After spending two years quarantining, masking, social distancing, waiting to get vaccinated, getting vaccinated, waiting to get vaccinated AGAIN, and so forth, I finally got COVID-19. Finally got to see what everyone was talking about. I got my ticket for a midnight showing of COVID last Friday night. It came on like the common cold. Nothing terribly original. I thought it WAS a common cold.
Then, on the second night, I got a bunch of weird pain in my hands—my precious hands!—and thought to myself I know what the fuck this is. I ran downstairs at 5 a.m., gave myself a rapid test, and the positive stripe showed up within seconds. It was a fat stripe. Emphatic. The testing stick may as well have said YOU HAVE COVID to me out loud. My viral load was bigger than a Miles Teller hot tub party. Some truly impressive shit.
But how was the virus itself? Well, now that I’m back to 100 percent, I’d like to give you, the reader at home, my full evaluation. Let’s go!
The sore throat. Very rude sore throat. Hurt to swallow. Hurt to THINK about swallowing. I pictured the back of my throat as a giant red welt, growing redder than a Kennedy if I dared to piss it off. But hey, I could still breathe, and I know that’s not always the case with this particular ailment. As my friend said of getting COVID after vaccination, “It’s interesting, getting it after all this time. Like meeting a much lesser version of the devil. And thank god you didn’t meet the real guy.” SUFFERING LEVEL: Nine spike proteins out of 10.
The cough. Mine was very deep and very wet. A real head turner of a cough. People KNOW you have something to pass onto them when they hear that cough. Eight spike proteins.
The chills. Oh my god, what a shitshow. By day, COVID treated me with kid gloves. I even managed to get a little bit of work done (poorly). But the second I lay down in bed for the night, it was like, “You’re my little puppy now.” I got cold. So, so cold. I slept in a hoodie all night, I was so cold. My teeth chattered so fiercely I thought they would shatter. When I got up to piss, it was like trekking across the fucking Matusevich Ice Shelf. With that cold came fever-purging sweats. So anytime I managed to fall asleep, I’d wake up my own damp, cold filth. No me gusta. Ten spike proteins.
The loss of taste. I already couldn’t smell before I got COVID (lost it in an accident), which made filling out any doctor’s office form a careful exercise in omitted truths. But for the first few days of this virus, my sense of taste was altered ever so slightly as well. I had already lost some of my taste in that accident. I didn’t care to lose more. I was like, “My coffee better taste like fucking coffee again when this is all over.” It now does. Phew! Two spike proteins.
Blowing my nose 5,000 times a day. Didn’t care for this part. Ever use so many tissues that they rub your nose raw? That happened here. My nose now needs a paraffin wax bath. Five spike proteins.
The nausea. Only got nausea for a split second, which is good because I’ve had far more nausea-forward illnesses. Those are worse. It’s worse to have a flu that leaves you shitting while barfing than having the vaccine-weakened version of COVID. I can take the shivers, and the night sweats, and the hacking up terrifying loogies. That’s just a regular January in my life. But once you fuck with my digestive tract, you’re fucking with my money. Luckily, my tummy was spared. I ate normally the whole way through. Good job by you, tumtum! One spike protein.
The weird aches. I got flitting back spasms. As someone who’s had multiple back surgeries, I didn’t appreciate COVID making me think that I needed fusion surgery. What a dickhead virus. And then there were the achy hands. Made me feel like a ghost haunting my own house. Four spike proteins.
The paranoia. Where did I get COVID from? Did I give it to anyone else? Did I KILL someone? Will I? Can I? Should I go hug Barry and see what happens, just for kicks? Three spike proteins.
The quarantine. My family and I all got the virus (my daughter was the only one among us to consistently test negative, but she was symptomatic and no credible person would believe in coincidences there), which was a morbid blessing because it meant we could all quarantine together, rather than cordoning off the basement and remanding The Infected to it for an extended period. I still got to enjoy full use of my house, which was not the case with some of my friends who got COVID but had to isolate within their own homes. That would eat ass.
Anyway, the wife and kids and I had to stay home all week. Thus, we were treated to a short reenactment of early 2020. We even used Peapod again! They swapped out the two-percent yogurt we ordered with five-percent because that was all they had! Ah, memories. For real though, I’m ready to go drive my car somewhere again. Anywhere, really. Two spike proteins.
The waves. I was hoping that my COVID bout would be a 24-hour thing. I was wrong. I’d spend a night feeling like shit, then I’d recover slightly the next day and say to myself, “I’m doing better!” And then COVID would be like no you’re not and smack me upside the head with a crowbar. I still got it lucky. One friend of mine had this shit for 11 days. Again, rude. Seven spike proteins.
The headache. Very persistent and annoying. One time, the headache morphed into a form of light vertigo that left me on the verge of fainting. I have had enough of fainting for this lifetime and the next. Eight spike proteins.
The kids. They were champs! Much better about dealing with this shit than I was. I’m ready for them to go back to school though. Their screen time numbers from this past week would have local authorities seizing them and putting them in foster care. TEN STARS TO MY LOVELY OFFSPRING.
The treatment. I threw the kitchen sink at my COVID. I tried Advil, hot tea, Mucinex, many teaspoons of honey (this was mostly so I could eat straight honey), a weird organic form of Robitussin that somehow cost me $18, etc. None of it worked. I got a Zoom appointment with my nurse practitioner. I was apparently too young and strong and macho to qualify for Paxlovid, the COVID pill. Instead, she suggested I try a cocktail of normal Tussin, Flonase, and Claritin. It was what she used for any flu or bad cold, she told me, and COVID merited a similar treatment. When I felt another wave of the illness oncoming, I ingested this holy triumvirate and HEY PRESTO. It worked. Put that shit right to bed. I haven’t had to take any meds since then. But what if this just ANOTHER wave? Hmm? One spike protein.
The whole global pandemic thing that killed millions of people while somehow making Elon Musk richer. Ten spike proteins.
So that’s modern COVID for you. It was deeply unpleasant, and much more alarming on an existential level. I’ve been sicker, though. I will be sicker, which is a simultaneously comforting and distressing thought. So I’m not as afraid of COVID as I used to be. Does that mean I’d like to get it again? Does it mean I’ll run around my next flight and kiss every other passenger on the lips in exultation? No. No, I won’t be doing that. I’ll get back to my life as normal, still being cautious but knowing that my vaccine-aided antibodies bested this fucker of a virus and can do so if it dares to come back. YOU HEAR ME, GOD? YOU KEEP TRYING TO KILL ME BUT YOU FUCKED WITH THE WRONG BLOGGER. I AM INVINCIBLE! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!…
[a chunk of satellite falls down from space and hits me in the face]