Batten Down The Hatches – here comes Covid-19

The curse, ironically reputed to be a Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times’ is alive & well and batten down the hatches takes on a whole new meaning in 2020

We are all beginning to say – alright already! I’m so over this! Asking friends where the first place they will travel to when we are finally released from Alcatraz?

IF IT’S WRITTEN IT WILL HAPPEN – WHY DO WE WORRY SO MUCH?

Months of worry, wearing masks, sanitizing, retreating from friends and preparation – stocking up on foods, meds, kitty meals etc  – and, hey presto it happened!  What a blow! We had had a forlorn hope to never be touched by this curse prowling around the globe, looking to attach to anyone and everyone 

It is human nature to become bored (and suspicious) with being locked up, hammered by the news, lockdown restrictions depleting our retirement funds, stretching our mortgages into crisis etc and wondering about the TRUTH.

We all hear those irritating far-fetched stories that go like this ….. a man who works with my husband has a brother whose father was hit badly by Covid-19, went to the hospital, couldn’t breathe, in a serious condition for 5 weeks and now in a coma. Or, my cousin’s brothers uncles ex-wife fell really ill and died.  Any comorbidities? The conversation continues – no, he/she was healthy, fit and young and so on …………………….

WHO DO YOU KNOW WHO HAS HAD THE CORONAVIRUS?

Thankfully, so far, none of our friends has caught it, or even their kids (I lie – a friends’ Doctor daughter, doing her 2 years community work at a government hospital in the Cape, was mildly affected in May), or at work, not even our neighbours have been ill.   Now countries are going into 2nd wave restrictions – what a dread!

Here is my little story for you though – for real. When my husband tested positive for Covid-19 mid July 2020,  I moved out of the bedroom (as recommended by the medical pros) onto the lounge floor of our cottage for the quarantine period of 14 days.  Kitty relished the peace and her own garden television at the door

BATHING IN MOONSHINE

As the space was near the patio door, I appreciated and drank in the moonshine bathing me in golden energy and the clear early morning pink light across the garden a few meters from me, day and night.   The reading light was poor so not one to sit back & twiddle my thumbs, I reconnected with family & friends, wrote blogs and surfed the comedy net during the long nights

Chris was absent tho present for 2 weeks.  The exhaustion, achy body & weakness was debilitating for him.  He hardly ate a morsel and slept all day & night for the 2 weeks.  I lived lazily on cereal and cheesy biscuits until he started to nibble on fruit, vegies & chicken soup.  A good meal every night all year round is such a blessing and if it wasn’t for Chris, like most women, I’d not bother for myself so I, too, lost a pound or two that first week 

His voice was as gruff as a grizzly bear but he said his chest/breathing was not a problem, strangely no coughing.  The World Health Organization supplied a large number of Oximeters to South African Medical Insurance companies, which were couriered to Coronavirus patients over 60 with compromised health free of charge

OXIMETER FUN

What fun that gadget brought, we were addicted to the darned device.  Comparing notes hourly. It measures oxygen in the blood & a pulse rate (which can go through the roof with this virus)  The Medical Company also called regularly to check up on his progress or regress and offered excellent advice.   Great comfort indeed

The days passed slowly, tinged with real loneliness.  On top of lockdown for months, now my partner was non-communicative.  Being confined to such a small space phone calls were not a good idea – waking Chris during his illness.   So, into my “go-to” place – nature, kitty, the birds and I gardened in the beautiful winter weather creating interesting pathways, secret spaces and new flower beds

Day 15, well-rested tho still weary, the man of the house was champing at the bit to return to routine & projects again.  For me it was so darned good to get out, meet a friend for a walk and go grocery shopping again.  2 weeks had felt like 2 months!

PAINTING THE TOWN RED

Dressed in a lumo green tutu, tangerine shirt, red stiletto shoes & huge straw sun hat, I hit the freeway loudly singing “Happy” with Pharrell Williams …. and every other song that played en route

August, yay – the celebration of Woman’s Month.  But not for me.

Back to square one – on the mattress on the floor of the lounge, as sick as a dog.  First the exhaustion and achy body.  I just thought – mmm, might need to brave a Vit B injection.  Friday night we had a spoil – pan-fried french fries.  Did I writhe all night – pain & nausea! Was it old oil, were the frozen chips okay, what else did I eat during the day?  Turns out that tummy issues are a Covid symptom

On Sunday the cough climbed in boots & all.  Don’t let people tell you it is a dry cough – what utter rubbish – it was a wet cough.  They all are – listen to the patients coughing up “stuff”!!!!

On Monday there was ONLY ONE space available for a virus test – for 2 days! Cloaked, masked, gloved & shielded women tested me in a Testing Station garden. On thursday morning the result came in – positive, the testing centre tried to call me, I was so sick that I answered no calls. Then ping ping ping – urgent text – you have tested positive, Mrs Allen. Please isolate immediately. Then nurses called, my Doctor called (with advice and a script for a concoction of vitamins) followed by the government Health Department (thrice in 2 weeks).

VIRAL VIDEOS

As Chris had already recovered, I moved back into a proper bed to R n R.  Kitty wanted to curl up and cuddle behind my legs, but I was so scared she might catch the virus.  A couple of pets have been known to succumb, so we cautiously kept the room well ventilated.  Night 5 & 6 my lungs struggled, which had me talking myself out of panic attacks.  The advice given is to get to the hospital as soon s you are batting to breathe.  Visions of that pipe down my throat had me in the lounge doing down dog yoga pose and forcefully coughing, returning to bed to sleep on my tummy.  The prone position was the only comfortable way to sleep thereafter. Instant relief.  Instant! You see, viral whatsapps can be useful

WIERD HAVING NO TASTE OR SMELL

The headaches came & went, the ‘normal flu’ then descended – ignore Dr Google as he was wrong in my case, i had no temperature, aches subsided rapidly, a drowning cough continued.  Every 2nd day, unlike my partner, I was out of bed as sleep was evasive.  However, more than 10 steps were nearly impossible.  It’s incredible how debilitatingly exhausting this revolting virus is.   My appetite never went away, 3 meals (cereal, salad & toastie, cooked dinner) and yet over 2 weeks the weight dropped off my bones – 3.5 kg in fact.

Day 12 another coughing asthma panic attack and then homeward bound to recovery 

We both looked grey, gaunt & fragile following the sickness, which was considered a mild dose, and it seems now that we are Long Haulers, unfortunately.  Occasionally it feels as though it has returned.  Perhaps a lung infection?  Exhaustion.  Heart palpitations (mine have been up to 120 beats per minute) and the sensation of strain up my neck arteries – alarming some days 

BRAIN FOG – now I understand!

The worst lingering concern has been my brain fog & dizzy spells– the inability to find words, remember names and concentrate.  My confidence has waned as I cannot remember what WhatsApp messages I sent, whose birthday it is etc.  This must be how alzheimers, dementia & a stroke must feel like.  Facebook & Instagram have been a no-no, I came across an earlier post on my page & wondered who wrote THIS?!  Fortunately it had been a silly conversation with my friends, but imagine if it hadn’t been!?

I’VE GOT THE T’SHIRT – WOO HOO – been there, done that 🙂 – EMACIATED GRASHOPPER LOOK-ALIKE

So, how do you feel about relaxing lockdown (aside from the economy, our businesses & jobs), the mandatory wearing of masks – hey, and the ban on alcohol and ciggies  in South Africa twice (poor addicts, those weeks must have been a nightmare). So how about joining me at the pub and social distance, yea right!

Take care folks – the wild west IS out there, prowling like a hungry lion – be it a virus, your own fear or the bank manager