COVID reality check

Rich glennie


Former Fort Frances Times editor Rich Glennie has been diagnosed with COVID-19. He’s written about the experience from his home, southwest of Minneapolis, and has given the Times permission to share it with our readers.

To all you COVID-19 deniers who refuse to acknowledge there is a pandemic swirling around, I’m here to tell you it is real. I tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 5 and have been in quarantine since.

And I’m not alone. My wife and son are confined to the house as well. Andrew also tested positive, while Karen was told not to bother because she had many of the same symptoms, too.

Unofficially, I contracted the virus days earlier than Nov. 5, perhaps even as early as the end of October.

Where’d I catch it? I have no idea. And after this long, it could have been anywhere.

As the pandemic rages on, and the state’s and nation’s health care systems are stretched to their limits, there are still people out there who think it’s no big deal.

We’ve all heard the arguments: “You can’t tell me what to do! You can’t infringe on my freedom! It’s just fake news anyway. I’m young, so it won’t affect me.”

Really? I would not wish COVID-19 on anyone, but perhaps if one or more of these deniers actually got it, they might realize how foolish they are.

What we found as a family is we all had similar, yet slightly different symptoms of COVID-19. I have a deep-chest cough that never seems to end. Can’t talk without coughing. Also, I did not get the fever that Karen and Andrew had.

While we all got the full-body aches and joint pains, I did not get the nagging headaches of the other two.

We all lost our appetites, while Andrew and I still can’t taste much. I lost eight pounds at last look. Heck of a way to go on a diet.

Perhaps the most debilitating symptom is the chronic fatigue. For the past two weeks we have been confined to the house. There is little ambition to do anything else because the slightest movement wears a person out.

I have always been a good napper, but COVID-19 has taken napping to a new level.

During a recent snow, what would take me one session to clear the sidewalks and driveway took three sessions. I was just wore out and needed to rest before going back out to shovel some more.

We thought we were doing everything right. We’d mask-up when going into and out of buildings. We social distanced. We have not traveled much since March. We stay close to home, except to get groceries and other essentials.

And we still caught COVID-19.

So, folks, even though you do things right does not make you immune. And when you do some stupid things — like attending large social gatherings, not wearing face coverings and simply ignoring common sense and common courtesy guidelines — you enhance your chances of getting and distributing the coronavirus to others.

So no matter how many warnings health officials issue, some people will not listen. I’m afraid there is no cure for stupidity.

By Rich Glennie