This week I couldn’t help reflecting on a famous Groucho Marx quote when he resigned from the Friar’s Club, “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”
On Saturday, I woke up with a stuffy nose, but with our ever-changing weather, I put it off to allergies. As the day went on I really felt no different.
Sunday morning, Sarah said to me, “We should take a rapid test to be sure.” In my typical flippant manner, I told her, “Its not necessary, it will be fine. We don’t have COVID.” And then we were off to get tested. Both tests were negative.
As the day went on I felt a little tired, but substantially the same.
In the interest of being “extra careful” I took another test on Monday morning before the day began. Having done the test for a number of employees, I was very familiar with the drill….open up a new kit, put the reagent in the test, swab both nostrils three times, insert the swab into the reagent, and wait 15 minutes for the result.
I had both vaccinations and the booster on the very first day of availability.
I was virus-free for 652 days since the JEA had to close its doors (for seven weeks);
I was virus-free for 652 days of classes, meetings, distant school, luncheons, preschool and camp;
I was virus-free for 652 days of travel to visit friends and family, judicious eating at restaurants, and other social gatherings;
And then I wasn’t.
I became another statistic in the ever-growing Chatham County Board of Health Transmission Rate chart.
I gathered my belongings, and with a few quick notifications to other staff members (at a distance and in a KN95 mask), I immediately left the JEA.
And then it was just a few short hours later when exhaustion took over and my body became a little bronchial. A fierce headache followed. For the next two days I napped, answered a few emails, napped, took a phone call or two, napped, and napped some more.
As many people said, with the vaccine and booster, most people just experience something akin to the flu…and that is just what I experienced. I felt physically poor, but felt even worse when I then shared the infection with Sarah. You know the expression, “Misery loves company?” In this case, “not so much.” She has experienced the same symptoms as me except two days later.
And then the text messages started to come in as people found out,
Are you OK?
How are you doing?
How bad is it?
Can we bring you dinner?
What do you need?
I started to feel a little bit like Hester Prynne except I don’t have to wear a large C on my chest.
The fact is, that the vaccines work, the booster works and while it was extremely inconvenient (when is getting sick convenient?), it was ‘merely’ headaches, congestion, and malaise.
I don’t know if this is the future, but it feels like it is not a matter of if you will catch the virus, but when. If you have to get the infection, hopefully it will be asymptomatic or mild, like our experience.
I can not express my appreciation to those who reached out. The fact is, that while psychologically scary, it really was just like they described, and now, hopefully, I have another boost of immunity for the future.
Tonight is another unique triple-header: New Years Eve, Shabbat, and the Georgia-Michigan National Semi Final game.
May the new year bring us health, happiness and success,
May this Shabbat bring us peace, health, and meaning,
May tonight’s game bring a Georgia win.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy New year.