Not Covid

I don’t have Covid. That’s what a PCR test and five rapid tests are saying. My body thinks otherwise and is doing its impression of a Covid-infected organism, an Oscar-winning performance it turns out. If I wasn’t so sick, I would offer up a standing ovation but getting out of bed is a challenge. It might be Covid’s evil twin. I’ve just checked the gauge that monitors such things, and it shows self-pity at an all-time high which, as you know, is never a good thing. And I sound more like Betty Davis every day.

We take our healthy self for granted until we are sick. Then, we make every conceivable promise if only we could stop coughing up a lung and stop feeling as if we are slowly freezing to death from the inside out. We’ll never eat junk food again. We’ll exercise and drink water. “I’ve never been this sick,” I mutter under my breath as I struggle to stay upright long enough to brush my teeth. That is not true. Further, I gave birth to a breech baby and survived so I’m pretty sure survival against a non-Covid enemy is likely, though I was a lot younger when I was pushing what felt like a reluctant household appliance from my body. Turns out it was Thea, not a refrigerator, despite my suspicions. I gave myself permission to remind her annually of how much bringing her into this world hurt and it was a good thing she was my last and not my first or she would have been my only daughter. Strangely, she seems less than grateful after thirty years of the re-telling of the saga of April 26th when I begged the nurse to put me out of my misery. Thea was there but she claims innocence on her part and that she doesn’t remember. Alas, the nurse didn’t comply with my wish to be put down, and in hindsight, it was probably best that it played out as it did.

I try very hard not to whine, though I am whining inside my head. There’s no one here to hear me so I could be shouting my whining from the rooftops. But that feels like giving in and I might start to believe I’m hard done by and the poor me hat might fit. Inside my head I ask when Covid is going to head off into outer space and leave us alone. When will those who refuse to wear a mask or get vaccinated going to come to their senses? Why does my skin hurt? Why can’t I turn my head? Why does my coughing sound like I should join the seal act at Marine Land? Why does every mistake I have ever made bounce to the surface of my thoughts when I’m trying to go to sleep? Oh wait – that’s every night, not just when I’m sick. Why? Why? Why? I pose the questions, but no answers come. “I never go anywhere,” I say, throwing up my hands and point to my feet as if I’ve just slid into second base and by golly, I’m safe while the second base umpire’s signal is to the contrary. I wear a mask, I wash my hands, I keep six feet away from everyone. I haven’t had a face-to-face conversation with anyone since 2019. That may be a slight exaggeration, but it feels accurate.

I’ll probably recover and forget just how miserable I’ve felt these past forty-six days that really have been slightly more than a week. I have located my sense of humour that has been suspiciously missing in action for the past many days. So, there’s hope in that. Plus … my dandelions are in full bloom. No one can really be sick when there’s dandelions everywhere. I need to be out among them.