on-going mostly unedited stream of thoughts

testing positive

Today is the 9th day of my covid infection. I wanted to write something much earlier, but couldn’t find it in me to do so. I guess after writing several times here that I cannot escape this generational fate unless I am willing to become a true hermit, I am finally meeting this fate.

I have no idea how I got infected, except it was either somewhere in Hanoi or at the public library that has just opened near our place. The thing is, everywhere has unmasked, sniffing and coughing people, so it is hard to tell. Do I regret going to Hanoi? No, because the probability of getting infected in Singapore is also pretty high, especially since they removed the mask mandate for public transport.

I am surprised that I didn’t spiral into despair after testing positive. Maybe I was too sick and shocked to actually spiral. There are too many things in life that is out of my control, even without covid danger is always lurking in the dark corners.

I don’t know why people call this “just a flu” or worse, “a cold”. I had “mild” symptoms – I have seen people describe the worst cough and sore throat ever – and I had neither of those. My throat was mostly uncomfortable, and I barely coughed. One of the symptoms I was very afraid of was insomnia, but apart from the first night when I woke up every hour I slept okay. My fever didn’t spike more than 38 degree celsius. But for a few days I could barely eat, and I could barely sit up, and till now my heart rate spikes to 100+bpm if I stand and walk. My standard symptoms are “mild”, but internally I feel like I’m slowly being emptied out.

I’m doing everything I can to avoid the fate of long covid, including being on a zero carb diet, applying nasal and throat sprays, and ingesting a dozen supplements proven to help. And of course, lying horizontal most of the time. I am not sure if all of these would be enough. I am not even confident of walking, much less the running I used to do. I may possibly be out for months, depending how and if I recover.

It is a strange and saddening time in the world. The government keeps telling people it is mild, research keeps popping out to say it is not. There is a large dissonance. There is increased risk of all the medical conditions we can think of post-covid. The body can only function so much with damaged vessels, cells and immune system. Yet I still see everybody going around unmasked, and letting their kids go unmasked on planes and indoor places. Some people have popped up to tell me that they are still dealing with some lingering effects many months later. The situation seems hopeless. We’ll never coordinate enough effort to do something about this, so the virus will simply keep on mutating. One day, everything is bound to catch up. We can only go on for so long ignoring the increasing numbers of people getting disabled by the virus? I think governments are keeping their fingers crossed that it will “only” disable 10-20% of the population.

I – for my own sake – am hoping that vaccinations do work to keep the damage low enough. The hope is in a true neutralising vaccine, I guess? And continual improvements in the treatments available for long covid. There is a lot of unknown and we may only know decades later, like it took decades for science to link EBV and multiple sclerosis, or flu and parkinsons.

Again, I console myself by thinking I can only do things that are within my control. Reality has happened, and all I can do is to cherish the time remaining before some other shit hits the fan. Will I suffer a stroke, or go into cardiac arrest if I resume running again, or develop heart disease? I will do what I can to try to avoid these fates, but if I don’t I am just one of the millions of people being let down by this systemic failure.

Day 9, I miss my partner. I’ve stopped feeling so disappointed that I am still testing positive. Some people have kindly shared with me that it took them 11-14 days to test negative. I’ve decided to stop wallowing and see if I can do some little creative things, like write this post. I’m not sure how my existence will unfold or if it would be shortened, but as long as I am still alive I’ll be trying to leave some imprints.