Covid-19: A Stubborn Enemy
It started with a ticklish throat. Allergy-like. Vague. Nothing to fear but the recent pollination of Southern California grasses. But in my heart, I knew the truth. After an international move, masked trips across Europe, government-mandated lockdowns, incessant PCR tests, and two and a half years of a global pandemic, I evaded the coronavirus.
But it came to me all the same.
When I tested for coronavirus earlier this month, the red “T” line, which we’ve become conditioned to fear, materialized as if perfectly penciled in hue and intensity. At that moment, my two Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines and my Moderna booster shot eased my fears, but all the original concerns about the virus sprung to the forefront of my mind: will I have long-Covid? Neurological damage? A need for hospitalization?
Before the symptoms, came the anxiety.
Within twenty-four hours, I developed a low-grade fever, a mind-stirring migraine, and the strange need to swallow constantly. I spent the following seventy-two hours in bed, muscles aching, face feeling as though I’d gotten into a brawl, pondering about who’d infected me. What virus strain that had traveled a world of bodies and surfaces multiplied in my throat, nose, and lungs?
Advocates and followers of science, my partner and I never stopped wearing our masks in public. At the slightest throat tickle, we’d perform rapid antigens on each other, four swabs to both tonsils, ten rotations in one nostril. We memorized the movements like a dance. With cases rising in Southern California with more verve than the seasonal wildfires, we spent most of our time hiking, at the beach, or at home, away from crowds. Mindful that our immunities from our vaccines and boosters waned with time.
COVID-19 Post Infection
It took ten days for me to test negative. Before re-venturing into society, I tested four more times to affirm my negative status, scrubbed every surface of my home to keep from reinfection and hoped those positive with the virus remained as diligent.
Within days, my partner’s father and my sister tested positive for the Covid-19.
A healthy twenty-six-year-old woman, fully vaxxed and boosted, my sister ended up in the emergency room with a 104-degree fever.
In recent months—far longer for many parts of the United States—pandemic fatigue has loosened the fight against the virus. While variant characteristics point to less severe infections in population majorities, Covid-19 remains a public health threat that affects the global community.
To maintain a handle on the evolving sickness, we, as an integral body, mustn’t thwart efforts to curb the spread of the virus.