My New Year’s Wish: A Covid-Free World
"That which does not kill us makes us stronger."
Wait! What? Positive!?
I officially became a statistic the other day. In the middle of writing this post I actually had a call from Kevin at the Department of Health to inquire about my symptoms and to gather other information so that the state could keep track of and be on top of all things Covid. I've now joined the US record of 430,000 million people who tested positive for the Covid-19 virus on Wednesday.
I had received both doses of vaccine in the early spring. I had received my booster just 4 weeks ago. I was trying to do everything that the medical and scientific experts had advised to protect myself and my family.
I had been taking home tests regularly and even going to the State-run PCR testing site twice a week leading up to the Holidays. I had been masked everywhere I went, washed my hands regularly, and kept my social distance. We had small gatherings, left windows open, and all tested negative before getting together. Where I contracted the virus from I still do not know, as no one else in my family has come up positive, at least yet.
I had felt a little groggy the day before the positive result but attributed it to the stress and activity of the holiday week. Tuesday morning I felt like a million bucks, no worries at all. I worked out super aggressively to try to shake off some of the extra holiday calories. Still, I took my home test as I had been doing right along and, low-and-behold, a blue and pink line. Huh?
A false positive. I was sure of that. After all, I simply felt too good to be 'sick.' So I took a second test using a different brand just to be sure. By the time the sample drops hit the testing receptacle the pink and blue lines were already appearing. Whoa…I am positive! The email message from the state confirming the results from my PCR test came in this morning.
I don't know if I was on Santa's nice or naughty list for Christmas, but clearly I was going to be on the Covid list for New Year's.
Quick! Grab a mask! Find a spare room to get out of everyone's way. No panic but surreal and somewhat troubling. I'll be, if not off-the-grid, at least 'out-of-play' in terms of going out anywhere for 8 more days, I'm told.
As of right now, I feel very lucky. I've had some additional minor symptoms and fatigue, but all-in-all, nothing more than that of a typical winter cold so far. But I can't help to think more compassionately about what so many others across the world have had to deal with over the last two years.
The human toll has been incomprehensible with, as of this minute, over 235 million infections world-wide, which are only going to keep rising exponentially obviously for the foreseeable future given the transmissibility of the omicron variant. Many cases have led to significant long-term issues. And, tragically, moving toward a staggering 6 million deaths globally attributed to the virus.
The economic and mental health costs have also been unfathomable. We all see in the daily news the effects of unemployment, supply chain issues, and inflation, as well as how all that has led to violence, despair, stress and tension on every level. Not to mention the exhaustion and exasperation of our medical and first responder personal due to their tireless efforts over the past 2 years. Burnout and depression are rampant and undeniable social impacts of the pandemic.
So, no New Year's resolutions for me this year. Just wishing for a speedy recovery for myself and everyone else who has contracted the virus. And for those of you who haven't, hopefully you and your families will find a way to avoid catching it.
Hopefully the scientific community will keep coming up with novel breakthroughs to combat and defeat this novel threat to us all. Hopefully as a society we'll adhere to a strong social compact. One that takes into account actions, both big and small, that we can each do to help protect both our families and each other. Reasonable precautions and actions are never unreasonable.
While understandably there is so much fatigue around the 'rules', we must remain disciplined to ensure the most expeditious end to this event as possible. While we are undoubtedly and understandably done with the pandemic, the pandemic surely seems to not quite be done with us just yet. Hopefully getting through it will leave us all, in every way, as Nietzsche said, "Stronger."
Happy New Year!