COVID caught me

Editor-in-Chief shares current coronavirus experience

Adapting+to+COVID-19+has+been+strange+so+far%2C+but+it%27s+a+relief+knowing+that+it%27s+temporary.+

Daniel Lackey

Adapting to COVID-19 has been strange so far, but it’s a relief knowing that it’s temporary.

Daniel Lackey, Editor-in-Chief

The doctor was blunt:

“Well, looks like you have the COVID,” she proclaimed a split second after stepping into the consultation room. (And yes: she did insert “the”.)

Stunned, my dad and I were no doubt gaping underneath the shrouds of our masks; for the better part of 45 minutes on Sunday, Jan. 17, he and I waited for the results of my rapid test with the consensus that I surelymost likelydid not have this raging virus that has immensely impacted us since last March.

After all, I never ran a fever, nor had a sore throat, nor had a wad of thick greenish phlegm lodged up my throatbasically all the symptoms I was certain I would’ve had if I tested positive.

After all, I never ran a fever, nor had a sore throat, nor had a wad of thick greenish phlegm lodged up my throat—basically all the symptoms I was certain I would’ve had if I tested positive.”

— Editor-in-Chief Daniel Lackey

Mild fatigue hit me, yes, and my sense of smell and most of my taste eventually abandoned me prior to the test.

But it should only be a cold, I pragmatized. These symptoms can definitely be categorized as “cold-like”.

Upon hearing her confirmation, though, my reality instantly pressed down on me:

 

I. No concert band for ten, maybe even 14, days.

II. No being with my friends.

III. With a house of six, no leaving my room unless I have to use the bathroom or go outside.

IV.  No in-person schooling at all.

Almost abruptly, however, those personal, intrinsic fears fizzled off, replaced by other worries that were less “But I’ll miss out on this and this…” and more “Get over yourself; you’ll be fine; there are worse things”:

 

I. What if I infected my whole family?

II. What if I infected my friends?

III. What if my classes have to quarantine because of me?

 

To know that you could have put others at risk…It just doesn’t sit well. Every other thought or worry I had (and do have) over my situation will always pale in comparison to that stomach-churning panic.

Life had to go on, though; I had to focus on the tasks ahead of menot the horrendous “what if”s.

That meant emailing teachers and admin, texting friends and family members, and resuming and finishing my schoolwork even if virus-induced exhaustion sucked the scholastic fervor out of me.

And so far, it’s fine.

“Fine”: it’s a loaded word usually associated with its antonymic meaning of “No, it’s not really fine.”

But when I use that word in this context, I truly mean it. When people started asking, it dawned on me that middle-school me, for instance, had it even worse as a competitive cross country and track runner when my allergies would  barge in post-runs, leaving me miserable for days on end.

Because honestly: I could be sneezing incessantly at this moment. I could be in a hospital right now. I could be writhing in extreme discomfort. I could be lacking the energy or the motivation to do anything (I’m writing this, aren’t I?).

I could very well be in the middle of something calamitous, which is why we shouldn’t turn our thoughts and prayers away from those that do indeed have it hard.

I could be sneezing incessantly at this moment. I could be in a hospital right now. I could be writhing in extreme discomfort. I could be lacking the energy or the motivation to do anything (I’m writing this, aren’t I?). I could very well be in the middle of something calamitous, which is why we shouldn’t turn our thoughts and prayers away from those that do indeed have it hard.”

— Editor-in-Chief Daniel Lackey

Thus, I am grateful, and very much blessed, for many other reasons:

I. Catching it now is ideal; first semester wasn’t, what with marching season and being a drum major. I (and all of the members and directors) wanted a solid marching season, especially for the seniors since (come summer band camp)  our final marching season wasn’t guaranteed. We acquired one, though, and it’s something I will never forget.

II. I have exceptionally supportive family members that are adjusting accordingly and making sure that all my comforts are met, whether that be by cracking open my door to place a plate of food or a pitcher of water on the floor, by wearing masks in their own house, or by peeking in and asking how I’m doing.

III. I have exceptionally supportive teachers, friends, and extended family that have wished their best, have also inquired into my well-being even though it’s not necessary, and have helped me stay afloat either academically or lovingly. Their concern and their compassion is everything, and, as I told one of my dearest friends, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Moving so abruptly to remote learning for the first time since the end of the last school year has shown me, once again, how remarkable our teachers (and our whole staff, for that matter) are in dealing with two sets of students despite the setbacks or struggles that stem from doing so. Their patience is put to the test, and when its handled well, it’s an admirable characteristic that I will keep in mind when I become a teacher.

Furthermore, as someone who quickly grew tired of remote learning last year, I was the person who fiercely jumped up at the chance of returning to school when August rolled around. Not only do I prefer in-person learning in general, but I also wanted to experience senior year as normally as possible, even if the risk of contracting COVID-19 was higher that way.

At school, there’s just a certain aura in the air that’s simultaneously chaotic, vibrant, and tranquil. It’s a vibe that just isn’t replicated by doing schoolwork at home for seven periods, and it’s one that I can’t wait to feel again when I come back next week.”

— Editor-in-Chief Daniel Lackey

At school, there’s just a certain aura in the air that’s simultaneously chaotic, vibrant, and tranquil. It’s a vibe that just isn’t replicated by doing schoolwork at home for seven periods, and it’s one that I can’t wait to feel again when I come back next week. Being at home does have it perks, but I wouldn’t swap it for anything, even if it meant saving gas, time, and sleep (definitely the sleep) by not having to travel to and from campus on a daily basis.

So, when all’s said and done, suddenly having COVID-19 (from an unknown source, might I add) has essentially taught me to continue not taking for granted the things I value most:

 

I. Good health/comfortability.

II. Good opportunities.

III. My relationships.

IV. School/education.

 

This was something that last year’s quarantine made me (and plenty of other people) realize, but it’s easy to inadvertently worm one’s way to complacency. In that case, never settle, and never lose optimism.