Tonight, after my fourth test in a week, I tested positive for COVID. After a year of on and off lockdowns, on going social distancing, I have caught the virus. I have a mild sore throat, mild enough I’d barely notice if we were not living in a pandemic.
It’s almost midnight and I should sleep and rest but the shock of having caught COVID is keeping me wide awake. First I have no idea where I caught it, but most importantly, after spending a year hearing how terrible this disease could be, hearing on the news anecdotal stories of awful cases, healthy people dying, I’m laying in bed filled with anxiety. I actually don’t feel bad, but I’ve come to realize tonight that 14 months of ongoing mass media reporting on this virus makes it really hard not to worry.... what if I were one of those crazy cases that went from fine to worse in hours? What if my wife caught it or the kids? Will my symptoms get worse? Will I lose my sense of smell and taste, will I start to struggle to breath, will I panic and make it all worse, how bad could this get.
I don’t know how COVID will affect me, but I can already tell that 14 months of full blown societal fear of the disease have impacted me more than I expected and that’s, at least for now my biggest battle: fighting my mind to stay grounded.