Dateline: At the corner of boredom and uncertainty.
Do I have covid again? That’s a good question, and certainly not one that’s easy to answer. On “pro” side, there are some inconvenient facts. Like Mexico is in the middle of a covid outbreak that just recently surpassed last summer’s peak. That’s when I got covid the first time. Since I’m not a complete idiot, I stopped riding public transit about three weeks ago as the numbers began to rise. While I wasn’t particularly worried about covid, I didn’t particularly want to get it either. I don’t really know where I got it last year, but the fully-masked public transit seemed like as good a bet as any. Oh, and that was back when I thought that getting vaccinated would make a difference too. Ha!
The other “pros” to my thesis of having covid are that I have all the symptoms: fatigue; cough; runny nose; sneezing; itchy throat. Of course allergies could explain all those too, but I don’t have allergies. Tuesday, when my symptoms suddenly manifested themselves, I also had a headache. But it diminished by the end of the day. Was the headache covid? Or was it just the result of a too-strong Rob Roy the night before combined with too little hydration? Who knows? Rob Roy-induced headaches aren’t exactly unknown in these parts.
The symptoms came on rather suddenly. As I say, I already had the headache when I went to let in the electricians on Tuesday morning. While walking back, I suddenly felt very tired, which was odd because it was only about 10:00 AM. After I got home, I realized that I had had a bit of a dry cough, but so little that I didn’t even think about it. Within about a half hour, I had blown my nose three or four times, which is unusual for me, a non-allergy sufferer. So I looked up Omicron symptoms, and there was the checklist of what I had been feeling.
I messaged “Carlos,” my BF who had only just recovered from covid. “You should just cancel your appointments and rest,” he said. I did just that. He also helpfully added that I now had a 50% higher chance of dying since this is my second covid. “I’m going to die anyway,” I thought, but didn’t say anything. My friend and upstairs neighbor picked up some groceries for me and left them at the front door.
By the end of the day, the headache was gone, but I was definitely coughing and blowing my nose. I had no fever, though. I was still tired and mainly just watched YouTube videos. Yesterday I felt about the same, minus the headache, thank God! I did have a moment of mild fever (99.7°), but I attribute that to having walked over to let in the electricians. I took my temperature upon returning. I worried about re-losing my sense of smell, but that fortunately didn’t happen. In some sense I still have “long covid” from the last time as my sense of smell has never fully recovered. Oh sure, it’s sensitive, but many things don’t smell the same, notably cologne, coffee, and the kinds of sweet, artificial smells that get put into cleaning products. Fortunately this isn’t a big deal. But if I worked in the perfume industry, my career would likely be over.
So where did I get it? Who knows? Carlos had it for about 10 days, theoretically ending on Friday when he tested negative. But it was a rapid test, not terribly sensitive. Then he spent Saturday night with me where I had plenty of opportunity to be infected. I don’t regret it. It also could have come from my landlord, Rafael, who swore he only had “the flu,” but I’m pretty skeptical of that diagnosis. But I only saw Rafael a couple of times outdoors and kept my distance. And it’s not like I’ve had much of a social life. Prior to Saturday, I had hardly seen anyone, save for the electricians and a couple of cocktails with Carole upstairs. I walk everywhere, or take an Über with all the windows open. So file this under “mysteries.”
Today? I’m basically fine. Yeah, still a little tired. Yeah, still with a little bit of a scratchy throat. No fever though. I still haven’t gotten a test. What’s the point? I’m isolating anyway, and there’s no medical intervention that I don’t already have in my medicine cabinet. Besides I don’t feel like schlepping the mile up to Farmacia San Pablo, waiting in line for 45 minutes, then another 45 for a result, potentially exposing plenty of folks along the way.
So here I am, a healthy sixty-something, isolating with a basically a cold. As the public health establishment shakes with fear, plotting more vaccine mandates, masking requirements, and basically a rerun of all the stuff that didn’t work the first time around. All for a new disease that’s exactly as described above: near-fatal. Oh joy!