It’s a week since I returned to work after Covid. Not that I’ve actually been to the workplace. We’ve been asked to work from home anyway with the surge in cases. I’m still feeling the lingering aftereffects of the disease and my voice is husky, my energy levels highly variable.
I’ve been on public transport, shopping centres and full concert halls over the past six months, masked up with well fitting N95’s, but I suspect covid entered our house through school. Alex had the final week of term off sick, and although he (and I) tested negative to Covid and the flu on a PCR at the start of the week, his symptoms match. I should have done a RAT, when I did on the Saturday a week later I was positive.
Alex was already greatly improved and B seemed fine, so they continued on our planned holiday down to Melbourne and Singapore. I stayed at home and never joined them. It was nice to be isolating by myself in the sense that I was now free to use the house and not hide in my room, but the first week was horrible.
All I could do was sit upright in front of the television. At night the mucus would flow and I struggled to sleep without suffering a coughing fit. At best I got an hour or two’s sleep at a time. I often had to try to sit upright on the couch, never a good position for me. I sucked on cough lozenges to thin the phlegm, tried taking phenylephrine tablets to dry it up. Anything just to get some sleep.
I couldn’t imagine sharing a hotel room with the others in this state. Nobody else would have wanted to be near me anyway. Although my isolation officially ended on the following Saturday I was still feeling awful and just went out to buy more tissues, drinks and lozenges.
On the Tuesday I nominally went back to work and masked up to photograph a karate competition workshop: I needed to use that new camera battery. I participated in karate lessons on the Saturday and Monday, both times going okay during the lesson but feeling exhausted afterwards.
On Sunday I drove down to Kurnell and Cronulla just to get out of the house and enjoy the 20 degree sunshine outside. I found it tiring and difficult to digest a whole hamburger. My appetite has definitely suffered.
It is lucky I didn’t try to join the other two in Singapore. My return flight was cancelled and the remaining seats quickly disappeared. Meanwhile, Alex was suffering severe fatigue in Singapore, unable to travel long distances or cope with strong smells.
But I am also sad that I did not join them. Ten days in Singapore without fixed plans, just wandering around exploring the island, taking it easy, is one of my dream holidays. Instead, I was stuck at home eating boring food without much appetite.
The reminder that I spent a term working hard with only the most rushed breaks is probably starting to hit me now. Mentally I don’t know what the consequences will be.
Alex has survived his first day back at school with no ill effects, B her first day back at work. And I have to pay off my credit card for a trip I didn’t take.