At the end of 2019 my husband and I both came down with a nasty virus of “some kind”. It presented like the flu – 4 days of fever, chills, just plain old awfulness. From there it became more of a sinus thing and eventually, for me any way, it dropped into my chest. After about 2 1/2 weeks I went to the doc and got myself a good set of antibiotics for bronchitis and finally healed. Frank made it through his bout in 10 days with no meds needed. We were both wiped out and both very happy when that nastiness had passed.
Two months later, we learned its name — Covid.
Fast forward two years and we’ve both been vaxed. Albeit we took the J&J shot before we realized it was somewhat less effective than its two-step sisters. I have traveled considerably in the last year for work, back and forth on airplanes with narry an issue, but last weekend I went to a retreat in the mountains with the women’s ministry of our church.
I didn’t notice anyone looking particularly run down, sick, or coughing. We were in pretty close proximity overall, but as far as extended close time, that was spent mostly with people I know well. All that to say Tuesday night I started feeling run down. By Wednesday I was feeling achy and feverish, by Wednesday night I knew something was up and on Friday I tested positive with Covid — again. Ugh.
Frank was fortunately out of town most of this week, and so far is symptom-free. He has a great immune system to start with and rarely gets sick so hopefully that will hold. In some ways, this round was better, and in some ways worse than the first time I had Covid.
It has been better in that I seem to be moving through the stages much quicker and nothing has dropped into my chest, at least not yet – I’ve blown my nose in such a constant manner that even with Puffs + Lotion, the end of my nose is a scaly, red mess. I’ve done that in hopes of staying ahead of any chest involvement. It was also a little better because I knew what to expect this time.
Worse in that though I have moved through the stages quicker, each stage has been really hard hitting. I can only imagine that is the gift of the Delta variant. I have been particularly weak and exhausted. This morning is the first time I have had the strength to stare at a computer screen, at least long enough to write this. And I guarantee, once I hit publish it will be time for a nap. I haven’t worked since Tuesday and that has me stressed in all sorts of ways. But I’m trying to just let it go for now. There’s not much I can do about it. I’ve literally been laid out on my couch since the whole ordeal began.
Do I regret going to the retreat?
Hindsight is a powerful teacher, but I can’t say I really regret going. This particular retreat, and the teachings shared during the time we were together have been somewhat life-changing. Like, get my house in order and prepare to make some hard life decisions life-changing. So my time there was valuable and I don’t regret attending. I am sad that it ended in this nasty virus, but I can separate the two. I knew I was taking a chance, gathering with others for two days in close quarters.
Do I regret, or think I wasted my time, getting the “vaccine”?
Nope. I’ve been the one preaching that the inoculation wasn’t a vaccine to begin with — at best it’s an antiviral. I wish they would call it that. They don’t call the flu shot a vaccine — because it’s not. The purpose of the anti-viral is to reduce the symptoms and prevent the worst-case scenario of having to be hospitalized and on a vent. It’s not curative, and it’s not so much preventative. And I think it’s done it’s job. Perhaps not as effectively as it might have had I taken the two-step shot approach, but I definitely felt like I had some help in fighting this strain. Will I take a booster? I will — but not for a month or so. I will have some immunity thanks to my bodies own magical immune system. It’s a grand design, our bodies. It is one of the things that remind me that I am not here by accident, that I was carefully designed/created. I talked about that a bit this weekend on the car ride there, or back, I can’t remember now, but it was a subject that came up between my friend and I. the divine nature of our very being.
It’s conversations like that that come out of retreats such as the one I attended last weekend. The ability to stop for a minute, to pause the business of our lives and focus on what really matters. I missed those gatherings the year we shut it all down. But I understand why we shut it down to begin with. When you don’t have answers you do what you think is best, and clearly, gathering in large groups still has it’s draw backs.
I am neither pro vax or anti-vax. I am more in the school of you have to decide for yourself what is right for you. I decided to vax for a number of reasons. Not because of any solid science — I don’t think we have enough SOLID science out there just yet — that takes time. I vax’d because I travel a lot, and because I have a sister with special needs who was going to have to vax being that she lives in a group home. I have hopes to see her soon and spend time with her again, and I know it would be one of the necessary steps in doing so. I didn’t think twice about it, I didn’t feel like my freedoms were infringed or government forced my hand.
I also don’t think those that haven’t vaxed are selfish, uncaring, or shallow thinking.
I’m tired of the division of people. I’m tired that it’s turned into a us against them fight. I don’t understand why it has to be that way. It’s exhausting listening to either side. I know people who have not vaxed that have gotten sick, really, really sick. I know people who have vaxed, like myself, who have also gotten sick. Maybe not hospital sick, but what I’m dealing with here is no joke either. So, who’s right? I don’t know. What I do know is we just celebrated Veteran’s Day. A day we show our thanks to those who serve in our military to protect our freedoms. Like the freedom to choose to be vaxed or not. I am thankful I took the vax when it was my choice to do so. I am not entirely thrilled that the government is trying to enforce the vax as a mandate. I might feel differently if it was in fact a vaccine and not an anti-viral. I would feel the same resistance if the government mandated that because I work in a company of over 100 people I need to have the flu shot. The two times I’ve had the flu in the past were the years I took the flu shot — go figure. All that to say, I see both sides.
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to attend a conference in my favorite all time U.S. city, Boston. During the conference, the reception dinner was held at the JFK Presidential library. After dinner the museum was open to us to tour at our leisure. When you begin the tour, you start looking at JFK’s young life, from childhood to college to his years of military service. Then you walk down the stairs and enter “Main street USA” from the late 50’s when he made his run for president. Once through that part of the tour, you find yourself walking through the halls of his presidency, you get a taste of Camelot, of his time with Jackie, and then you come to one of his most famous speeches. The speech where he unifies the country in pursuit of space – the race to the moon. I read that speech again and felt my heart skip a beat. I wasn’t even alive when he served as our President. But for a moment I felt a swell of pride, or patriotism, of being united. Gosh I miss that.
I’m not sure where to go from here. With the blog post, at least. This isn’t where I thought I would be going when I started typing.
I am thankful I’m turning the corner and starting to feel better. I am glad this bout of Covid has lasted less than a week and I look forward to being out of quarantine soon. I hope all who read this are staying well and taking it easy if you do come down with symptoms. I also hope we can all move back towards center. To care for our neighbors as people, not as the enemy if they make decisions that we don’t necessarily agree with. To be compassionate and caring with one another. I miss feeling proud of my country, its foundation and principles of freedom. I’m ready to get back there — I’m just not sure how we do that from here.