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On Getting Covid

janus god of beginnings

It is hard to believe that as I write my January blog, the month is more than half over.

On January 7th, I was diagnosed with Covid, and it has taken me all of this time just to swim back to the surface of my existence.

The last few weeks were like being swept up by a wintery gale on a stormy sea. I lost a week of time in the clutches of a Shadowy fog. The raging storm gobbled up time, as if the prevailing darkness had no use for daylight.

The Boogeyman had come home to roost and two years of fortifying and protecting against its appearance meant nothing. The door was ripped from the hinges as if it were made of paper.

And the hallucinations! It was like watching the technology of the vaccine at work. Then, the hallucinations became just me trying to manage the process of living...trying to eat, trying to drink, losing to severe dehydration and headaches. One by one, each day just disappeared.

I had to re-learn the art of bringing the body back into balance. This was my ship and only I could right it in this storm. I had to work.

It required methodical steps, like recognizing that the body’s hydration meant more than water. Or, forcefully swallowing nourishment even while food tasted like the most vile thing on earth. No pain, no gain.

It was horrifying, having the body under siege especially when I had always been a good sailor. There were good days and bad days until eventually, the good days won. It took patience and commitment until I finally arrived here.

Where is here? A life more appreciated. Making new choices based on knowing how fragile life really is.

Yes, I was vaccinated and boosted. I went to great pains to wash up to my elbows after every outing. I am always masked, and avoided normal social gatherings. I was the poster child for best practices. And still it came.

Perhaps my guard was down in a checkout line. I don’t know how it happened, but tag, and I was it.

So, now I see life as a pre Covid existence and one where Covid is integrated. Pre-Covid, I worried whether others were vaccinated or masked. Now, I feel like it is none of my business. We’re all going to do our time in our own way.

Did my vaccine status play a role in how effectively I was able to fight the virus and get healthy again? Maybe. In the end, I did have to go the hospital for IV fluids. My anti-vax brother is forced into mandatory Covid testing at work. He tested positive at the same time as me with no symptoms whatsoever.

There was really nothing that was ever going to keep me from my meeting with the Covid Boogeyman.

January is named after the Roman god Janus, who rules transitions, beginnings and thresholds. He is depicted with two faces. One looks into the future, while the other looks into the past.

janus god of beginnings

The image of Janus captures my sense of living pre Covid and Covid integrated. Before, I was on the lookout for any threats on the horizon. Overcome by the darkest storm, what threat remains?

The future looks different because of the experience I just had. I am making new sacrifices I never would have made had this not happened.

The two heads are also like a double take.

Like: what just happened? Did you see that?

When I imagine Covid, I see an empty square. In time, this too shall pass.