Saturday, November 4, 2023


Resilience. I got none. For nearly five years, I've lived alone, happily and healthily, on my five-acre rectangle of rural paradise, untroubled by the cares of city folk and city life in general. I eat well, I sleep well, I go to bed early, I talk to myself, sing to myself, enjoy the company of good friends when they visit, and enjoy waving goodbye when they return to the city. I pride myself on being independent. I'm never lonely. For three years and seven months, I've successfully avoided Covid-19 by avoiding people. My luck ran out two weeks ago. Three friends were coming to lunch. I tested negative beforehand, and I felt just fine. After lunch, we all went through to the living room, sprawled ourselves out on sofas and chairs, and were laughing and talking when suddenly I coughed, just a bit. A minute later, I coughed again. Annette asked if I felt okay. Sure, I did, and I'd tested negative, I replied. After they headed home, I tested twice more, just to be certain. Both negative. Next morning, I felt miserable, but still tested negative. The next test was positive. My friends were perfectly fine. But the worse I felt, the worse I felt. I started to unravel, day by day. Within three days, I was feral. I was trying to do the normal things a person does every day. Make tea. Sweep. Brush teeth. I couldn't. I was in a rage. I couldn't do anything requiring two steps. Like chew and swallow. Like be polite to people who wanted me to fill out a form. Twelve days later, I'm still testing positive. But I've been out in the car twice. I have come to the conclusion that I haven't been changing my mask often enough. It's that simple. User error. I'm sure I'll be testing negative again within the next few days. But it's humbling to know that the resilience I wear with pride most of the time is a pretty thin veneer.

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