Seven days into the waves of fever, I was drifting half in and half out of sleep. I was wearing a down jacket with the hood cinched around my head. I was buried under the covers, teeth chattering. A week like that is a very long time. (Nine days, and counting, is still longer.)
In my weird dream, I was on the high-winter prairie. I was on horseback. The ground was black mud, and where the animals stepped, the impressions of their shoes froze almost immediately. Meanwhile, a hard, freezing rain was falling, filling the ruts with ice water. I fell from the horse into the mud. The horse kept walking over me. I couldn’t stand up.
Those are my mild to moderate symptoms. And I’m thankful for them. Because I don’t have certain other symptoms — not yet. My headaches have been few. For many covid-19 sufferers, the headaches are excruciating. My lungs are working well, which means I don’t have to enter the hospital.
It’s going to be a race now to see whether I can finish this column before I pass out. Writing even this much has been the most taxing thing I’ve done in a week, since I finished my last column in a delirium.
What I want to convey is that the virus we’ve been bracing for is now here. We jawboned about it for a month while it grew by 100,000 cases — mine included. Now the disease is racing at close to 10,000 cases per day. Those of us on the frontier with our mild to moderate symptoms want to tell you this is nothing to trifle with. This is no time to step off the gas.
That most of us will survive this nasty, grueling, humiliating disease is no reason to imagine that fighting it might be costlier than giving in to it. The idea that we’re on the brink of a return to normalcy is flatly insane. [Continue reading…]