Who’s the boss?
It’s now 10 days since my Covid symptoms started, , 8 days since I tested and 5 days since I got positive test results. Theoretically I can stop self-isolating tomorrow and say I have had the virus. But the use of the past tense feels wrong and right now I feel the virus has me, at least mentally, in its thrall.
Though you get people phoning you up when you are in isolation, they are not medical, they are tele-security – there to ensure you stay put and don’t spread. To get any kind of medical help you need to go online to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or hold on a phone line to speak to someone live. Yesterday morning, at 4 am I had a little turn that left me lying in a pool of sweat after a 20 minute trauma which will remain (I suspect) unexplained. The trauma has not repeated, I am feeling fine but the experience adds to the sense of not being in control.
The enemy within
Several people have written to me telling me about their phoney war and that Covid only got serious after they had been asymptomatic for a week or so. Others have talked about being debilitated for months with Long Covid, the aftermath being worse than the initial period of infection.
I imagine that many people who are reading my blogs (and thanks for doing so) are wondering how they’d be feeling if they were in my shoes (slippers). My experience is only one of many variants, others – less lucky than me are in hospital, some in ICUs- we know that some- younger and less vulnerable than me, have died quickly.
Covid’s interaction with the body appears to be complicated and seemingly random, which does not lead to any great certainty.
What is also uncertain is how infectious I am. My partner Stella has got her test back and despite living on top of me 24 hours a day, she is negative (and she did not have the antibodies when last she tested).
If it were not for the memory of my moment two nights ago, I might be thinking I had beaten this bastard virus but I do not think that and I will continue to treat myself as a spreader, self isolating to the maximum spread of dates given me by the various track and trace messaging threads that I am bombarded with.
The enemy without
Living in a small flat in a built up area , it is not possible to see the sky without opening windows. When it’s this cold you don’t open windows so I am almost totally cut off from outside.
But I know the enemy without is cold and I know what it is to be up all night on cold nights such as this. My friends Matthew and Jo have been working over Christmas for Crisis, Christmas ended last night (12th night). I am looking forward to catching up with them and perhaps sharing some of their experience looking after others over Christmas, they have been a support to us too, knowing there is such goodness so close!
Those who have stayed on the streets have had the coldest night of the year to put up with. Some rough-sleepers will not have survived the night.
For others, the enemy without is the black hand of depression which can cuff you at any time, but who’s force is strongest now when there seems so little to look forward to. The lockdown, the cold, the threat of Covid and the unpleasant news from America are a toxic brew for those of us feeling less than great anyway.
Whether the threat to your well-being is the physical cold or the seemingly relentless bad news, now is the time to summon up inner strength and be resilient.
Linking to our inner resolve
We all have our own ways of tapping into the well of inner resolve that keeps us going. For me, work is very important, for others it may be self-awareness through mindfulness.
I find our church, the Wesleyan Chapel in City Road, links me to that resolution. Being linked to a congregation of people who strive for good in bad times is a current comfort, but there is a greater comfort in knowing the peace that comes from our shared religious beliefs, most especially our faith in the enduring power of love.
I share this because there may be some reading this blog who may be looking for the society of others at this time and may want to join some of the services and prayer groups that carry on – on-line , through the church. You can explore them here
Whether my body’s beaten Covid or not – my mind and heart are in good shape!
Introducing Covid-19 is the third trauma I’ve visited, in 2019 I had a number of problems with prostate and bladder followed by embolisms developing on my lungs. A combination of good medicine and two operations have kept me on the road and I feel strong in myself as I write these final words.
But I am not so stupid as to think that mind can win out over the matter in my body. That kind of pride leads to a massive fall.
I remain fearful of the uncertainty of the times, knowing that now is not a good time to be hospitalized either for myself , the NHS or for others who are infected. But I am quite sure that while my body is fighting off the little spikey things inside me, my mind is strong and my heart is full of love. I have never been better placed to meet my maker – than this morning but I have absolutely no intention of scheduling that appointment. My diary is quite full enough!
I leave you with this wonderful video which has cheered me up greatly, along with Yeovil Town’s win at Weymouth during the week.