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Covid-19 Purgatory

Two weeks ago, I had gotten home from work and was about ready to have dinner when my husband asked me if his Mountain Dew tasted weird or if it was just him. I took a sip and it did taste off. I chalked it up to being a bad batch.

I sat down for my meal and noticed my boxed dinner didn’t have its distinct processed cheese taste. I thought it was odd, but thought nothing of it.

It wasn’t until I took my vitamins and meds that I suspected something might be wrong. The magnesium vitamin my doctor suggest I take is extremely chalky so it leaves a white residue on my fingers and has a horrid taste that easily triggers my nausea–I could not taste it at all as it started dissolving on my tongue. The vitamins I have in fruity gummy form due to my nausea also had no flavor.

I started to panic. In my panic, I tried some dill pickle chips I had in a bad on my bedside. All I could taste was salt. Now I knew something was wrong: a coworker told me that when she had Covid she could only taste the sugar and salt in foods, but not their actual flavor. After tasting a few other things, I realized this was happening to me. It was as if my tongue could only register sweet and salty.

My husband and I got tested for Covid the next day. Our tests had come in Thursday night, but didn’t open the emails with our results until we saw them the following morning.

“Negative,” said the email I got about my test results.

I woke up my husband to have him check his test results. Surely his would be the same since we lived in the same household. He paused for a moment as he looked over the email.

“SHIT!” he said as he showed me the phone screen that had “positive” in bold, red letters.

We had to quarantine for ten days, though work said I couldn’t come back for two full weeks. We had to technically break quarantine on that first day to get enough groceries to last us two weeks. Thankfully, the store I work at offers online grocery pick up so we were able to order the items online and they were loaded into our car without any contact. We still wore our masks and didn’t engage in idle chatter with the person loading our groceries to reduce the risk even further. We never even had to speak with the person face to face.

My test was probably a false negative because I got super sick right after getting my test results back. If I ever hear anyone tell me Covid “is like the flu” ever again, I’ll have to resist the urge to slap the absolute shit out of them. If I had the flu, I could have regulated it with medicine. With Covid, I couldn’t make the symptoms go away. The medicine did not help make the cough go away and I would cough so hard I would gag, but would have a headache if I didn’t take anything. I was constantly achy and fatigued so I slept a lot. For the first couple days, I was on fire. I had shut off the heat in my bedroom and put the fan on, which made the room super cold being that its winter in the north…I was still hot. When I called my Dad and told him I was so sick that I didn’t have the strength to sit up in bed to play my brand new Playstation 5, he sounded shocked. “You’re too sick to play video games?! Holy shit!”

My husband only dealt with symptoms for about 36 hours. Whenever he gets sick, it hits him hard, but he’s over it quickly. It was amusing that he caught the plague and was actually the one with the positive test results, but it was me that was feeling like death for almost a week.

Besides getting super sick, quarantine was rather boring. That “Cabin Fever” scene from Muppet Treasure Island makes a lot more sense now and I realize that weekly shopping trip to the city was kind of keeping us sane. Ten days felt like two months. The days dragged on. The only real sense of time I had was when the daily check ins for the mobile games I play reset themselves. There were a couple times I accidentally took my meds twice in one day because I forgot we were on the same day. Everyone expects quarantine to be a glorified stay-cation, but its actually more like purgatory. Not that having all that extra time mattered much anyways because I was too tired and worn out to be able to do anything besides sleep, eat, and watch television.

On a bright note, when I started feeling better, I began work on a quilt I started making for my husband eight years ago. Every couple of years I’d work on it a little before getting distracted by something else. I finally finished the damn thing tonight.

Tomorrow, I go back to work. I never thought I’d actually miss work and look forward to going back to it. I’m sure that will change once I get there and realize its turned into Hell because its the day before Christmas Eve. For now, I’ll be glad just to get out of purgatory.

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