I never thought I would catch Covid. During the first lockdown, I was in my element: being anti-social, staying home and crossing the road to avoid people. I was made for a lockdown. I spent the second lockdown under the stairs, in a cupboard, teaching and when I did emerge, utterly drained and frustrated, the last thing I wanted was to mingle in Tesco. Then, when Corona did enter the house via a prom super spreading event which Joel attended, all measures (apparently I can keep a clean house – who knew?) succeeded in keeping the virus at bay. And keeping Joel at bay was bloody fantastic too. So, when it invited itself in again last month via Abigail (wholly surprising as she is as socially awkward as me), I figured the double jabs would work their magic. They didn’t.
I started showing symptoms on a Friday afternoon which didn’t help. I was tired, ratty and had a stinking bad head. After a week of teaching, that’s me every Friday so I wasn’t concerned. But suspicions arose when Abigail returned from a Covid infested school, complained she wasn’t well and questioned….wait for it…if she’d be able to go dancing the following day. Cue mass scramble for every LFT test in the house. That second line appeared immediately, therefore necessitating our daily trip to the testing centre.
Needless to say, we were both positive. By the time her results came back though, she’d made a miraculous recovery. I had not.
The worst thing for me was the headache. No amount of drugs would make it disappear. Along with the fatigue, you feel like you have a heavy hangover, without the benefit of having embarrassed yourself the previous night, talking utter tripe, singing badly and trying to demonstrate your ballet skills. I’m not gonna lie. Having a very good reason to lie in bed all day and avoid the family was very welcome, but as you initially spend days drifting in and out of consciousness, again you don’t benefit.
As the day goes on though, you start to feel better. You think you’ve turned a corner, as you settle down to sleep at night, despite having had five naps already that day. But when you wake up, you’re back to square one.
“Ok lungs. Remember what we did yesterday? We worked a little better like we’re supposed to do?”
No. Like every child in my class, they didn’t have a clue what they did five minutes ago. So here we are at Groundhog Day.
You try and make the effort. That old adage if you get dressed, you’ll feel better. Getting dressed is now akin to climbing a mountain. Every manoeuvre has to be thought of in advance to expend the least amount of effort, plus the fact you have brain fog and so have to remind yourself which order to do things in so you don’t look like an overgrown toddler with a pair of knickers on your head and a hoodie sleeve up your leg. But you get there. You arrive at the peak. You’re fully clothed in something which isn’t nightwear. But you’ve exhausted all your reserves so you now have to get back into bed again! But now you’re dressed and that just feels all wrong.
Losing your sense of taste happens overnight. You even wonder whether you’ll get away with it because you’ve only got the blinding headache unfixable by copious amounts of paracetamol and ibuprofen, the constant inability to breathe and the surprising incapacity to stand up without falling back down again (no vodka involved). But one day you’re eating, and after a while, you start to wonder why today’s meal is so bland. Did you forget to douse it in vinegar or drown it in garlic? It turns out you can’t taste a thing. And eating becomes a chore. You know you can’t taste so your appetite dwindles. So there are advantages to having Covid. You start to lose weight and this is the perfect opportunity to eat all those roast chicken crisps from the meaty multipack at the back of the cupboard which no one likes.
Then your sense of taste comes back, so obviously you have to make up for lost time and eat every other flavoured crisp you’ve missed so much and all those pounds come happily rushing back to your midriff.
Ten days are finally up and you should be fine. Your daughter has been bouncing since day three which hasn’t been very annoying. It obviously has, so much so that you wanna bounce her off her head and out of the house. But legally, you’re stuck with her until the date the Geordie tells you about via an hour long phone call. The same date the Brummie reminds you of two days later. Then the indecipherable one (probably a southerner) tells you it again two days after that. I am not one of my pupils Test and Trace. I can retain information! Most of the time. D-Day arrives but I still don’t feel right. In fact, I constantly feel like a depressed drunk with a 40 year smoking habit and a vice gripped round its head. Life isn’t nice.
I tried to return to work but things like breathing and remembering stuff are quite important when you teach, so the day didn’t go well. But then, teaching must be one of the only jobs where you still work when you’re ill. The guilt is overwhelming and you find yourself sending in detailed lesson plans and resources which you don’t even prepare for yourself. Luckily sitting at a slow computer all day was manageable. I didn’t have the energy to throw said slow computer out of the window. I liked it being slow. We worked at a similar speed.
But on Monday, I will return. The headache has gone. I can climb the stairs without passing out or falling down them. The kidney pain likes to make a comeback every now and then but hopefully it shows they’re still there and working in some capacity. The brain fog could be an issue or I’ll just blend it with my class. I’m thinking the latter.