Take care, COVID is still out there

Posted 8/24/22

A couple of words can be used to describe what it’s like to get COVID, but as a rule, we don’t print them in hometown newspapers.

Turn back the clock to April 2020. The shutdown was in …

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Take care, COVID is still out there


A couple of words can be used to describe what it’s like to get COVID, but as a rule, we don’t print them in hometown newspapers.

Turn back the clock to April 2020. The shutdown was in full effect. Governor Gina Raimondo was conducting regular press conferences, reporters were fed numbers – numbers of cases, the demographic (it was the elderly) hardest hit and tragically the deaths – people were hunkered down  and a vaccination was a long way off, if at all. People were afraid. Not much was understood of this virus other than it could spread quickly and was deadly.

A core group kept the Beacon going, although there wasn’t enough news with municipal meetings canceled, schools closed and sporting, entertainment and civic events canceled to publish twice weekly.  The story became the reaction to COVID – how would schools operate; precautions to be taken (remember the protocols to ensuring your produce was safe from wearing rubber gloves to washing fruit and vegetables?) to what Zoom meetings were all about. And, then, of course covering Zoom meetings, which is terrible.

Before all of that, a comparatively few people had had COVID and could relate what the experience was like. So, when Sports Editor Alex Sponseller, who was working from home, called to say he had COVID there was little question what he would be writing about. Besides, there was little else for him to report.  His account of the cough, loss of taste and general body aches and pains fit what I read elsewhere with a ray of hope – this really didn’t sound to be too much worse than a case of the flu. Alex is resilient and was through the worst of it in a couple of days. His was a reassurance that we would pull through this even though at that time there wasn’t a vaccine and so much was unknown.

So, all these months later and having lived through the variants of COVID, the return to in-person school and college classrooms and business and the virtual disappearance of face masks, reports of COVID cases don’t make the news. Reports of family and friends testing positive are no longer extraordinary. It’s just the way things are. Fortunately, hospitalizations and fatalities are way down.

So, when I developed a bit of a sore throat and mild headache, COVID didn’t occur to me. Might it be a summer cold or allergies?

I should have been more careful and tested. Rather, I went ahead with plans to visit my sister and her family. It wasn’t until afterward when the coughing set in and I had a fever that I thought to get tested. Further prompting the test were the calls from those who had also attended a fundraising event earlier in the week. I learned that at least six attendees had likewise tested positive including Republican gubernatorial candidate Ashley Kalus.

Some were going through the same thing I was experiencing – persistent coughing, dull headache, lethargy, overall aches and pains, fever chills and feeling like (one of those words you won’t read in the Beacon). My sister and niece ended up with it and fortunately Carol avoided it.

Now that I’m feeling better, the question has become at what point am I safe to move about the world again? My doc provided the CDC guidelines: isolate for five days after testing positive and then wear a mask for at least another five days when in public.

What about testing? Should you wait until you get a negative test and when should you test?

I get different answers to this. I’ve been told you can test positive up to months after having COVID even though you are without symptoms and non contagious. Others recommend waiting for a negative test.

Do we really know how to combat this thing? I can’t answer that. But I can, now from experience, say be careful for your sake and others. It’s a terrible thing to lose the taste of ice cream.

This Side Up, editorial column


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  • mthompsondc

    Glad you're on the mend, John!

    Saturday, August 27 Report this