I had a COVID test last week Thursday! The real deal where they stick a test tube brush up your nose halfway to your brain and give it a good scrape. I got hit so hard by some bug in the middle of the night Tuesday, I told enough to the triage nurse the next day to tick off enough items that she referred me to the COVID hotline nurse who got me an urgent appointment in COVID respiratory clinic. The Nurse Practitioner who saw me thought I just had a strept throat, but did the swab anyway. Weeks ago I had set up a Zoom get together for some of the Vicksburg High class of ’70 (46 emails on my list, 10-12 have been signing in). I was feeling crappy enough that morning I had my doubts I’d be much of a participant. I sent out an email to the 46 telling them this, and mentioning the COVID stuff. I took my first penicillin later that afternoon and felt enough better by 7 PM to take part in the Zoom. My friend and VHS classmate Jim Northam’s invite list – for the small party at his lake house he’s throwing instead of the 50th reunion we were supposed to have the night before – looks a lot like my Zoom list. Some intending to go to his party are sensitive about this communicable disease stuff. One – Forrest – even emailed me (something he never does anymore) on Friday to ask about my test results. I assured him that both the strept and COVID tests were negative. I began to worry that perhaps some of the other guests might not be so forward with their concerns, but nevertheless uncomfortable with the situation. For them, I constructed a placard with my COVID test results on one side and “CLEAN” in big letters on the other. Forrest was not completely placated by my placard, sure that I was still going to give him whatever it was I’d had.
I’m all better, still with some penicillin to finish. I was pretty limp Saturday afternoon after several hours in that withering July sun, but mercifully it got cooler by evening and I perked up. One consequence of the illness was I went 48 hours with no alcohol other than some sips of wine while Zooming. Bug had totally taken away my tasted for beer. Some bug. Think how thin I could get if I could isolate that active principle. Happy to say I’ve totally recovered on that front.
The bioassay has been incubating for 6 days now, and there have been no positives. All of Northam’s guests are as well now as before. So I wasn’t carrying some killer culture-negative superbug ready to wipe out my friends despite my sign, test results and penicillin. That’s good. These are all special friends. The old ones are best. So glad they’ll all get to grow a little older.