Monday, January 17, 2022
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I’m a bit tired of the phrase “an abundance of caution“. I wasn’t overly paranoid about COVID, nor was I the obsessive-compulsive who had to clean every surface. But I was careful, got my shots and wore my mask.
At some point I had to let my guard down, because one day I felt a pinch in my throat with a sniffle, and lo and behold, I had COVID.
Nasal autoinvasion test was positive for antigen on the second day of sniffling, which by this time was progressing to body aches, pains and a productive cough, with a stuffy head enough to fall asleep, often; three thirty-minute naps a day.
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The Holmesian detective did not give the answer. While I suspect where I contracted this not-so-elusive villain, I wasn’t sure. I was now quarantined, reluctantly reverting to texting, phone calls, face time and zoom (yes, I’m into it) interspersed with naps.
OK, what to do in the house, since I was trying to quarantine, albeit badly, to protect Diane. We considered separate bedrooms but decided against it as we felt she already had maximum exposure. What protection would two closed doors offer at this point? The height of my ability to infect others was before I developed symptoms. Wearing a mask all day? No. “How about a fan in our bedroom, the one that faces the door and blows your viral rascals down the hall instead of at me?” We decided not to for the same reason and others; shortened discussion. So we walked along. Luckily, Diane didn’t contract anything and tested negative.
I texted the doctor the first day and, God bless him, he called back immediately. I had no breathing difficulties, so he did not see the need for monoclonal antibody treatment. Unsolicited, he called me on the second day. I like conscientious and caring doctors. This doctor, me, was now a patient who needed my doctor, him, to reassure himself. His calm voice was enough. “I’m here if you need me.” I considered myself rather lucky.
At this point, I was going back to last year’s restrictions and thinking about what else I might miss. “Not yet.”
At that time, I missed going to the cinema, going out to dinner, concerts, grandchildren, the barber. . . Ah yes, the hairdresser. I missed leafing through the pages of bookstores and libraries and their lingering “aromas” of familiarity. They have moved away again in recent days.
Wallace Stegner wrote, “How simple and memorable a good day can be when expectations are low.”
So, I lowered my expectations then, and I still do now. And I’m fine. The days are good because, with lower expectations, I see the light of day. I will hear again the car engine starting, the clinking of restaurant dishes, the clattering, snapping of lawn mowers, the tapping of the conductor’s baton and the smell of movie theater popcorn.
Unlike many others, I am improving. Considering myself lucky, I will take and cherish the victory. I’m well.
Dr. Ed Iannuccilli is the author of three popular memoirs, “Growing up Italian; Grandfather’s Fig Tree and Other Stories”, “What Happened to Sunday Dinner” and “My Story Continues: From Neighborhood to College”. Learn more here.