Turns out, not a big deal.
For years now, we’ve been hearing about how Florida and its governor, Ron DeSantis, had created a killing field for Covid by refusing to take the same brutal restrictions imposed by many Blue states.
Early on, we went to the beach when the media were full of stories nearly suggesting that bodies would litter the Florida landscape. Masking and social distancing ended early. Restaurants and businesses opened. The Jacksonville Symphony was playing beautiful music long before cultural events reopened in Chicago and elsewhere. And most importantly, the schools stayed open. The dire predictions were squelched. Never got sick.
So, a few weeks ago, my lover, best friend and caretaker wife, Barb, and I visited son Don and his family in Fairfax County, Virginia. Yes, the very place that made national news along with nearby Loudoun County where the parents rose up in vigorously protest of arrogant school boards claiming they were so expert that parents should keep their noses out of it. How Don and his family reacted is another story, but they weren’t happy with what these experts were doing to their three children and my grandchildren.
So, after a few days there, nose and sinus congestion hit, Maybe allergies, maybe a bad cold, I thought. No other symptoms of Covid. Once home I pulled out our test kits and, sure enough, it was positive for covid anti-bodies. (Barb and I had our two Pfizer and booster shots. Nobody we met on the trip later tested positive.)
Well, okay. Visited my “health care provider” virtually. I figured I’d get a lecture and a heavy dose of meds, maybe even a visit to the ER. Nope. She prescribe something to help with the congestion and an anti-viral that, actually was too late in the infection timetable to do anything. That’s it.
I digress here to repeat my criticism of both the Trump and Biden administrations for failing to focus more on therapeutics to better treat patients who were infected. Both administrations were following the advice of Anthony Fauci who, as long ago during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s considered vaccination alone to be the holy grail to fight infectious diseases. The jury is still out on that one, but its clear that the failure to include therapeutics in the warp speed battle against Covid didn’t help.
My clogged nose soon cleared up. Two weeks later I was seeking treatment for a fingernail infection; I cautioned the doctor that I had tested positive for Covid, figuring that it would be a part of the treatment protocol.
He barely shrugged his shoulders. As if to say, “So what. Doesn’t matter. Feeling okay?”
Now some might say that he was seriously wrong to be so nonchalant. I don’t think so, thinking of my own experience. Even though I’m in the high-risk category (old guy), it didn’t bother me at all. Perhaps it was my experience during those two years when the public was inundated with dire death warnings. Lock down! Wear you mask! (I’ve seen bikers outside wearing masks, a useless gesture no doubt provoked by the do-or-die warnings from the “experts.”)
Obviously, I can’t extrapolate wider conclusions from my particular case. Obviously, also, there’s so much more about this disease don’t know, to the point of not knowing what we don’t know. In truth, everyone–the “experts” and the politicians taking their word as final–early on were flying.
For example, my theory about how I got infected is pure guesswork. If pressed, I would blame the “mobile lounges” at Dulles Airport that transport passengers between the outlying and main terminals. They pack people into these odd-looking buses, sitting and standing, shoulder to shoulder, butt to butt. It reminded me of the Rome subway where my pocket was picked by thieves who had crowded me on all sides. Whether riders were masked or not, it was totally irresponsible of the airport authorities to make sure each vehicle was jammed so badly before leaving on its cross-airport trip to the next terminal. These truly were superspreaders on wheels. If DeSantis tolerated it, he’d be roundly condemned–again.
Lessons learned? I’m just thankful that my encounter was–like so many others–minor. Especially that those around me–family and friends–didn’t catch it from me.To subscribe to The Barbershop, type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.