Thursday, April 9, 2020

COVID19 time - Southern California

It's been raining on and off the last few days, a late season storm that somehow arrived to town just as I finally stopped coughing after 3 weeks of quarantine.

We are in the middle of the COVID19 pandemic, of course, so when I started having sore throat - the usual first-sign-of-the-flu for me - back on March 20th, I went to the doctor and tested positive for influenza B. COVID19 test wasn't available then, as test kits were in severely short supply, and they were only testing people sick enough to require hospitalization.

It was a very strange 'flu', though. Usually I'd go down hard the first 3 days or so, and then get better once the fever breaks. This one just stayed a sore-throat bug with hardly anything else for 3 days, and then it went boom in my lungs and I became a lean and mean cough-'til-you-drop machine for 14 days. No fever, not much aching, but pretty hypoxic. Somehow, tho, it didn't manage to turn into another pneumonia (I had one from a true flu back in January, so I really wasn't keen on a repeat). I spent the entire 3 weeks mostly in my room and only came out to use the kitchen and the restroom when my roommates weren't in. A few doctor friends were keeping tab of me via email and private messages, though, so I was pretty well looked after.

Paper product and cleaning supply are still flying off the shelves, 3 weeks into CA shelter-in-place.
Anyhow, California seems to be doing quite well in sheltering in place and social distancing early on, so hopefully we'll avoid the sort of medical system overload like those that have been taking place in Italy or Spain or New York. Hopefully the many small businesses that have been mostly shut down (or scaled down more to doing only 30% or so of their normal business volume, like a lot of the restaurants are, can somehow survive the length of the shut down.

Special thank you to all the essential workers that are keeping the rest of us safe and fed and able to survive (the medical professionals, for sure, but also the sanitation workers, public transport operators, delivery folks, etc), and to everyone who are doing their part, and encouraging others to do the same, rather than indulging in paranoid conspiracy theories spreading and politicizing the shut down. It's times like this that we get to see how people act under pressure. I'm very lucky that most of my friends have been wonderful!

Oh, I've been asymptomatic for 3 days now, of course, and finally ventured outside for a short hike today, in between bouts of rain. Will hopefully get COVID19 antibody tested when it becomes available (I sure hope that this 'flu' was it, 'cause I really don't want to get another lung bug in a long long while). In the meanwhile, I'll keep operating as if I'm a carrier until proven otherwise.

No comments: