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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

And, for the record, Noah does use his own stickers. With liberality. Because they’re amazing.

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?

12 thoughts on “On Getting COVID at the Beginning of its Junior Year.

  1. So far (knocks on every wood surface around) neither of us of have had covid. Of course, it’s possible we did and didn’t know it? We’re both triple-vaccinated, wear masks a lot, no kids, not in high-risk workplaces, not eating out right now. So I’m not excessively worried, but I do know a lot of people who have had covid and sometimes it does seem inevitable.

  2. I am not going to say that I or any of the other 3 members of my family are special, because that would certainly assure that we would all surely and swiftly become not special. My Alabama family members who had managed to avoid it until Omicron have all since had it.

  3. My husband, myself and my 76 yr old mother have made it all th way through so far without getting covid, but my millennial son and niece have had it twice.

  4. My middle child got it, but by some miracle managed not to share even though we had a full house over Christmas break when he came down with it. Fingers crossed that it stays away!

  5. I also thought we were Special. Turns out we weren’t . We got it after the first week back at school/work after Christmas. Glad you are all feeling better!

  6. Hubby and I, our two sons, their wives, and their children, my 80+ year old mom and dad and my 80+ year old MIL are still sporting our “S” but know it’s just a matter of time.

  7. Still Special here so far although I do wonder if I had it last year when I got my normal once a year cold and about half way through it lost my sense of smell.

  8. While I won’t go so far as to say my family is special with a capital S, I was feeling like we were special with a lower case s. Then this past week grandchild #1 got it and shared with her siblings and mother. Since the daughter-in-law technically is related only by marriage, and the grandchildren have only half of their father’s genes, apparently we’re still half special. I prefer to think of it as blessed.

  9. Husband and I are still special, but our daughter tested positive tonight after being vaccinated and having had it once already. I’m so over this.

  10. So far, I’ve avoided it. My husband got it in November (probably Delta, but they didn’t tell us which strain lol). He only had 1 shot at that point. I had both for several months. He also went into the backyard and lived in our camper until he was negative, so I’m sure that helped. Our 5 year old tested positive on the at home test, and had no symptoms other than a mildly runny nose that I hadn’t even thought twice about. The 1 year old was negative, but she was sick during that time also…we all stayed home the full quarantine and didn’t spread it to anyone that we know.

    My parents have also avoided it so far, which I’m happy about.

    Sorry it got you! Glad you’re feeling better.

  11. Yep, still Special, I guess? So far the four of us are still COVID virgins. My parents are too. I word in childcare with toddlers and I come home with every other virus imaginable. I’ve taken countless home tests, but thankfully all negative so far.
    Crossing my fingers and toes it stays away!

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