I suppose it should be put down for the historical and official record that, after 2 years and 6 days, about a dozen masks, several on/off mask mandates, two Moderna vaccines, one Pfizer booster, one house move, two tenants, one new standup desk, and three negative COVID tests…

I finally got COVID.

Literally a week after the state’s mask mandate had been removed. How… ironic.

It started out innocently enough – March 19, 2022 – lazy Saturday morning, late breakfast out, browse through some bookstores, come back to the house to nap it all off.

But I just couldn’t shake the feeling of being a bum and was totally content lying on the couch for the whole day, rotating through books, magazines and social media. I’m not very good at doing this type of thing but I’d also just come off a very busy few weeks where I felt I was behind constantly, and had finally caught up by the end of the week. So, it felt appropriate to be a bit tired.

This also was a rare moment to claim “The Spot” on the couch for longer than a few episodes of Letterkenny or a movie, the best TV viewing spot in the house that is normally occupied by two boy teenagers and/or their father, for naps, reading, sci-fi drama viewing, video games, YouTube bingeing or phone scrolling.

So, I stayed on that couch as long as I could. I TRIED getting up several times – I even threw off the blanket but, with no real plan for what would happen once I got up, I threw that blanket right back over me. Besides, I had Sunday to do All The Adult Things.

Sunday started out oddly early. We have to move in a couple months, so I’m in a decluttering phase (again). Worked on clearing out a bookshelf, sat in on a weekly writing workshop, meal planned for the next 10 days. The rest of the day’s goals: do the grocery shopping, food prep as much as possible for the week’s meals, maybe tackle cleaning that overly papered bulletin board covered in stickers and old physical therapy workouts.

All I remember though is that while groceries were purchased and food was prepped, by Sunday evening there was a slight irritation in the throat and a little dry cough popping up.

Monday morning, something didn’t feel right. And I knew something was definitely wrong when the thought of getting ready for work was exhausting, and I most definitely shouldn’t have felt that way for this particular Monday. I had two days of field producing with our film crew that I love working with.

So that was a disappointing phone call. And then scrambling to finalize a few details for them since I wasn’t going to be joining them.

And then it really started to hit. It felt vaguely familiar. Like the same symptoms I had after my COVID vaccination shots and booster. Tired, sniffly, short dry cough, slight pressure in the chest, chills. While the at-home COVID test showed negative, just before bed Monday night, my temperature was 100.2.

(Just as important is tracking the At Home and Sick Entertainment that was consumed. For Monday, I killed the day with Season 2 of the silly show Upload, and we watched an excellent and moving documentary about photographer Gordon Parks. Also, I bemoaned not having access to The Price is Right.)

Before bed, we decided that I should probably isolate for a few days to see how this plays out in case it is COVID, so I holed up in one of the other bedrooms that night. Throughout the night and until about Tuesday afternoon, symptoms developed into what felt like a terrifically horrible cold with a touch of flu and laryngitis. They started to stabilize Tuesday afternoon, thankfully. But it was all concentrated in the upper chest and sinus region.

At-home COVID test on Tuesday afternoon: Positive.

That’s when we really locked me up.

Jeremy started getting into the routine of checking in on me via text and taking food and drink orders, which he would leave outside the bedroom door. Temperature came in at 100.4 Tuesday evening.

(I finally caught Season 4 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, thus fulfilling the Mid-20th Century Drama genre of my preferred TV-watching categories.)

Wednesday, I felt a teeny bit better but still pretty much a blob of endless mucus, with a frog voice and a painful sore throat. The body aches had gone away but my brain still was in no mood for processing anything. Yet I felt compelled to carry out my civic duty and reached out to folks I’d been in contact with the previous week, and contacted my primary doctor and the county public health COVID line to report my case. Received a litany of instructions on how long to isolate, mask, etc., from the county people (“drink lots of liquids, like OBNOXIOUS amounts of liquids, more than ever before” – county RN). Temp: 99.0

(I dove into the four-part documentary about LuLaRoe, which pretty much left me slack-jawed during most of the viewing. I owned a few pairs of leggings a few years ago, didn’t think they were THAT great, gave them away. This fulfilled the Junk Food Documentary genre.)

3 a.m. Thursday morning: I woke up with the most painful sore throat I could remember in a very long time, and as of this writing, at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, have slept only about an hour since then. Jeremy convinced me to move back to our bedroom today where it’s bigger and more comfortable (he’ll sleep on the couch for a night or two until he’s in the clear, which is looking good so far). I still sound like hell, on the verge of losing my voice. Temp this morning: 98.5. So, that’s good.

Another phone call from the county, this time from an RN to check in. We discussed my symptoms and timeline in more details – she counted my day of fatigue on Saturday, March 19 as my day of on-set symptoms, so I get to leave strict isolation Friday, March 25 and general isolation by Tuesday, March 29.

Technically, I should be in 10 days of isolation, but I can engage with the people in the house after 5 days if my symptoms are improving and I don’t have any fever (check) but still have to wear a mask. I can join the real world again in person on March 30, without a mask.

So, that’s where we’re at. It’s been a ride. As Jeremy just put it, “Dude. This thing kicked your ass. Good thing you’re vaccinated.”

(I have yet to watch anything so far today, but tonight will likely be the 1997 movie, Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown, with Judi Dench, to fulfill the English Monarchy Drama genre. There is also Blazing Saddles, Four Weddings and Funeral, and Bridge Jones’ Diary, which are all regulars when I’m sick. Also, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which would be especially appropriate since we just watched a great documentary on Truman Capote and now I want to read everything he wrote, especially In Cold Blood.)

(Post edit: I finished watching I Want You Back during dinner, fulfilling the Romantic Comedy genre of this At Home And Sick Entertainment chapter and will now move on the English Monarchy Drama genre for the rest of the evening.)