I have a cold.
I haven’t had a cold since early 2020 when I was actually really pretty sick, just as the world started to tip into pandemic darkness. Since then between distancing and masking (with a good mask!) I haven’t had anything infectious at all.
So this is unfamiliar. Huh. Right. This is what this used to be like.
I assume it’s a cold, anyway. It feels like a cold and my COVID tests are coming back negative but I keep testing and distancing and masking as if it might be COVID, because so many people who have some immunity (either because of multiple vax doses or prior infection) just experience COVID as a cold (thank God) — and only pretty far into it does it build up enough Umph in their system to make them really unwell and/or for the tests to register.
(Which is why you hear people saying their cold “turned into” COVID. No, you had COVID and have been walking around infectious because you thought it was “just a cold” but the test didn’t read it until later. We need better tests, and to still live a little defensively for the sake of the people around us.)
Anyway I sincerely hope it’s not COVID for two reasons.
One is, in the last 2+ weeks, the only people I’ve been around unmasked (or at all) are my family. So I would have got it from one of them, and it would mean we are passing it around to each other. To be sharing a cold is less than fabulous but to be sharing COVID would be terrible. I don’t want them to have it at all, and certainly not to get it from me.
The other reason is that COVID neurological impacts are starting to be more apparent. The vax doesn’t prevent this possible outcome, as both vaxed and unvaxed people with a COVID infection are showing these effects. I already lose the occasional word when I’m talking, more than I used to, and I can’t afford to have my brain aging faster than it should. I don’t drive often enough to have had the “where am I and where am I going” moment that a lot of people are experiencing, but it sounds terrifying. Do not want. And as a new business owner I don’t have time to have chronic fatigue issues.
So going into holiday weekends I’m treating myself a little gently, trying to get my rest, keeping my space, and testing on the regular.
But I think – I hope – it’s just a cold.