My Experience with COVID-19
“I'm just a little bit sicker than the average individual I think.” Eminem
“The wolf was sick, he vowed a monk to be - But when he got well, a wolf once more was he.” Walter Bower
Disclaimer! This is not medical advice! You should never take advice from someone you only know over the internet. I am just sharing our experience.
My wife and I just recovered from COVID-19. We have three daughters still living in our home and my wife is a nurse, so we both knew that we would eventually catch it. Our strategy was to postpone the inevitable until science had taken its measure of the disease and therapeutics were widely available.
One of our daughters came home last week with a cough and fever. She took a rapid in home test and was positive. Soon after that, another daughter showed up at the house feeling sick, and she tested positive as well. With two sick people in our house, we knew it was inevitable that we were going to catch COVID-19. However, that didn’t mean we couldn’t take steps to decrease the length and severity of the illness.
There are studies that have found a correlation between high doses of the COVID-19 exposure and the severity of the illness. The lower the initial exposure, the less severe the infection. There were also studies showing that the virus lost transmissibility very quickly in moving air. The moisture plume we all exhale contains the virus, but it quickly loses potency as the moisture evaporates and the virus loses an infection vector.
With those two facts (I assumed they were true, and if not, nothing was lost) we came up with a plan. The girls would stay in their rooms for the first 48 hours, only coming out for food and the restroom. When they came out they would have their masks on. We requested both girls keep their ceiling fans running, and we turned on the fans in all the other rooms in the house. The moving air should decrease the amount of virus in the air and lower our initial exposure.
Numerous studies have shown that zinc and vitamins C and D help your immune system fight the virus, so we had been taking them since the beginning of the pandemic. Because we knew we were exposed, we increased our dosage and also began taking 25mg doses of antihistamine.
Then we waited.
I was initially exposed on Thursday and by Sunday I was feeling a little off. Slight headache and minor body aches were the only symptoms, but I felt I should test myself. I ignored the advice of my wife (the nurse) who said it would be negative because of the gestation period. It was negative.
By Monday I had body aches, runny nose, sore throat, a slight cough, and a sinus headache. I treated the symptoms with over-the-counter medicine and kept up my vitamin regime. Since we were all sick, we let everyone come out of their rooms. My symptoms never got worse, although I do have asthma and used my albuterol inhaler a couple of times when my chest felt congested. I tested on Wednesday and was positive for COVID-19. My wife was also positive.
As I type this on Friday evening, I feel normal. I still have a slight cough and sore throat, but other than that I feel good.
It is hard to quantify the level of relief I feel. My logical side said that I am vaccinated and am in relatively good health for my age, so I shouldn’t be at risk. My instincts were that if I did catch COVID-19 it would be a minor event and I would get over it.
However, I kept hearing “stories” about healthy people who caught COVID-19, were suddenly intubated, and then died. I don’t personally know anyone that happened to, but almost everyone I know had a story about someone that someone knew that died from COVID-19. Since the media and the government have done a terrible job of communicating “science” and hard data, I allowed my attitude to be shaped by anecdotal evidence.
That is always bad policy.
I did get vaccinated. In my next post I’ll share how I tried to use classical risk management techniques to come to that decision.
I’m vaccinated and I just recovered from COVID-19. How would an optimist look at this? They would say I now have the benefits of both natural immunity and the vaccine. A pessimist would say that I have now exposed myself to the long-term risks associated with both. I say that I am still here, and that is enough for today.