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COVID Is Still Out There

Like many others, I’ve spent the last two and a half years diligently washing my hands, wearing masks, and trying to avoid larger crowds and risky situations. And I’ll continue to do so as long as this virus keeps circling the planet.

Now the experts tell us another wave is coming and may already have started. No matter how fed up we are with this, it isn’t going to go away any time soon.

To be honest, I was pretty smug about my success at keeping COVID at bay. Until…

About a week after he retired, my husband went on a trip to Palm Springs with a couple of other family members. It was a way to rest up, soak in the pool, and re-imagine what his life was going to look like.

He came home the Friday before Father’s Day, and so on the Sunday our adult daughters dropped by for a family barbeque.

That evening before bed, he started to feel a bit of a scratchy throat.

Oh, oh.

He took a COVID test just in case, and it came out negative. By the next morning, however, it was showing a faint positive.

Since we have a relatively big house, I immediately moved my things to the upper floor in a desperate attempt to reduce my exposure and stave off the virus. I still had two weeks of work left before I retired from teaching guitar, and I was not going to let my students down.

I did send them all emails to let them know our situation, and a number of them opted not to come for their lesson that first week. But a couple of days after my husband got it, three of us, my daughter, her boyfriend and I, started feeling the first symptoms.

Interestingly, my other daughter and the two family members who went with my husband to Palm Springs, didn’t get it.

I spent most of the last two weeks of my teaching career in bed, sick as a dog.

Ours was not the mild form of the virus by any means. We had fevers and body aches, headaches, brain fog, loss of appetite, loss of taste and smell, sore throats, stuffed heads….you name it. It was nasty.

It came in waves. One set of symptoms would start to peter off and then other symptoms began. It seemed never ending.

And then, over the next couple of weeks, the symptoms started to ease and we all finally tested negative.

Now here I am on my first “official” week of retirement, rid of this rotten virus for good. I hope.

The thing is, the experts tell us we could still become re-infected with either another variant or the same one again. Not only that, but it’s possible that the next infection could deliver even worse symptoms. I don’t want to hear it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just get rid of the darn thing and never have to suffer through it again? Nope. It doesn’t work that way.

It keeps mutating and variating and having its way with us. The most we can do is get vaccinated and boosted in order to keep it from being even more serious.

I’ll be first in line for the next booster.

Having now experienced COVID, I’ve become more acutely aware of protecting myself and others from it. If I was starting to be just a little complacent about this virus before, this bout has now commanded my complete attention.

I also feel a deep sense of gratitude now. First and foremost, I’m grateful that my family are all well again.

I’m also very grateful for the many experts who have put their heads together to find ways to lesson the impact of this virus. I will continue to follow their guidance because I know my experience could have been so much worse.

And last but not least, I’m deeply grateful to be able to sit out on my back deck with a full heart and finally start enjoying my retirement!

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