Oh, hello covid. I’ve been expecting you.
Well it was going to happen some time, wasn’t it?
(There is positivity later in this post, I promise. I’m conscious from comments on the previous post that many of you have quite understandably Had Enough Of This Excrement. And so I want to lighten the mood. Keep going, friends, I’ll get silly again in a few paragraphs’ time.)
Briefly, back to the Covid. This invisible thing, this murderous and disabling psychopath that’s been threatening everyone for the past two years, has finally chosen to visit our cold and wonky old home. I hadn’t anticipated how unnerving it would feel, seeing those two red lines on what must be the gazillionth lateral flow (antigen) test taken under this roof. I don’t use the word ‘discombobulated’ often, but that’s exactly how I felt when I saw the two lines. Without realizing, I’d been holding my breath for two years and now quite suddenly this was it. COVID. I exhaled slowly. It was our turn. This was not a drill. We’d boarded the C-19 train, heading who-knows-where, and dragging heaven-knows-how-many innocent passengers along with us for the ride. It took me a shamefully long time to progress from paralyzing shock to right-let’s-think-about-what-we-need-to-do-right-now-this-morning-to-keep-everyone-as-safe-as-possible.
It isn’t me who has covid (yet), by the way. One of the twinnage was emotional and unsettled one evening, and by the next morning the poor lad had tested emphatically positive. He’s OK now, and his symptoms were comparatively mild whilst they lasted. Children of his age (11) aren’t eligible for vaccines in the UK, so I worried about whether he’d cope with no external scaffolding of his immune system. As I write this, he’s finally back at school. His identical twin brother, with whom he spends every waking and sleeping minute, with whom he shared a placenta and pretty much everything since, didn’t test positive until many days later… and continued to test positive until three days ago. He had one day of being alarmingly ill, but has otherwise been not too bad. We’re grateful because things could have been worse. Way worse. We’re on day eighteen in the Covid House, and today is the first day we’ve all been legally and safely allowed to leave the house. Selfishly, I worry about how few chances I’ve had to go running, because my physical health and energy levels go south way too fast if I don’t pound the trails/paths/tracks for a few hours each week, and what little physical fitness I had, so painstakingly built up, can be lost in the blink of an eye.
The Stoic Spouse and I have been testing daily, and are thus far staunchly negative. We’re both triple-vaxxed, but I’ve seen too many similarly-inoculated friends endure a really unpleasant ride with Omicron, albeit in a non-hospitally, non-dyingy way, thank goodness. Covid is the Boris Johnson of viruses: it does what it wants, when it wants, with scant regard for rule or convention or morality, so who knows what’s in store. I fear that Omicron has a sense of humour, and now that my second twin is at last deemed fit-for-service, either the Stoic Spouse or I will be struck down.
Fortunately we’d noticed the surge of cases in our village and had forbidden contact with grandparents a week or so before the boys got ill, so at least we haven’t given it to the Twisted Seniors. But all this has not helped the day-job situation, because I’ve mostly been the person-at-home-on-covid-care-duty, since the Stoic Spouse’s job is even less work-from-home friendly than my own. I hate cancelling patients, hate asking people to change to remote rather than face-to-face sessions, but that’s been the reality of working life these past 2.5 weeks. It’s not good. I’m not proud. I don’t want to let my patients down.
I don’t know about you, but I’m useless at working from home, even aside from the fact that it stops me seeing people face-to-face. It’s hard to concentrate on writing a psychological report when the postman is ringing the doorbell, the washing machine is beeping to say that it needs unblocking yet again, and at least thirty-seven of my two children are clamoring for their third breakfast of the day. Much as I love the postman (?), washing machine (?!!!) and children ( 🙂 ), I’ll be very glad next week when I can physically return to the hospital and see patients face-to-face. And yes, I do have a tiny bit of perspective and recognize that these are minor woes in comparison with what some of you have endured thanks to this vile virus.
So today was the day when we were finally released from captivity. We went walking for plenty of miles. All was pretty. Look!
But there was a problem. Held in captivity, our legs had grown really rather embarrassingly long. My theory is that this is the equivalent of rodents’ teeth: if you don’t constantly wear them down by walking/running, they grow way too long. Look! Here we all are, going for a walk, looking a little more elongated than is strictly normal:-
A Facebook friend/relative (you know who you are) pointed out that this was the literal manifestation of LONG COVID, and who am I to disagree?
But amongst all this Covid talk, let’s please stay positive. It may be winter, the garden and all its vegetables and wildlife may be hiding under a rock and grumbling I’M COLD, but good times are coming. At first glance, everything looks dormant. But on closer inspection, you see that new life is just getting ready to burst into activity.
In the dark days of winter, and amongst all the crazy, it’s heartening to know that new growth is coming soon. A fresh season awaits. All will be well. And in the meantime, may I show you the exceptionally angry chocolate cake that I’ve just finished baking:-
Stay strong, my friends.