urgent respiratory distress. Our ERs here were instructed not to let anyone in until they had been interviewed by a doctor either by video or telephone. We were told over and over because all our “boxes” weren’t checked, their hands were tied. We later learned there are so few tests here in N. Florida (masks too) that they only test you if you are being admitted to the hospital or have some underlying health issue and you are over 65. I am reading this same scenario in online patient’s stories who tried to get tested. Hopefully this part of the world will catch up with tests soon!
This led to another dilemma. Family and friends kept asking us, how do you know it’s the C virus and not just the flu? What could we say? Neither one of us had ever had the flu, bronchitis yes, we coughed but never with all these other symptoms. Never had we felt this bad, and never was a horribly contagious virus racing around the countryside and here we were sick together.
The sad part, we couldn’t comfort each other because we were forced apart. How horrible that must be for a sick mother to isolate herself from her child or family. I purchased a large chicken and made soup. Also non caffeinated tea and Vicks Vapor Rub to help open airways because we desperately wanted to sleep but not being able to breathe woke us up choking, coughing for air. We existed off leftover meals until he felt well enough to start cooking for me. Another pot of chicken soup and spicy foods to clear nasal passages and induce coughing. Finally having an appetite, he cooked spicy shrimp creole and exclaimed, “Oh this smells so good”. Not noticing the aroma, I jumped up and leaned in for a sniff. Nothing! I couldn’t smell anything, no spices, peppers, garlic and onions. I became so sad, and started roaming the house sniffing things, essential oils- no; dark chocolate- no, Cinnamon room spray -no, even ammonia-no until it burnt my nose and I got a flash of scent with the burn.
Now I felt oddly validated, surely this meant I had it, but really bummed me that my sense of smell was gone. How long did this last? Why wasn’t my husband affected? We mentally accepted we must have the C virus, we had too many symptoms. It was all those darn symptoms that plagued us. It was like your child got exposed to chicken pox at school, but you need 20 spots to be verify it, and your child only has 18.
My husband is 2 weeks out from his worst symptoms and I am 7 days. We are still weak, taking naps, and coughing out all this left over crud to finish the course of the disease. People saw us, we weren’t half dead like all the people described in the paper and on TV, and here we are saying we’re getting over it.
So what now? Fast forward 2-3 weeks. We feel like we should have a card or someway to notify people we are safe to be around. We can go to the grocery for you, we can pick up things, we can visit our elderly parents if they catch this and help them without fear we will catch it or give it. Others might have it now, or be in the slow recovery phase.
We don’t want a fine if we can be out in the public and help make/deliver masks, pick up packages whatever. We can answer calls on what it feels like to have it, but then EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT! Just like my oldest got a mild case of chicken pox, but my youngest who was exposed longer had one of the worst cases the doctor had seen. Same disease two different reactions. But ahh, we still knew it was chicken pox. During the Black Plaque, no one doubted you if you started showing symptoms, they avoided you. You either survived or didn’t.
Next season I will definitely get a pneumonia shot, and possibly a flu shot.
When business starts back up, we will be at work first with no worries for we survived it. Hopefully this is not what the next decade of 2020 holds, one mutated virus after another.
Good health to you and yours.