Running on empty

There’s a lot of chatter at the moment about learning to “live with Covid” and I don’t really know how to process this concept.

See, a year ago I had a sore throat, which eventually developed into a mild annoying cough and then went away. I took a Covid test when the cough developed, but that came back negative. After a few weeks the symptoms went away and I thought nothing more of it.

Then, in August, I started feeling unwell. Again, nothing specific, just a bit tired, a few chest pains, slight difficulty with breathing – that sort of thing. I dutifully took another Covid test (negative again) and went to the GP, assuming it was the asthma playing up again. The normal gamut of tests then followed with no particular outcome – this is a good thing, no outcome with “I have chest pains” is pretty much the best possible answer. After a few days though, it cleared up and I went back to my normal life.

Then the same thing in September, after the kids went back to school. Feeling grotty, test, negative, rest for a few days and then magically getting better. By now the pattern was set, I’d have a few bad days, take it easy on myself for a bit, wait for the negative test and then I’d have a few weeks of relative normality.

Of course, now that we know so much more about Covid, I can only assume that this was a case of that Mild Covid that we all hear so much about. I was lucky to get away so lightly really.

And here we are a year on from that initial round, and the chest pains are essentially permanent, my baseline blood oxygen level is 95%, and those “few bad days every month” have turned into a few good days if I’m lucky. I have to plan every physical activity in advance. Housework gets done in five minute bursts, with a good nap in between. Putting an Ikea wardrobe together nearly killed me. There are days when I wake up, take the kids to school and then go back to bed again.

My mild case of Covid, with no hospital stay, minimal symptoms, and no confirmation in the official stats has become long, and the longer it gets the worse it is becoming.

So when you hear people talking about living with Covid, know what that means, and know that many of us are already living with it, and it is not a welcome houseguest.


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