It’s funny how something like a little case of COVID can interrupt your momentum

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That’s right. I’ve joined the club of those with naturally-produced antibodies. Before this, I was starting to pick up momentum. If I had something short and pithy, it would be posted to Gab. If it got a little long, I would start to weigh it out and perhaps it would still go there, maybe it would go here with a link to it there. I hope to regain this flow in the coming weeks, and this is my first blog post toward that end.

Relax, I’m going to tell the story. It’s actually pretty good. At least I think so.

So the early part of June was dedicated to me preparing for a high school graduation party for Ana. You may recall the photo backdrop post on this blog where I described the build process. Well after that, I introduced Dayna to the propane torch and she went to town on the backdrop for a darker burnt look. Then she added the paper flowers she had been working on. It came out looking really great! I just wish more of the guests would have used it for group photos with or without the graduation girl.

A week after the party, we dropped the dog off with my parents and started driving to Florida with a stop in Nashville on the way. That was the stop where I first noticed something was a little off. We (Two adults and three children who think they are adults) visited a honky tonk with a live band. The key draw was that they had a place where underage people could sit. Most of these places are bars with live bands and usually some food and most of them are for people over the age of 21. Not that reaching that age makes you into an adult either. The place specialized in pizza, but I wanted a burger. I’m told from the girls that the pizza was fantastic. The burger was incredible as well, but I was only able to eat two bites of it. I was hungry. The burger tasted great. I felt fine. I just couldn’t will myself to eat more of it.

The next morning we headed to Florida through a tropical storm or tropical depression. I’m not sure what the difference is. All I know is that it rained a lot. I was looking forward to visiting certain places and discussed it with the group at first, but after a couple hours of driving I started to get very tired. I slept off and on the rest of that leg of the trip. When we got to the condo I helped unload the car, because that’s one of the things the dad does, and then I went in. The bedrooms were upstairs but I couldn’t get that far. I fell into the couch on the main level and fell asleep. I didn’t get upstairs until the third day, and once I got there I barely left. I would sleep and wake up to use the restroom. Dayna brought me food and water but like before I was unable to consume it. It seemed like a mental block or something. I’m not sure how better to describe it.

Eventually Dayna had enough and she took me to an Urgent Care facility. The nurse swabbed my nose and left. I was sure that was a formality. My breathing was fine, I was just exhausted. I have had pneumonia before, and this was eerily similar. As we waited for the doctor, I was looking forward to taking the antibiotics and resuming our vacation. Instead we were told to quarantine due to a COVID diagnosis. I asked for some of the drugs that are now proven to be effective and the doctor told me that the CDC doesn’t recommend them. I didn’t have the strength to point out that the CDC owns patents on competing products so of course they wouldn’t recommend something effective that costs a small fraction of those alternatives. Instead we went back so I could focus on taking in fluids, as if that had worked for me the previous three days.

I returned to bed and forced myself to drink water. Everything I swallowed found its way out rather quickly, along with other contents of my digestive system. I’ll spare you the details but Dayna came upstairs to find me laying on the hardwood floor in my own fluids. We went immediately to the Emergency Room, where they replenished my fluids with an IV and gave me anti-nausea medication which enabled me to drink again. My ability to eat came a couple days later, but that’s OK. The human body can survive without eating for quite some time. Taking in water is much more pressing. And I may or may not have a few extra pounds that I could stand to lose. The fluids helped me greatly and made possible the rest of this story.

After some discussion and debate with the group, it was decided that we should all mask up and head back. Everyone in the car had been exposed for a few days already and if the only other responsible adult were to get what I had we would be in a real fix. One of the girls objected and used her magical age of 18 to say that she didn’t have to do as she was told. I understand she was firmly rebuffed and told to get in the car, which she did wearing two masks. I wore a mask the entire time, but not because I believe it is effective at mitigation of an airborne virus. That has been disproven time after time with real-world data. It is effective in giving teenage girls a sense of relative calmness and that is why I wore it. I took over the counter drugs like DayQuil and Mucinex to avoid coughing and rode most of the way, taking a turn at driving when Dayna got tired. Again, the fluids were very helpful and I drank lots of Gatorade on the way back.

We drove through the deep south, stopping for gas and continuing on. We drove through the night through small towns and on back roads. I marvelled that the southern states don’t seem to have any sort of highway system like they have up north. I wondered why this might be, it just seemed so surreal! After almost 24 hours, we got home and began our quarantines. In the days that followed, all three of the eighteen year old girls tested negative and both adults were confirmed positive, though Dayna had it much milder than me. She eats better than I do and she takes her vitamins. We rested and quarantined. We ordered grocery delivery and quickly saw that you’re better off choosing your own fresh produce. We improved quickly. I would estimate that I felt less than 100% for five or six days in total, but the peak of the illness was quite intense.

I have had worse illnesses in my lifetime. Pneumonia was worse. Shingles was worse. Pleurisy was worse. I would not desire to have any of these illnesses again, including COVID. All four of these are events that interrupted what my life looked like at the time. Psalm 23:2 says that “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” If the pastures are green, why would a sheep have to be made to lie down? Could it be that the sheep doesn’t realize it is in the place the shepherd knows is best for that time? Maybe the sheep thinks it knows better than the shepherd, and the shepherd lovingly corrects the sheep in such a way that it can only lie there until the shepherd is ready to move on to the still waters.

Addendum

A few days ago, we used the same navigation system for a more local trip. We were pretty sure how to get there, but not sure of the details. The navigation took us in a very illogical route. City streets, stop lights and more on a route parallel to the highway. It made no sense! So I went into the settings. We had travelled from Florida to Iowa in about 24 hours under less than ideal conditions, taking back roads and gassing up at small town gas stations in the wee hours of the morning. All because the settings on the app instructed it to avoid highways. I mapped the same route allowing highways and the time difference was four hours. We spent four additional hours in that “pasture” and didn’t even realize it. I wonder what was so green about it anyway. Perhaps one day I will know.

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