I Come Down With It

Sunday, July 17. I awoke with a load of “solid” congestion, usually a harbinger of bad things. Not quite convinced I was sick, I decided to wait and see what, if anything, would happen.

The answer came the following day, a day of endless sneezing. Using one of the Covid test kits I had brought from America (involving a seven step process), I was soon looking at the dreaded “red” reading, making my illness official.

I had gotten the Omicron.

My first thought was how I could have caught it. I’d diligently worn my mask when going out and had had minimal contact with anyone outside of my cleaning lady. Later I realized all it would have taken was for me to touch a contaminated surface and not properly wash my hands when I got home — something I’d stopped doing.

Whenever I end up with a cold or flu, the first order of business is getting stocked up on supplies. That night I did FaceTime with one of my special friends and explained what had happened and what I needed. The next day she delivered the provisions: milk, plenty of water, fruit, Tylenol, a thermometer (her idea), and a few other items. Kindness. By this time I was enduring the usual flu miseries of coughing, a plugged nose and loss of taste. My Vitamin ‘C’ and NyQuil were being put to good use.

But then a funny thing happened. Three days after the first symptoms, the congestion and sneezing were more or less gone. Come evening I felt well enough to exercise. This was not a fluke — my condition continued to improve. Towards the end of the week I had recovered my sense of smell and taste (not major concerns considering what a lousy cook I am) with only scattered coughing spells. Best yet, I no longer was running a fever!

Unfortunately, the Omicron was not through with me. For the rest of the month I was still on occasion coughing and a-chooing. In fact, it was three weeks before the cough finally broke. More of an annoyance than anything. Next time I will stick with the extra water and Vitamin ‘C’ longer.

So why was this attack so mild? Obviously the Omicron variant is not the killer its predecessors had been. But I ended up suffering less than the usual colds I’ve caught here in Thailand. The answer is that while in the U.S., I had gotten an initial shot, then two boosters. Just as the health experts recommended. Being sixty-five years old, it would have been plain stupid to do anything less.

And the truth shall quarantine

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