There wasn’t a word or a sign in over three years, but finally the infamous Mr. C arrived at your door just over a week ago. He decided it was your turn. Like the mafia Mr. C is stealthy, sneaking up on you and catching you unaware; delivering those two purple lines to let you know he has arrived.
You don’t know exactly how it happened, whether it was the visit with your neighbours on the Sunday before, or your husband’s trip to the meat store on the Monday before, or your trip to the grocery store on the Tuesday before. All you know is that by Wednesday evening, signs of the infamous Mr. C’s arrival were evident.
So what do you do when you know he has arrived?
You plan for the worst and hope for the best. Since you have had all your shots, and are healthier now that you have been in years, your hopes are high.
After your husband tests positive, you immediately emigrate to the guest room realizing that it’s too late but knowing that you will want to freeze, sweat, cough and sneeze alone.
You postpone the repairs to the house that were scheduled this week. The repairs from Hurricane Fiona in September, and yet another leaking pipe in December. The third one of last year. Plus the repairs of the fifteen additional holes cut into the walls and ceiling of your downstairs on December 23 in order to replace all the copper pipes to hopefully avoid future leaks.
You cough so much that your rib cage hurts
You sneeze so much that your eyes are constantly poised to water
You blow your nose so much that it is raw and red and peeling. You constantly put cream on your raw and red and peeling nose and are relieved that you were lucky to find that wonderful but rarely-in-stock tube of urea face lotion last week.
You use tissue upon tissue upon tissue and are thankful for the extra boxes in the linen closet until there are no more extra boxes. Then you are concerned when the supply appears to be diminishing at a rapid pace. You worry because you know those damn little squares of toilet paper will not cut it in this situation.
You sleep and then don’t sleep because all that around-the-clock sleep is messing with your sleep patterns. It will take you weeks to get your sleep cycle back to normal.
You drink lots of fluids, hot tea, cold water, hot chocolate with Baileys because why not have a little treat, especially one that helps you fall asleep between sneezes. You are a grown-ass woman (most of the time) and you have no qualms self medicating with a little sweet liquid.
You check your temperature. You will know when to do this because you will have the chills. That cold feeling that is often the first symptom indicating that your body temperature is actually up.
You sleep in your socks until your feet become their normal hot, sock-hating selves again.
You get very friendly with some meds. You know your medications. You come from a family of pharmacists. You worked for nine years in the marketing department of a drug store chain. You feel as if you have a bad cold, so you treat yourself as if you have a cold by using OTC meds and your inhaler. And guess what… It helps! A lot!
You do not, and you can’t stress this enough, you do not linger in front of the mirror because you look like shit and no amount of cream or no amount of sleep or even a shower will make you look any better. Actually you look worse than shit. You look like one-hundred-year-old shit. It’s not pretty so you don’t linger.
You take showers anyway. They may not improve your appearance, but they definitely make you feel better.
You watch more TV than usual because it is comforting to recoup while being entertained. You consider it multitasking.
You do puzzles because you can only lay in bed for so long and can only sit and watch so much TV. Plus you love puzzles. You consider it bringing some joy to your narrow covid-inspired life.
You appreciate the fact that by 2023, being visited by the infamous Mr. C is very manageable. As you and your husband begin to feel like yourselves again, you are fully aware that things could have been so much worse.
Thank you for reading.
Photos: Jenn Stone