On Wednesday evening, I developed a tickle in the back of my throat. Uh oh. Thursday, I felt tired and took the day off to rest. Thursday afternoon, I developed mild head congestion. By Friday morning, I felt great! My boyfriend experienced the same mild symptoms, though his lasted a few days long.
Conservative estimates suggest that 1 of every 35 Phoenix residents currently has an active SARS-CoV-2 infection. That’s nearly 3% and, with the high transmissiblity, a near-guarantee of infection at any outing. I am secretly hoping I am one of them.
My partner spent most December of 2020 hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs. I have a finicky immune system, a history of severe respiratory infections, and have experienced multiple allergic reactions to polyethylene glycol in both pharmaceutical and consumer products. Quite frankly, I’ve been consumed with fear. Fear of a bio-engineered virus and fear of a hastily-developed response. I don’t think I realized the depth of my worry until I recognized the relief if possibly having experienced the mildest illness of my life, perfectly consistent with the virus running rampant.
After two two years of fretting and isolation, to walk away from a single day of light fatigue with antibodies would be a godsend. A positive test would mean I can visit my parents, my grandparents, and friends. I could go back to Meetup groups, the farmer’s market, and Costco. I can go back to my favorite Indian restaurant and an upcoming outdoor theater production.
Yesterday, a soft-spoken woman gave me indecipherable instructions through a pharmacy speaker box. I placed my snot swab in the drop box 36 hours ago, and have been anxiously checking my email hourly since. Local labs are currently processing over 230,000 test per day, so I know I need to wait my turn. Maybe tomorrow, or the next day.
The thing is, we hunkered down before things went vertical. We haven’t seen family or friends in months. Neither my partner nor I has been to an office building, grocery store, or even outdoor market in several weeks. To have picked up a virus on our evening walk through the park or while dropping a letter in a drive-up mailbox would almost require a miracle. And that’s precisely what I’m hoping for: a mild case, a robust immune response, and antibodies to defend against future exposures. Fingers crossed!