I finally got Covid. I started developing a cold on Tuesday afternoon and went to a testing centre just in case; the lab result came back Wednesday morning just as I was walking into work.
I went up the stairs anyway and collected my laptop (for working from home). In hindsight maybe not the correct thing to do, but I was careful enough and probably, hopefully, not a danger to anyone.
From then on things degenerated, from a sore throat to all the other symptoms. My nose began running constantly, I developed a headache, ears popping occasionally from the pressure. Then the really scary stuff, intense tiredness, pain in the lungs, episodes when your heart starts thumping and breathing speeds up after the most basic exercise like getting up to walk over to the toilet and back. A few moments on Thursday morning I ended up falling asleep in my reclining chair, and it felt more like ‘losing consciousness’ than ‘a pleasant nap’.
Now that I’ve experienced it I can definitely see how this virus kills people. It’s not far to go from ‘shortness of breath’ to ‘difficulty breathing’ to ‘critical condition’. As I write this on Friday morning, the worst seems to be over. I still have a headache, a runny nose and bouts of dizziness, but my body feels a lot better.
I managed to get by two years through the pandemic without catching it, and in the meantime I got my two vaccines, plus the booster, plus a normal flu shot for good measure. I narrowly avoided it at Christmas, so until now I figured I must have had an asymptomatic infection, or just got lucky.
Public health measures have been relaxed, and relaxed again. Infections are surging with another new variant, but the free testing programme is winding up at the end of the month. The USA is going on a million deaths while scaling back guidance on wearing masks indoors. It seems like I caught the tail end of the pandemic, at a point where it’s still a problem, but no longer a public concern.