Thursday night, in between a personal Wu-Tang Clan dance party and the conclusion of a slightly drunken pound cake baking session, I cooked up some frozen salmon I’d stocked for quarantine back in the days when going to Trader Joe’s still felt like a thing that didn’t require a battle strategy. The salmon tasted fine, but either it or the lettuce I used for the salad wasn’t and around 2:30am, things went south, or rather north, then south. And queasy, at three-am, slightly wired, I spent several sleepless hours in the Google vortex of aggressive hypochondria.
There’s no worse time than a Pandemic to not feel good, not just because literally everything is now a COVID symptom (Eye pain? Weird taste? Listlessness? Anxiety? Bad at Math? Preferring Blur to Oasis, probably?), but because there’s a real sense that if it’s anything else, nothing can be done about it. So I surfed through the typical hypochondriac’s playbook, convincing myself I had everything from salmonella to Terminal Liver Disease to various rare cancers, disorders, infections and viruses, before I finally drifted back into maybe a half hour of unsettled sleep, hoping that if death was coming, it would at come quickly and painlessly. S
Suffice it to say, I’m still alive. I wrote the GP the morning after, who literally kicked off his emailed response to me with, “You know, Alison, I don’t want to diminish what you’re feeling here, but unless there’s a whole lot you’re not telling me about symptoms, I’m pretty sure you’re going to be fine. Drink fluids. Take it easy, etc.”
Under normal circumstances, and for normal people, that would probably settle everything, but because I’m me, I spent the day advance-grieving my probable demise via ______ and repeatedly taking my temperature (which averaged about 97.7 F, for those playing at home). As noted in the last plague diary, the whole medical shitshow in the fall really did a number on me, and it’s hard for me to remember that every little ache, pain, oddity, etc, probably does not presage immediate doom.
Still I’m taking it easy and I’m taking all necessary precautions. (Is it sinus? Is it Covid? Is it a brain tumor?) Would it hurt to remind you my loved ones that I expect my funeral to kick off with James Brown’s “People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul” and conclude with the B-52s “Private Idaho?” Probably not
Picture today is of an empty Coney Island, circa 2017, on a lonely winter day, which is sort of what the world feels like right now.
As of this writing, 582,599 people have recovered from COVID-19.