After three and a half years, hundreds of disposable masks, gallons of hand sanitizer and diligent social distancing, I suppose it was really just a matter of time.
I got Covid.
As one of the last holdouts I know who’s managed to avoid the virus, this once-in-a-century phenomenon which completely disrupted our world while forcing the reinvention of my entire business, I had hoped I was in the clear – but knew deep down, it was really a “when” rather than an “if” situation.
I was honestly pretty miffed. As my friends and family know, I’ve got a reputation for having strong protective instincts, and for as long as I can remember have sported the nickname “Safety Dave” as a result. Safety Dave was SO cautious, SO diligent, SO on top of this. I never let my guard down – or so I thought…
Anyway, I finally caught the thing, and I gotta say, it sucked way worse than I imagined. I’m 46 years old and in excellent shape; I work out regularly, am an extremely disciplined eater, I take my vitamins, I floss, I use sunscreen. In short, I take good care of myself. My symptoms were mild by comparison to others who’ve been through this – I’m vaxed to the max as well, so fortunately there was no hospitalization, etc. – I even somehow managed to avoid the fever and hacking cough so many others have suffered with from this bug.
What the virus DID do, though, was completely knock me out, both physically and mentally. I was so fatigued, I couldn’t move. I also developed what I’ve since come to learn is the common and dreaded “brain fog,” which essentially means I couldn’t focus, or even think. An upcoming trivia gig, which should’ve taken me no more than an hour to prep, wound up taking me two days, simply because I didn’t have any gas in the tank and couldn’t function.
So, yeah – exhausted physically, crippled mentally. I was an absolute mess. I also found out I’m one of the unfortunate souls to experience so-called “rebound Covid,” where after testing negative and my symptoms have gone away, they came BACK with a vengeance days later. Basically I had the virus twice in a row.
As I write this, it’s been almost two weeks since I initially tested positive. As mentioned, I felt terrible, then good, then terrible again, and am only just now feeling back to normal. But of the many frustrations this experience brought with it, perhaps the worst is that I had been planning all year to use these past two weeks productively.
I was upset and frustrated and anxious at having lost this truly rare time, this one brief moment of the year when I’ve got not much else to do workwise or personally, a time which I’ve historically used to think “big picture” about TrivWorks and map out strategic goals, identify new objectives and otherwise do the stuff I say “I’ll get to that later when I have the time.” Basically, this is the one big window when I’m not totally slammed doing all the things a trivia company CEO does.
Instead, I spent the last two weeks on my couch, using my mother’s Hulu account to binge watch “Dopesick” and “The Bear.”
But you know what else? And I hate to admit this…
It’s actually been kind of nice, too.
I never take a “time out” to focus solely on myself, like I’ve been doing these past two weeks. While not a vacation by any stretch, I still have been able to somehow not think about my business too much, and instead think about what I can do to make myself more comfortable, and hasten my healing.
I couldn’t really exercise, however I did make sure to stay disciplined with my diet (a friend of mine even stopped by the local Trader Joe’s to deliver my requested apples, spinach and zucchini). I napped, which is something I never really get to do either. Sitting on the coach isn’t something I enjoy too much, but watching TV and not having to worry about ANYTHING other than feeling comfortable while the virus ran its course, well…it kind of didn’t suck, you know?
I’m not saying I want to contract Covid again, and I truly hope I never find myself in a similar situation where I can’t work, think or do ANYTHING. But if the end result of this process is that I’ve gotten a greater appreciation for taking a “time out,” that a pause – voluntary or not – can be a good thing. I enter the new month of August with a clearer mind and better perspective than I had in July, and if there’s any silver lining to all of this, then that’s surely it.
For another article on things I’ve learned since the pandemic hit – particularly with running remote corporate entertainment and team building programs – check out “5 Things I’ve Learned In 3+ Years Producing Virtual Trivia Events”