Quarantine Reflections: Did I Already Have This?

I am living that quarantine life with the rest of most North Americans right now, watching from my window as spring descends upon us and the government is closing down all of the city parks. But as we now see the stories of the people coming out the other side of this dreaded corona virus, I think back to a funny story from February.

It was right before Valentine's Day. I was in a Verizon store with my husband getting us new phones as my commission check had just come in and I had been so excited to upgrade to a Samsung Note 10+ (which, by the way, is awesome).

It was a cold day and I distinctly remember regretting that I had to wear a jacket because, as I said to my husband, "under this big jacket you cannot see the definition in my arms." I had been working out hard and seeing progress.

But while we were waiting for the Verizon guy to go retrieve our phone cases from the back I looked at my husband very seriously and said, "I haven't been totally honest with you about something."

He got a horrified look on his face and said, "what the hell?"

I continued, "I really haven't been feeling good these past two weeks. In fact, I've been quite sick ever since the end of January. But I didn't want you to tell me to take it easy so I have been trying to hide it from you."

His response was hilarious. First, he reminded me that my family has a dark history of ending relationships in public places and that if I brought him to Verizon to spring a divorce on him that I better believe he'd create a scene like a total diva. Secondly he said, "And you haven't been keeping that from me. You cough all night long. I just knew better than to tell you what to do."

It was true. Beginning at the last week of January and through the next 5 weeks I was quite sick. Sick in a weird way I never have been before. My energy levels remained high but I had a weird congestion and cough that I couldn't kick. My throat became raw from the force of my relentless coughing. Sometimes at night I would lay awake in bed wondering if I should go to the hospital. But during the days I somehow managed to work and workout and live my life. During this time I probably went through 10 boxes of Mucinex, bags of Ricola, and many, many cups of hot tea.

I thought I was better around Valentine's Day, I thought I was over the worst, but the illness rebounded about a week later and I got sicker than ever, and then finally, I recovered for good. My illness was almost certainly prolonged by my refusal to rest, and it never once occurred to me that I could have "that" virus. My mom had been sick too, the same way, and for the same length of time - in fact, I am sure I caught my sickness from her. She also didn't really rest (we are genetically disinclined to rest!).

Even now, I am cautious, avoiding people, washing my hands and praying that I don't get sick. As an asthmatic I am a risk for flus generally, and I have had pneumonia once before and it was absolutely awful. But when I hear people talk about the body aches and the cough, I think, "there's no way that isn't what I had earlier this year."

Tests are coming out now that can determine the antibody levels and detect a previous infection with this virus and I am eager to take it. In a way, I hope that I was indeed an early victim of this virus and that maybe this caused me to develop immunity going forward. I feel healthy today. Beginning about the second week of March I felt fully recovered and I have been healthy and well ever since, feeling better than I have in a long time. I am curious in the coming months to find out how many Americans had the COVID-19 virus and didn't realize it.