My regional health authority declared me free to end my isolation last Friday. It’s now been just over two weeks since I started feeling sick, and, while I definitely feel much improved since then, I still do not feel 100%. The headache/brain fog is less but still there. Nasal congestion is still present but doesn’t obstruct my breathing. I have a mild cough that makes an appearance sporadically through the day, and a little bit of exertion can leave me feeling too hot, a bit winded, shaky and fatigued. I did end up losing my sense of smell, but I think it might be slowly returning as I could kind of smell my dinner last night. All in all though, I would say that my case of Covid-19 was a mild one. My only real concern at this point is how long these milder symptoms will linger.
I still have no idea where I might have got the virus. Although it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear after contracting the virus, the science shows that the average is 5 to 6 days. When I look at the week prior to the start of my symptoms, I don’t really see a lot of opportunity for exposure, and the week before that was equally uneventful. I worked a total of 5 days within those two weeks, always masked and washing/sanitizing hands. I went to the gym four times in the two weeks, again always masked and sanitizing hands and equipment and never within six feet of anyone else. Aside from work and the gym, my only outings were to a few stores, probably not even a handful, and always masked and so on. We didn’t socialize, and we didn’t eat out. Unless my husband got it from one of his customers, which might be possible but also unlikely as he doesn’t typically spend much time with them, we simply have no idea how we got Covid-19.
The whole experience has been interesting though, and it has certainly illuminated some differences between what we are told through media and what actually happens in real life. My case was milder. My husband’s was a bit worse but still not all that bad. He did need to go to the Emergency department last week, because his breathing did not sound very good during a follow up call from our health authority. The nurse on the phone talked to me and told me to call the hospital to let them know that my husband was coming in and had Covid. So, I called the hospital, got transferred to the ER, and explained the situation to the woman on the other end. Her tone came across as uninterested and annoyed, and she informed me that it was not necessary to call ahead, that all patients are triaged and Covid patients get separated. After a chest x-ray, he was given an antibiotic and sent back home and has improved since then. While the care my husband was given in the ER was pleasant and attentive (or as attentive as it could be due to other factors), I personally found my brief conversation with the ER staff member to be frustrating. Why are people told to call medical facilities in advance if those medical facilities don’t want to receive advance warning?
The whole contact tracing thing feels kind of like a joke, at least from where I am sitting. Maybe it would be different if I had been at a party or had recently returned from some exotic vacation or if I worked in a school or something, but the only questions asked of me that could in any way be considered contact tracing were: Had I recently travelled out of country or had direct contact with someone who had? and Did I have direct contact with someone who had recently tested positive for Covid-19? The only contact tracing is really about who I might have passed the virus to in the two days before my symptoms began. I understand that how I got infected might not be nearly as important as who I might have infected, but there is something about it that just feels a tad off. Maybe it is simply a matter of manpower or perhaps it is pandemic fatigue. I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t even matter.
Body temperature, while not the only factor, is something that my workplace requires us to check before starting our shift. I have no idea how many workplaces have been or still are using temperature checks, but I do know that at least some medical offices perform a temperature check on patients prior to an appointment. This is because a fever is often a sign of illness and, more specifically, Covid-19. Understandable and I have no issues with taking my temperature at work. But here’s the thing…I haven’t had a fever at any point in time over the past two weeks. Quite honestly, I haven’t had a fever for years, but that’s not the point. Everyone is hyper focused on having a fever, yet we know that not everyone has the exact same symptoms or severity and some are asymptomatic. At my job, we have a checklist we go through in addition to taking our temperature, and that makes sense. The checklist asks about other symptoms and contacts that can still wave a warning flag, even if your temperature does not, which is quite unlike my daughter’s experience with an ENT last summer. My daughter’s temperature was taken and was allegedly a little high. Even though she had no other symptoms and no reason to think she was sick, her appointment was instantly cancelled because the receptionist said she had a “fever.” We got home from that appointment and checked her temperature; it was fine. My daughter checked her temperature every day until her rebooked appointment…no fever. Fast forward to a little more than two weeks ago, I could have walked into that ENT office and had an appointment, even though I was in fact already infected with Covid. Does that seem off to you, or is it just me? I have no issue with wanting to ensure someone isn’t sick, but how can you focus on one symptom when that symptom is not always present?
At any rate, I do not return to work until next Monday and I am thankful for that. Today, in this moment, I am feeling pretty decent. The headache is mild and the brain fog has thinned out a bit, at least until I get up to make dinner. Most of my nose-blowing seems to take place in the morning or evening. Same with the cough. So, I’m just going to take this last week to keep resting and healing.