For the past two weeks or more, I’ve been experiencing a slight cough for several minutes after starting a horizontal vacation. In the beginning, these coughs were mild and didn’t require me to open my mouth. I dismissed these episodes as unmeaningful, as I wasn’t feeling that poorly, though there was some fatigue that was preventing me from applying myself to projects in the way I’m used to. I assumed this energy fall-off had something to do with the high nineties weather we’ve been experiencing of late.
Last weekend things started going south. The coughing at times became severe and on Sunday last, my overall libido degraded and I felt flushed like a mild fever. Monday I emailed my doctor (that’s how it’s done nowadays) and described my symptoms. We set up a video appointment for Tuesday at 11am. The outcome of the video conference was to advise me to come to Urgent Care for an exam. So I drove nine miles to the facility and checked in to what I would describe as a M.A.S.H. unit, complete with tents. There was a 90 minute wait to get to the first round of health technicians, and another 30 before I saw a doctor.
Given the state of the global pandemic, I’m sure you can guess what I feared about my condition. Three of the tests that were run seemed interesting. One was a quick (5 minute) throat swab test for Strep-throat that returned a negative result. A sample from the swab was also submitted for a more comprehensive, several hour test. A third test was a Covid-19 test using a swab of my sinus (that wasn’t much fun).
Late Tuesday afternoon I received a call from the examining doctor informing me the second Strep test was positive, which meant there was a non-covid explanation for my symptoms. The covid test required 72 hours to process, and on Friday afternoon I checked with my doctor and was told the results were negative. I don’t live in fear of getting the virus, nor do I tremble and quake at the thought of dying, as much as I fear a wasted life. I believe I’m strong enough to survive the virus, but I dread the idea that I might cause someone else’s illness, so the news of the test result was a relief.
So, for now I’ve dodged a bullet, and there is a lesson. Strep is spread the way covid is spread, via coughs, sneezes and intimate contact. I thought I had my guard up, but apparently not as well as I thought. My symptoms have calmed down a little, but I’m still feeling tired most of the day. I’m sure this too will pass.