I honestly thought that it would not happen to me. Until it did. Yesterday (Wednesday) morning. When I tested positive for COVID-19.
For some [definitely erroneous] reason, I wanted to believe that I was immune because had I not done everything right to escape it? When the Ontario government lifted the mask mandate last March, I kept mine on because I work in a public-facing customer service position. In fact, I wear two masks and gloves. In the grocery store, on public transit, at the pharmacy … I still wear a mask. My mask only comes off when eating lunch and upon my return home. I put on a mask even for the short trips down the hall to the garbage and mail rooms. I did not want to take any chances.
Life’s Like That
When I started feeling unwell on the weekend, I first thought it was my allergies. Or, at best, maybe a cold. COVID-19 was actually the furthest thing from my mind because when similar symptoms flared up over the summer (especially the change in my senses of smell and taste, coupled with repeated negative COVID tests), it ended up being my allergies. A quick trip to my doctor, who gave me a prescription antihistamine instead of using Reactine (it had no effect) quickly cleared up my symptoms. So, testing positive for COVID-19 was a surprise.
To Stay Home or Not to Stay Home
Current government guidance is to “stay home to prevent transmission to others, except to seek testing or medical care if required.” That is exactly what I am doing until my symptoms have improved for twenty-four hours. In my job, it is not feasible to work from home. But the good news in all of this is that I can, while recovering, work on my writing when my energy level permits.
And when I do return to work, some things will not change. I will still be the lone guy in my unit wearing a mask. Until the bitter cold weather sets in, I will return to eating my lunch outside and not in the small, crowded lunchroom. My social bubble will remain small. You can look at my funny, but in all public settings I will be masked. This is how I will be living with COVID-19. It lets me live my true nature as an introvert and avoid socially awkward settings.
I always think of being sick as my body telling me to rest and slow down. It is something I struggle with, because I tend to want to keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny. A forced break, I am ‘enjoying’ this time at home not only to write … but to remind myself of what truly matters.
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