I've had "Mild" Covid, and I Thought I Was Going to Die
I'm a runner.
I didn’t want to go to the hospital.
When someone’s incredibly sick, they generally don’t. They don’t want to go anywhere. They want to stay where they are. They might know on an intellectual level that they need medical attention, but their body is telling them not to move. It wants to remain still. Their body thinks if they can curl into a ball and shut their eyes long enough, the pain will somehow magically go away. They certainly don’t want to drag themselves to an ER, where they know they’ll wind up sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours, waiting for admission.
In fact, that’s exactly how my neighbor’s cat died. She got incredibly sick. She was stumbling around, falling over. Then she vanished. We spent days looking for her. Turns out, she’d climbed into the hollow of a tree. She wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t drink. She just stayed in there and slept, waiting to die. We managed to catch her and take her to a vet, but it was already too late. Anyway… When I had “mild” Covid last summer, that’s exactly how I felt.
I wanted to crawl under a tree and die.
Just like that cat.
It doesn’t matter how healthy you are.
There’s a reason I’m telling this story.
After three years with Covid, a huge number of people out there still think you don’t have to worry about it if you exercise and eat well. That opinion has gone mainstream. Even the vaccinated believe it.
We’re talking about educated people, even reporters.
I’m fit. I eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning. I eat kale salads and bean burgers for lunch and dinner. Before the pandemic, I got checkups every year. I got blood panels. I exercise every day. I have low body fat.
I’ve had RSV. I’ve had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. That disease puts people in the hospital. I took half a day off, then I got back to work. I’ve had the flu. When I was a kid, I had pneumonia. I beat them all.
Once I ran a 5K with a cold.
I used to live in the midwest. When I was training for half-marathons, I’d wake up at 7 am and run 10 miles in sub-zero temperatures.
Covid came from another dimension.
As you can tell, I had a pretty cavalier attitude toward illness for most of my life. I prided myself on my tough immune system.
The SARS-2 pandemic changed that.
We spent two years in isolation, until we were all vaccinated. Then my daughter went to preschool. That’s how I got it.
She was asymptomatic.
My spouse got the sniffles.
I felt a little weird at first. Two days later, I was in bed. I spent the next three or four days there. Everything hurt. Sometimes my temperature hovered around 102. Other times, it sank to 96 or below.
I couldn’t tell if I was hot or cold.
Then the cold sweats kicked in.
I woke up one night damp and shivering. I tried to get some water, but my legs buckled. I felt like I was turning into a cadaver—cold, stiff, numb. I eased myself along the wall to my spouse, who was sleeping in another bedroom.
I woke him up.
The thermometer kept saying my temperature was around 95 degrees. We talked about going to the hospital. Instead, we waited. I started to dry out and warm up. We decided to hold off.
In a perfect world, I probably should’ve gone. I didn’t because I was scared. I didn’t think they would help me. I thought they would send me home. It would accomplish nothing, just waste precious energy.
I went back to sleep.
The cold sweats went away. I started inching toward improvement. A day or two later, it felt like the worst was over.
I could move around again. I could eat.
I was going to be okay.
Don’t mess around with this virus.
So, that’s what “mild” Covid feels like for many of us.
You feel like you’re going to die.
That’s a different story from what you hear in the news. When some politician or bureaucrat announces their “mild” symptoms and then disappears for two weeks, that’s what they’re probably not telling you.
I doubt they’re at home with the sniffles. They’re in bed, suffering. They’re prepared to go to the hospital.
Still, I have no intention of getting Covid again. On top of N95 masks and distancing, we’ve tightened up our game even more. We have nose sprays. We have copper nose sanitizers. We got an extra air purifier for my daughter’s preschool.
It’s an ongoing project.
I’m vaxxed. I’m double-boosted. I’m healthy. I’m careful.
Covid still kicked my kale-munching ass.
I’m not interested in a rematch.
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