A kinder, gentler Covid

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Last week, I told you how my mom restlessly vacuumed her way through a bout of Covid. I also mentioned I was stuck in the “incubation window,” waiting to see if I would come down with it, too.

So, here’s the update: My mom fully recovered and happily skipped back to work. But the incubation window slammed shut and squished me like a sickly bug. The extra line on the Covid test sent me straight into quarantine, leaving my three kids and husband in the dreaded incubation window. They’re still waiting, hoping, and testing.

But there’s also good news: I’m experiencing a kinder, gentler Covid. In early 2022, I had it for the first time and felt like I’d been hit by a virus driving a train. But thanks to the vaccine and a few boosters, this second round feels different. I have milder symptoms and far less fatigue than expected. 

In fact, I even followed my mom’s example and reorganized a few kitchen cabinets while waiting it out. My junk drawer is so orderly that the sight of it would make you weep. I dare you to ask me for a safety pin, super glue, or a Phillips-head screwdriver. I know exactly where they are. 

Time in quarantine has also allowed me to appreciate how far we’ve come since the pandemic. In March 2020, during the first days of the shutdown, I remember walking into the backyard with our dogs and wondering if the outside air was a threat. There was just so much we didn’t and couldn’t know then. Uncertainty poured gasoline on the whole world’s anxiety. 

But this time, I saw that positive test result and felt bummed out – but not afraid. I rested, worked from home, reorganized a junk drawer to near perfection, and sat outside in the breeze to safely chat with Tom and the kids without infecting them. 

Unlike the first days of the pandemic, I didn’t have to worry if we’d be okay. And I feel so grateful to the scientists, doctors, nurses, and others who got us to this point. So many thousands of innocent people didn’t make it out of those early days.

Things have changed so much that when people get Covid these days, it’s often the quarantine period that bothers them most. But for homebodies like me, quarantine is cake. It’s so easy. Homebodies hardly even notice because home is already our favorite place to be. 

But I’ll admit there’s a difference between being home because you want to and being home because you have to. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t longed for a trip to Target and Chick-fil-a. I’m pretty sure waffle fries have healing properties. (The scientists are probably looking into it.)

And I’ll research that theory soon because I’ve only got one more day left in quarantine. Then I can venture back into the world, knowing my immune system has been turbo-charged by getting through Round 2 of Covid. Even though I’m not planning to lick handrails or hug strangers, it’ll be nice to know I have a little extra immunity. 

In the meantime, from self-isolation, I wish you a week free of virus particles and an extra dose of frequent hand washing. Viruses still get around just fine, even in 90-plus-degree temperatures in the middle of summer. So, stay safe, healthy, and thankful for the better times we’re now able to enjoy.

Gwen Rockwood is a syndicated freelance columnist. Email her at gwenrockwood5@gmail.com. Her book is available on Amazon. 

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