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Mid-Covid Thoughts

Capturing this for my own reference and in case reading about the mechanics of health care are useful to anyone. I had not previously had covid to the best of my knowledge.

S. got an exposure notification on Sunday, which was alarming but neither of us felt sick and we’re both double boosted including a bivalent booster. So we didn’t worry too much. Then I started feeling ill Monday afternoon. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t great — sore throat, some coughing, a bit tired. No fever. Uh oh.

I tested positive on an at-home test Tuesday morning. No question about it. I was feeling like crap by then: running nose, throat hurt worse, etc. Still no fever although I’m not totally sure I trust the forehead thermometer. Oh, and headaches. I reported the positive test on-line, which looks like it works in most states. Much to my pleasure, that report triggered something in the Apple/Google contact tracing ecosystem and I got a message on my phone asking if I wanted to register an infection in that system. So I did.

I really like this for two reasons. First off, Washington State’s system is smart enough to flow a positive self-test back into the contact tracing ecosystem. Cool! Second, it was my choice whether or not to further self-report; also good. This validates my belief that the contact tracing ecosystem really is privacy-oriented. Nice work. I’m sure this reduces the number of people who report positives to some degree, but it’s probably worth it.

It took me literally all of ten minutes to request and complete a telehealth appointment for Paxlovid. Five minutes of that was waiting for a health care professional to become available. In my case I got a very nice nurse. I’m over 50 with high BMI and no other medical conditions of note, so the consultation was very quick. They can drop-ship the medication to you overnight, so I took advantage of that.

Tuesday sucked otherwise. I was coughing a lot, felt headachy all day long, very sore throat. Still no fever if the thermometer is to be trusted. No problems breathing. It was still worse than my average cold by a long shot. Oh, and I was really tired all day — spent a lot of time napping. My usual tricks for getting to sleep on time when needed worked, though.

Wednesday the Paxlovid showed up in the morning and I took my first dose. For arcane reasons having to do with a weird childhood, I get antsy whenever I take unfamiliar pills and I was paranoid about the nausea factor. No issues, as it turned out. I got Paxlovid mouth (tastes really metallic) but I hear most people do and it didn’t make me nauseous. I didn’t feel better immediately but I sure didn’t feel any worse, which was nice. I was still pretty brain-dead. I tried a little coding but nope.

S. has been home-testing negative all this time, so sometime on Wednesday we get smart and start isolating in different zones of the house.

Thursday rolls around and I’m feeling slightly better but still sick and just exhausted. S. is still testing negative, so we finally say “huh, but what if the home tests are accurate?” and she heads off to a clinical testing site that was able to handle potentially positive people. Her test comes back negative! Note: she spent literally a day and a half hanging out with me while I was positive, including half a night sleeping in the same bed, because we assumed that she must have it if I had it. Nope! Vaccination helps, kids.

So we tuck her off to a local hotel till I’m done showing symptoms. (Hi, sweetie, miss you!)

Over the course of the next couple of days I keep feeling better, but still very tired. By Friday I’m more or less competent to express semi-coherent thoughts. I have been using movies as a test to see if I’m smart again; by Saturday I can follow more complex plot lines. Am I writing this post in part as a test to see if I can produce an extended blog post? Yep. Did I succeed? I think so.

At this point I’ve just got the weariness, which I’m told is common. It’s pretty exhausting, though.

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