I had become convinced that the Callahans had superpower genes.
None of us, and only a mere single one of our extended relations on either side of our family, had contracted Covid. This felt very promising that we were part of The Chosen Remnant of people that simply seemed not able to catch this world-rocking disease.
This belief did not keep us from getting vaccinated, wearing masks when appropriate, and doing all the things we were supposed to with the vigor of the people-pleasing-rule-followers that we all are. We just felt like, underneath it all, that we were Special. With a Capital S.
Until The Dawn of Omicron.
Omicron does not care if you are Special with a Capital S.
Omicron does not care if you are masked.
Omicron does not care if you live in a cave, isolated from other human beings by a considerable amount of mileage and wilderness.
Omicron will find you. Omicron will infect you. Omicron will be there to infuse itself into your being.
It was I who fell to Omicron. On the last day of 2021, I began to feel sick. I went on a run, hoping to flush whatever was bugging me out of my system, but felt even sicker after my run. I took a test – negative.
Well, I thought, I may have a cold, but at least my superhuman power of avoiding Covid is sticking. I still chose to avoid people for the rest of my sickness, and spent the first weekend of the New Year at home.
As the weekend progressed and my burning skin, low-grade fever, and my aches and snottiness and coughing continued, I began to get suspicious. When I began getting weird and specific head pressure and headaches every time I moved my head, I became downright convinced. How could this not be Covid? I have never had movement-sensitive headaches in my life. This was weird. I felt invaded. And I didn’t like it.
On Tuesday, after feeling especially worse, I took another test. It was immediately, darkly, mercilessly positive.
So. Very. Positive.
Immediately I felt distraught and emotional. I knew logically that, being vaccinated, and being that Omicron was supposed to be the lighter version of this virus, I would be fine. But the impact of my body being invaded by something that has been pervasive in all thoughts and life and actions and avoidance for nearly two years was gross and icky and disturbing.
Within two hours of my positive test, I had gifts of sorbet, chocolate cookies, and quiche on my doorstep from two different friends and my mother. This care helped my levels of frustration greatly – especially the chocolate. Chocolate helps everything.
But, for fear of becoming quite dull and a bit melancholy in writing a narrative of my full two weeks of Covidial experience, I thought instead I’d write a couple of lists.
Weirdest Covid Symptoms:
- I did, and continue to, sleep more than I’ve slept in my adult life. I went from averaging 6 1/2 hours of sleep at night to averaging nearly 8 hours of sleep a night – and over the weekend after I was mostly over Covid, was sleepy enough two days in a row to NAP. I DO NOT NAP. I have mixed feelings about this sleep development – but mostly good ones.
- Although I had nearly no hunger during the most concentrated days of Covid and only ate one meal a day, I had very specific cravings throughout and that continue afterward.
- Hungarian Chicken Paprikash – I wanted it the entire time I was sick. The day I finally felt better, I went grocery shopping and I made it. It was so good.
- Sunkist Fruit Gems. I haven’t had these in literally years and they don’t exactly sell them in stores around here. I wanted them so badly that I looked them up on Amazon, but wasn’t willing to buy 1 to 5 pounds of them, which seemed excessive, especially since I remember them as being way too sweet of a candy to actually want. I substituted a bag of Spice Drops from the grocery store – much less sweet, but same consistency. It worked. Kinda. But I still want a Fruit Gem.
- Dream Cake. This one doesn’t even exist, but I had a vivid dream several days after recovering fully from COVID wherein I added sour cream to the cake and icing recipe of our family’s much beloved multi-generational chocolate cake recipe. I woke up thinking about it, couldn’t quit thinking about it, and totally made the cake, substituting the milk in the recipe for sour cream. It was incredible. Though perhaps less noticeable a difference than I expected.
Best Recommendations for Covid:
- Get a steroid early and often. I got one, on symptom day 13, and went from being totally panicked that I was still very sick on day 12 to running 8.3 miles and cooking Hungarian Chicken Paprikash on day 14. I’m now somewhere in the day late-20s, still not 100% right, and I still kinda want a daily steroid shot.
- Don’t feel guilty about laying around, binging shows, and reading all the books, but also have some point in every day where you get active. I needed a quarantine – a quiet time for laziness. But my lungs needed me to keep moving. So I did both.
- Make iPhone Stickers of one of your children. I worked on this project for 3 days straight and cannot be happier with my 65 sticker collection of Noah:
In conclusion, no Callahans are Special. The other three got it as well, though thankfully much, much milder versions than I received. So now we’re in our reboot mode – we are all safe from the ravages of Covid until whenever Omicron antibodies wear off.
Or until an even more menacing Greek Letter shows up that doesn’t care that I just had Omicron.
How about you? Are there any of you left that are Special with a capital S?