Teri Vance: Wishing for healthy holidays
This Thanksgiving had already been set up to be different than any other celebration before.
As the cases of COVID-19 had been picking back up across the nation as the cold weather returned — rising up to 1,000 cases per week in Carson City and surrounding counties — health officials advised us not to gather this year.
My family had come up with a plan to video chat during the feast, but to remain in our respective homes.
However, our plans took an even darker turn the week before when both my husband, Gary, and I fell ill.
What started out as symptoms that may have been a common cold, turned out to be COVID-19.
The diagnosis came with a mix of fear and guilt. For all of the efforts we had both put into avoiding the virus, I knew we hadn’t been perfect.
Both of us have been working through both waves of the pandemic, but have tried to limit our interaction with people outside of that.
Still, as we learned the news, I couldn’t help but run through all the risks we’d been exposed to.
Along with the guilt comes a certain level of shame. I take social responsibility seriously, and by putting myself at risk, I worried about anyone else I may have exposed.
The first day, I wasn’t sure if I was really feeling any symptoms. I went to work for a half day before it really hit me I was sick.
I couldn’t help but trace through everyone I’d interacted with in those few hours, and worry for them.
So far, none of them have shown any symptoms, which has been such a welcome relief.
Out of the guilt and shame, I had considered not talking about it. But, my personal dedication to truth and documenting history won out in the end.
Not to mention, there is so little that is still known about this virus that any information is vital to creating understanding.
We got the call that Gary was positive about five days after he started feeling sick. I have yet to receive the official results, I believe because the lab is overwhelmed with tests, but our symptoms were nearly identical.
While both of us suffered symptoms that would likely be categorized as mild — neither of us had to seek medical care — it felt pretty intense, and we’re still recovering more than 10 days later.
My chills were so extreme one night that I woke myself up by my teeth chattering so hard.
The congestion is like nothing I’ve felt before. It’s as if my lungs and sinuses were filled with rubber cement.
But the worst part, for me, was this delirium. I read an account once of a man who’d tried methamphetamine.
He said he immediately hated the way it made him feel, but he had to wait three days, without sleeping, for the high to wear off.
That description has haunted me since I read it.
This sickness felt like I’d inadvertently gotten high and couldn’t escape it. It was an unwelcome haze that didn’t clear for days.
We are both now nearly recovered, except for continually trying to break the rubber cement free.
I know some people who’ve had a much easier time with the virus, and some who’ve had it much, much worse. I know people who have lost loved ones.
My wish is that no one else has to go through it. And I hope we can find a way to make that happen.