Covid-19 Darkens My Doorstep
2020 just keeps getting weirder. After 6 months of what I would consider pretty strict adhesion to the various safety protocols meant to slow the spread of Covid-19, last week I found myself on the wrong side of a positive test.
The craziest part is that I didn't feel particularly symptomatic before this most recent test. Just like in my previous tests--but man, when Covid comes a-callin' you sure feel that!
The last 10 days or so have been spent trying to get through your typical day, while Covid slowly and silently pulls you into a fog. Picture walking from a beach into the ocean. Your first 10-15 feet are pretty normal steps, but the water gets deeper, and your steps get higher and longer, yet your progress is slowed until you just can't make progress. That's Covid.
The worst part was surrendering to the idea that I just couldn't do a morning show. We tried to set up an at-home broadcast for my part of the show, but while technically sufficient, it was just not normal. When you spend 30 years in the studio with a guy, you don't realize just how naturally your body language and subtle nonverbal cues add to the program you're doing. Add to that a kind of mental fog, and I just couldn't navigate through my thoughts to even make jokes.
So when something like this comes along--it's not just the physical limitations that you have to deal with. I also knew that I was letting down our audience, the rest of the show, and 97X in general, by not being able to just screw around for those morning hours. Instead, it was a lot of coughing, trying to take deep breaths, and wallowing in self-pity. Covid runs through you, and your only recourse is to just let it do what it's gonna do. If you've ever had to deal with a bully in school, you know exactly how it feels. The bully is gonna get his, from you, and you're going to walk right into it.
Symptom-wise, I probably didn't have it as bad as some others. I've read about body aches and blood clots, but none of those came to visit in any meaningful way for me. My issue was, and is, breathing. Interrupted by coughing fits, and an inability to catch my breath, that's where I spent a lot of the last week. Without warning, a coughing fit just sorta shows up, and the coughing gets worse, and when you try to inhale between coughing, you choke on whatever crap you're coughing up, and you start coughing harder. So now your lungs are spasming, and you don't have any air left in your lungs, but you're still coughing. Coughing and exhaling, can't catch your breath, you get light-headed and you're kinda doubled-over, hoping to throw up, so that it will at least break the cycle of coughing.
My sense of taste and smell disappeared probably 2 days into my diagnosis. Replaced by just a metallic film in my mouth and nose that is still lingering. The CDC says that can stick around for weeks. Sweet things taste salty, other foods just taste bland, but you find yourself chewing just because you know you should be eating.
I never had a fever, which is somewhat misleading as far as how you feel about being around other people. If I had been feverish, I probably would have tested sooner. My wife is a nurse, and she was taking our temperatures twice a day for the weeks leading up to my positive test. Thankfully I didn't expose anyone else, and was able to just ride out the storm until I felt good enough to come back to work.
I hope you're all staying safe out there. Prior to my experience, I was mainly paying lip service to Covid, knowing I would most-likely survive it like I would a cold, or the flu. But what I went through in the last 10 days has shown me that I for sure don't want to expose my parents to it. Or your parents. I'm not ready to say which of my friends or family I'd be willing to sacrifice to something that's preventable, so I'll still be wearing a mask, and washing my stupid hands.