After more than three years of staying well, I finally caught a cold. I have managed to elude getting sick because I’ve been careful and maybe lucky. But two days ago, I started sneezing. It’s spring and it’s been windy, so I figured I had an allergy. I took a Claritin and didn’t think much about it, but the sneezing persisted.
The first thing I thought was “Do I have COVID?” I’m double boosted and still wear a mask indoors. Last weekend I attended a convention as a guest voice actor and was there to sign autographs. Unlike the last two conventions I attended at the end of last year, not many people were wearing masks. I wore mine but shook a couple of hands which I’m sure what a bad move.
I also had my hair colored at a salon so who knows?
Now that mask mandates have relaxed, even in Los Angeles, fewer people are wearing them inside. They shop and freely cough . . . all over the place. No matter how you try, it’s hard to fend off the splatter.
COVID changed everything
The first thing I did was take out one of the COVID self-test kits I was sent from the government. It’s easy to use. You download an app on your smartphone, and it takes you through the steps as you watch a video. The app even has a built-in timer. I stuck the swab into my nose with trepidation, fearing the results. As the allotted 15 minutes went slowly by, I kept looking to see if a second line would show up telling me it was positive.
It was negative
It’s just a cold, nothing more. No fever, aches, drowsiness, or sore throat, just a leaking faucet coming out of my nostrils. I took the 2nd test two days later. My result was . . .???? NEGATIVE!
I’m not sure what is worse
Having a drizzly nose and sneezing constantly is beyond annoying. The ever-present tickle makes it impossible to get anything done and I feel like I’m in a fog. I canceled my weekend plans and told my housemates to hold off on our daily YouTube exercise sessions so I wouldn’t pass it on.
Pre-COVID I may have gone out and conducted business as usual. But instead, I have been holed up in my room. When I come out to make something to eat, I wear a mask in case I sneeze. Wearing the mask makes my nose drip even more and I feel like a caged animal.
I want to drive to the drug store and get some cold medicine, but I would feel guilty walking in there. I don’t know what COVID-positive people do when they need medicine. Even when I’m well, I avoid the cold and allergy aisle. You just know that people with drippy noses and nagging coughs have been spewing their body fluids on the products on the shelves.
Why take any unnecessary chances while my immune system is low? And why make anyone else suffer my miserable cold?
I’ve been making do with the saline rinse packets and homeopathic cold cures that have been sitting in my bathroom drawer as well as taking showers. I’m also glad I am up to date with my pneumonia shot.
I guess what I am saying through my foggy brain is that COVID has made me more aware of protecting others when I’m sick. Having a cold, or anything else is no fun and not something I want to share. Even an ordinary illness like a cold may not affect you much but could be devastating to someone else.
The next big plague for us to worry about is Monkey Pox. Gahhhhh! It’s always something.