This is a Boomer to Boomer cautionary tale because we are all of a certain age: COVID is still floating around, and it is still unpredictable. Here’s my story with lessons learned.
I’ve have avoided COVID for the past three years and have kept current with the vaccinations/boosters available. A lovely family dinner did me in. We had gathered to attend a “Grands” day at my grandniece’s school, and the evening before we shared pizza and salad on a lovely late spring evening. No one was presenting any symptoms.
6 AM the next morning, we received a text that both of our hostesses from the night before had tested positive for COVID. My sister and I were fine, but in an abundance of caution, we donned masks to attend the special day. We had a lovely time and were enjoying a visit over the long Memorial Day weekend. Sunday evening I had the beginnings of a scratchy throat, but thought nothing of it. Allergies, maybe? There was certainly a lot of pollen in the air. I didn’t have a fever or any trouble breathing so I didn’t think it could be COVID.
I headed home Tuesday and half way across NewHampshire I thought I had beaten the allergies — sore throat was gone and my nose wasn’t runny. Two hours later when I arrived home, I felt really beat. My sore throat was back and was intense. I decided I better test. Yes, indeed, I had COVID. No one else who had attended the the supper had any symptoms except for the two hostesses.
Because I am a Boomer and thus of a “certain age” I was prescribed Paxlovid. This anti-viral medicine helps to alleviate symptoms very quickly and within 36 hours my raw throat and congestion had lessened. I quarantined for five days and have worn a mask when out and about. Today is day # 10 for masking–tomorrow means it’s ok to go mask free. I won’t be a danger to anyone.
I would like to share with you some lessons learned both through experience and internet research. Please do not interpret these lessons as medical advice. Always consult your doctor!
- COVID is still with us.
- It can be spread by asymptomatic folks.
- There appears to be no rhyme nor reason to why some folks get it and others don’t (if folks are up-to-date on shots). There were five us around the table with our two hostesses, and only I got sick.
- The Omicron version symptoms are a bad sore throat, upper respiratory congestion, a mild cough, and tiredness. Fever and aches are not usually symptoms which is why I didn’t think I had it. https://health.ucdavis.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-information/omicron-variant
- Keep home tests available so you can check your status immediately. Make sure they have not expired–they don’t last forever.
- Paxlovid is often prescribed for older folks like me, but you must start taking it within five days of the first symptoms appearing. It supposed to help keep you out of the hospital.
- Here’s a link to learn more about Paxlovid: https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/13-things-to-know-paxlovid-covid-19
- Always consult with your doctor once you show symptoms.
- You can check out the latest information about COVID on the web–just make sure you are using a reliable source like a medical school. We all know there is a lot of inaccurate information online.
- There is a metallic aftertaste associated with Paxlovid. TicTacs or lifesavers help.
- Keep cough drops on hand–they help with the sore throat and any coughing.
- Retest even after you test negative for COVID after the five day quarantine period. Rebound COVID is possible, especially if you take Paxlovid. You don’t want to inadvertently give COVID to someone else.
- I found my energy level took almost two weeks to come back to normal. Glad I’m retired.
- I am going back to wearing a mask in crowded situations–grocery story, airports, etc.
Again, I would like to stress that the points presented in this blog are not medical advice. I have no medical training. However, I think it is worthwhile sharing experiences about this virus that seems to be sticking around.
Wishing you a relaxing, fun, and healthy summer!