OK, as much as I didn’t want to write about COVID (or think about, or acknowledge its very existence), reader be warned. This blog is about COVID …. dammit.
My daughter, Riva, tested positive for COVID-19 today. Or rather, she finally received the diagnosis from a test she took last Saturday. This came about because she started feeling flu-like symptoms, coughing, fever, loss of taste and smell. As she had just had a flu shot the day before, we thought, “Can you, in fact, get the flu from the flu shot? I know they say you can’t, but … maybe?” We hoped for just the flu (which is not great, in and of itself), but prepared for the worse. And the worse came along.
My son and I went to get tested today, getting our brains tickled by a little brush through our nostrils. I kid. My brain was not tickled, but it was a thorough probing for sure.
My husband is going to get tested tomorrow. Of course, I believe that the rest of the household is indeed infected, and now we wait. This, not yet getting sick, but waiting to be sick, is the worst part — at least for me.
Getting sick, being sick, that’s easy. Suffering while sick, however, is not exactly my bag, baby. Actually, I don’t think it’s anyone’s bag. Giving anyone else’s druthers, who’d wouldn’t rather be rich and healthy than poor and sick?
Anyway, in an odd way, I sort of feel relieved. Never once, not since around March of this year, (no matter what I told Sammy,) did I think that were not going to catch it at some point. And now, I am even more sure that we will get it. I actually thought, and still think, that because of high degree of contagion this novel virus has, most people on the planet will get it. It’s the degree of sickness in each individual that is the only unknown (actually, not the only unknown, but one of the main unknowns).
Riva was super careful. She never took her mask off at work (she works at a high-end pet boutique — with fancy dog toys, and fancy dog beds and organic dog food). She always washed her hands throughout the day, and upon getting home from work and before leaving. The store manager was fairly careful about crowd control and physical distancing, at least when the state mandated stricter measures. Riva carried out a lot of dog food for people with drive-up orders, and asked people to wait outside when the store was at social distancing capacity.
But even when careful, sometimes people come into stores sick, have to be reminded to wear a mask after they have already entered the store, and some people still don’t believe this is as serious as it appears to be. COVID happens. Now the manager has it, and Riva’s co-worker has it.
My snarky inner-child sees people gathering at big superspreader rallies and gatherings in clear violation of local health protocols and thinks, “They deserve to get it.” However, my daughter is an innocent bystander, and absolutely did not deserve it. This snaps me back to reality, and I realize even the stupid and careless and mean do not deserve a potentially deadly virus. As my step-father-in-law, Larry, (God rest his soul) was fond of quoting, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.” (The Unforgiven was his favorite movie.) And that’s life, folks.
I did not want to tell my parents, because I did not want them to worry, but I had to tell them — that there is an important reason why I can’t visit them for a couple of weeks, why we can’t continue family dinners that we just started having again. I also firmly believe that anything that helps my parents sleep at night is a good thing, and this is the opposite sort of news.
Life goes on. Life goes on with masks, and physical distancing, and stress, with trepidation, and with zinc and vitamin C and vitamin D — but it goes on.