by Brandon Summers | August 27, 2022
First and foremost, I don’t think my situation or symptoms are unique. There’s nothing special about the circumstances which I contracted it either— I’m simply grateful that I had avoided it for so long (and it didn’t put me in the hospital).
Here we are roughly two and a half years later following the abrupt lockdowns, the cleaned out grocery store shelves, and the infection, suffering and death of a million Americans; and now the cavalier “post-COVID” return to “normal” as a community and political response to covid fatigue. It is worth noting that the United States is not the center of the universe; and beyond its borders, 5 million people have died. But within its borders, over 1 million Americans have died from COVID. In 2022, roughly 200,000 Americans have died from a virus that many would like to believe is nothing more than a flu. I don’t want to make this a political discussion, so I’ll move right along to my personal experience.
My significant other tested positive for COVID at the end of July. I was in New Orleans for a corporate gig at that moment, but took an at-home test anyway (negative). When I returned home to Las Vegas, I stayed with my parents for several days to avoid contact with my partner. The strategy seemed to pay off and she finally tested negative.
Sunday, August 22, 2022: About three weeks later, I was suddenly too exhausted to function and without an appetite. The other symptoms crept in that Sunday afternoon– chills, fever, a pounding headache, light sensitivity, body aches. I went to the bedroom, turned off the lights and just laid there. I wasn’t at all of the disposition to turn on television or listen to music. I was miserable, sweaty, and trying to find a prone position that would give my lower back some relief (6/10 pain-discomfort level). This was how the first 24 hours went. Eventually, the pounding headache and light sensitivity subsided enough were I could begin my Netflix binge.
Monday, August 23, 2022: Somewhere in the day, I took an at-home COVID test and the infamous double lines appeared. It shall remain a mystery why my test was negative on Day 1 when the symptoms were the worst. Now that I didn’t feel completely terrible, I had time to contemplate how I got sick. I honestly don’t think my partner was the source of my infection, but it’s totally fine if that’s the way the cookie crumbled. I worked at a middle school three days that week and had a wedding reception gig on Saturday where I and the attendees were all maskless. It could have very well been one of those situations that gave me the rona.
The second day of this affliction went much better than the first. My appetite came back and I had enough strength to sit up and answer emails. I had to tell a corporate client that I wouldn’t be able to make the gig in San Diego the following day. Ozark and Better Call Saul were my programs of choice. I watched episode after episode to my heart’s content. Day 2 went smoothly with the exception of intermittent diarrhea.
I woke up and wanted to get out the house for the first time since Saturday. I decided to go for a walk and it proved to be daunting. I tired out halfway through and had to take a break before heading up to the third floor to my unit. It was a struggle and I felt soreness in my knees. The binge watching continued.
Cough. cough. Where did this cough come from? It is annoying. Fortunately, my strength has returned and I don’t feel physically exhausted.
I scheduled a PCR test through the Southern Nevada Health District. I’d done a few of these tests already, so I knew the drill. This location was a walk-up site where I was guided to swab myself. I hate the feeling of the Q-tip in my nose, but this oversized one wasn’t so bad. I received a text message the following day that confirmed I was positive for COVID-19.
The Southern Nevada Health District has received a notification that you recently had a POSITIVE laboratory test result for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In accordance with NAC 441A.280 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, you are required to isolate yourself in your home to prevent those around you from being exposed to infection with COVID-19. For more information, visit http://www.snhd.info/ip.
Sunday, August 27, 2022: Performed at an outdoor charity event— one where I had to bring my own PA system. I felt totally normal.
Tested negative for COVID-19 with an at-home rapid test. I was back in the classroom the following day.