Monday, October 26, 2020

Life Lately: Sick Day(s)

via Unsplash

Last Tuesday, K and I went out for some in-person grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. It was our first trip outside our apartment building in a little over four weeks. The Trader Joe's in our neighborhood continues to limit capacity inside the store and to require face masks for all employees and customers, so it always feels like a reasonably safe and socially distanced shopping experience. We were, of course, wearing face masks the entire time we were out - as was everyone else in the store -  and we also washed our hands immediately upon returning home and then again after putting our groceries away. 

Two days later, we both started coming down with symptoms of what could be a nasty cold, or a mild flu, or COVID-19: headaches, muscle aches, sore throats, moderate coughs, extremely runny noses, and sinus congestion. I briefly had a low-grade fever on Saturday and haven't been able to smell much since Saturday evening*, though my nose isn't currently too stuffed up otherwise. We have - of course - stayed home since the symptoms first appeared, with no contact with anyone outside our household. We have not, unfortunately, been able to get our flu shots yet: We would likely have gone last Thursday or Friday if we hadn't gotten sick.  

And yes, because we can't discount the possibility that we have COVID-19 until we've been tested, we'll need to test negative before we even consider going anywhere but a COVID testing site in the near future. I got a COVID test earlier today, and even if it comes back negative, I may still want to get another negative test before I personally feel it's safe for others for me to go anywhere. (COVID test availability in NYC is extremely robust and has been for months: basically everyone who wants one can get tested anytime, as often as they like.) 

With our household's continued adherence to fairly strict social distancing, I wouldn't have gone anywhere for fun, in any case.  But I may have a work task that would have required my presence in the office next week if I weren't recently sick. I also have a routine doctor's appointment on my calendar for early next week, though at this rate, their office's COVID-19 precautionary guidelines may require me to reschedule.

At their peak, my symptoms were right on the edge of being bad enough that I'd have taken a sick day away from the office in pre-COVID times. But it would have been a difficult choice because - at least in the pre-COVID era - the culture in some private-sector legal workplaces discouraged employees from taking sick days. Presently, with all the government-directed health and safety precautions in place for reopened - or partially reopened - white-collar offices in NYC, I wouldn't be allowed to enter the office while I'm showing any typical COVID-19 symptoms. (For now, I still have the sore throat, slight cough, and loss of smell, so no office time for me until those clear up!) 

And ugh, I must say, it hardly feels fair that K and I got sick from one relatively fleeting grocery outing after a little over four weeks of staying home, especially when we were properly masked the whole time, as was everyone else in the store. I mean, seriously?! We were barely out, were fully masked, didn't have sustained social contact with anyone, and washed our hands multiple times as soon as we got home! 

Anyway, K and I are doing well, just staying home to continue our rest and recovery. Whatever we have, it really doesn't feel much worse than a nasty cold. It's not severe enough for us to even suspect it could be the flu. I'm a little behind on replying to comments and writing other entries for this blog, though, since I haven't felt like being on my computer as much as usual. Oh, and K and I already voted by mailing in our absentee ballots last Tuesday. We've confirmed through the NYC absentee ballot tracking system that our ballots were received last Thursday and deemed valid last Friday, so our votes are officially in. 

* My current best way of testing out whether my sense of smell has returned is to open one of my many sample vials of Sailor brand fountain pen ink and take a big sniff. Sailor inks have a pronounced chemical smell, likely due to their use of preservative chemicals to prevent mold from growing in the ink. And if I can't smell even a bit of it when I open the vial and stick my nose up close, then well, that's how I know my loss of smell is definitely significant! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from anyone who might be reading! Please feel free to leave a comment or question.