WWhat I never noticed before having Covid was the burgeoning black market of stories and speculations about the virus, the subsequent virus and the sheer unadulterated weirdness of the human body. The public sphere is understandably preoccupied with the disease in its most heartbreaking form: “happy hypoxia,” ventilators, months of post-viral fatigue. I fully understand it. If you are going to make a social effort to understand an illness, it is most helpful to start with, “It is nothing like the flu.” In the private sphere, meanwhile, we exchange strange and inconsequential symptoms, like a prehistoric culture trying to figure out what a cold is. “Did you have snot? You’re not supposed to have snot and yet I had a lot of snot. “” No, but my eyebrow hurt. “” Was it on the eyebrow or behind the eyebrow? “
The last time I shared my health, I had tested positive, but Mr. Z hadn’t, and soon after, he did too. I’d say it lasted about 10 days, and he had it worse than me; he discusses it, and there’s no telling who is right unless Oprah Winfrey is willing to get involved (joke! Obviously Meghan is right). No day was worse than a bad hangover, but you would never have a hangover for 10 days in a row, so overall it was worse. On the plus side, it wasn’t self-inflicted. I’m pretty sure Mr. Z brought the virus home from the store, and he was definitely buying something necessary, not a chorizo and some banana milk. My friend T reflected on this. “I don’t think he has had any illness that is worse than a bad hangover.” I pondered this for years. What’s worse than the worst hangover? Maybe childbirth?
It is not a symptom, as such, but it is impossible to overstate how upset my family was. My sister and stepmom were delighted with the turn of events, as if they had been watching EastEnders for 17 years and finally something had happened. “Any Covid toes?” They wrote hopefully. “Michael Rosen lost his hearing in one ear, you know.” My brother texted me to say, “The time to keep talking about it wasn’t a big deal is after that, rather than during,” which was the last checkmate between siblings. I couldn’t answer “No big deal” as it was still “during”. I couldn’t answer “It’s a big problem”, because it wasn’t. It reminded me of the time he hit the executioner with the word “two.” I was so sure that he just didn’t realize that he “too” had two O’s that I couldn’t see further. He was four years old and I was 14.
My mother, whom I had seen when she was probably contagious, became convinced that she too had Covid but was happily asymptomatic, which seemed quite unlikely to me, considering she only has to see someone with a cold on the other side of a highway to end up in hospital with pneumonia. I ordered a test anyway. I explained to her in some detail how you had to register it before taking it, and in the peculiar way of families that you can hear what they are thinking on a phone line, she thought, “Blah blah how much more of this customer service nonsense? Do I have to listen? “He didn’t actually register it correctly and waited 10 more days for his negative result. ‘Cumbersome system,” he complained, and I agreed that yes, having to attach your name and address to a barcode before Anyone to contact you was really a ridiculous thing, and I blamed tory cronyism.
Let’s go back to the symptoms. Just when I was more or less recovered, I did something to my back. “Are you sure it’s not your kidneys?” (my sister). “This happened to Ellen DeGeneres!” (My step-mother). It was crazy. It could almost exist if I was always walking, but as soon as I sat down, it could take me up to 37 minutes to get back up. I walked so much that I broke my Fitbit. That’s when I discovered the subculture of people who think Covid has mystical properties – it roams your body, unearthing hidden weaknesses, and reliving infections from decades ago. I spoke to someone again whose symptoms were basically their 1995 labyrinthitis; someone else said it was like cystitis. It is impossible to overstate how many people believe this and have a completely new conception of their bodily being as basically a file of ailments, waiting to be activated by an impossible-to-guess password made of protein. Science, it turns out, can provide a lot of reasons for thisBut I find the wisdom of crowds more intoxicating, that it can’t be peer-reviewed.
As suddenly as it was gone, my back was better, and everything was normal, and I had learned some horrible truths about home, like how annoying everyone I live with finds. I. “It’s so relaxing when you have a little less energy,” my son said. “I love it when you’re stuck in a chair and I can walk away before you start playing with my hair,” my daughter said. But did I learn anything useful about the crown, something you can call a general principle, applicable beyond the four walls of myself? Not so much.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism