The Covid Chronicles

So I tested positive for the Vid! 3rd wave definitely came in with a bang. Made me feel a little less invincible, which is humbling I suppose. Incredibly grateful for my body’s ability to manage the symptoms and keep it under control.

I actually wanted to use this post to run through some of the thoughts that I had while I was recovering. Can I also just say that I’ve been having peculiar dreams over the past few weeks, that I’m still desperately trying to make sense of. Anyway, back to the Covid Chronicles.

God bless the antibodies.

COVID-19 antibodies last as long as 8 months
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Contact

The first thing that triggered the whole situation for me was getting into direct contact with someone who tested positive. Grateful that they called me to tell me about it. I was still very convinced that I had escaped getting infected. I eat a lot of naartjies and apples, btw.

Coronavirus: The Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard joins ...
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Symptoms

A few days after that call, I started feeling sluggish and a little under the weather. There was no doubt at that point that it was probably Covid. Yet, my inflated ego somehow managed to find a way to believe that it wasn’t. To be fair though, it was relatively mild; just a sore throat and fatigue.

After a few more days of that intense fatigue, I decided it was time to get tested (3 days after experiencing symptoms).

Getting tested

So I try to get myself booked for a Covid test, but because of how wild 3rd wave is in Joburg, most centres are pumping. I had to wait till the next day. Woke up fresh and early on a Sunday morning and got myself geared up for a Covid test. Up the nose and away we went.

Why Use Tests - Dilbert Comic Strip on 2020-05-30 : dilbert

Got home, took a nap, and eagerly watched Verstappen and Red Bull thrash Mercedes at the French Grand Prix.

Results

Because of the fatigue, I’ve been taking naps at random times throughout the day. On that Sunday, after going for a snooze at 6 pm, I ended up waking up at like 11 pm. It was quite disorienting, but I decided to watch some Peaky Blinders. 1 episode in, and I get an sms from the labs – Covid hypothesis confirmed; I was positive.

Quickly stocked up on Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc and Panado – oh and ofc more apples and naartjies. Managed to get some Ivermectin as well, which may or may not have helped.

10 days later

The tragic thing is that during this period, I also infected my flatmate, who is vaccinated. Tbh, it definitely made me question how effective those injections are. Thanks capitalism.

Took off from work and basically spent the day: sleeping, eating, watching Netflix, watching Euros, reading books – repeat. Sounds like a dream, but it got boring rather quickly.

An interesting coincidence was the fact that I had a dream of a friend of mine who I hadn’t spoken to since like 2017. When I reached out to her, it turned out that she had Covid too! So we bonded (virtually) over the whole struggle to recover. I think she had a lot worse than I did, but it was still relatable content.

Ordered some plants to keep me company

A week after testing positive, I started feeling a lot better. The only thing that was really lingering was the fatigue. Could definitely get used to the lifestyle of taking 3 naps a day. One thing I’m incredibly grateful for is not losing my sense of smell or taste.

Did you know that 80% of our taste comes from smelling?

Now that we’ve fought this bundle of protein, I’m hoping the antibodies will keep me sorted for the rest of the year. Thankful to everyone who supported me in this swift recovery. I’m also here if anyone who is infected needs some virtual help.

There’s a lot that I’ve reflected on over this experience and I’ll dive deeper into that in the next blog post. I wish you all the best and try to stay safe! This too shall pass.

It’s okay…

I’d like to reiterate on the topic of toxic productivity that I discussed last week (you can click on the hyper-link to read the article). It’s a strange time for us all, it’s okay to feel the way you feel.

I’ll briefly talk about a few key components of emotional intelligence and how that’s relevant to us today. I’ll focus on why acceptance is key, how to ask the right questions and understanding how temporary this all is.

Acceptance

If you can master the art of acquiescence, you’ll truly find peace with all that happens in your life. Acceptance seems to work like a charm, yet it’s so difficult to attain.

One of the key aspects of self-awareness is learning to accept your emotions after you’ve acknowledged them. Learning to become present with your feelings and thoughts is a life-long process, but we’ve got to start somewhere.

Once you’ve learned how to accept a thought or feeling, it no longer holds any weight over you. It sounds incredibly simple, but it genuinely works. Some of you may have more serious circumstances, so it’s not necessarily an immediate remedy. But the concept itself still holds true. Learn to accept.

It’s okay to be confused. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay if you’re scared. It’s okay if you’re a little upset. It’s okay if you’re uncomfortable. It’s okay if your schedule is a bit messed up. It’s okay if you’re uncertain.

Don’t judge yourself. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t think that this is the end. Our patience and resilience are truly being tested. Notice how your body reacts to those feelings and take in a few deep breaths.

Write it down. Accept it. Let it go.

We need to ask ourselves the right questions and gently work on our state of mind.

Questions

I’d like to offer you a few important questions again. Remember that questions are answers. If you can master the art of asking yourself the right questions, the answers will come finding you. That’s the power of your subconscious.

  • How am I feeling right now?
  • What can I do about this feeling?
  • Why am I finding it difficult to deal with this?
  • Have I always felt this way?
  • Is this temporary or permanent? Will I always feel like this?
  • How have I previously overcome difficult emotions?
  • What am I grateful for right now?

There are so many more important questions to ask, these are but a handful. Think of questions for yourself, aspects that are critical to your well-being.

Your mind works really well when you’re not constantly occupied. If you ask a question before going to bed or before going for a short walk, you’ll be amazed at how the subconscious processing works. Another cool exercise would be to answer these questions in a journal.

“Writing is closer to thinking than speaking.”

Temporary

Another incredibly important component of understanding emotions is that they’re temporary. If you contemplate on that fact, it naturally brings peace to your train of thought.

We too are temporary. We’re not going to be here forever. That is something that really makes me feel humble. Things are going to end soon. I may not know when, but I know it’s inevitable.

Meditate on how short-lived natural beings truly are. Everything is cyclic; change being the only constant. There’s no point swimming against the tide, we just need to focus on where it’s heading.

“Change is inevitable; resistance is futile.”

Everyone is on their own journey. Don’t compare yourself to the rate of other people’s growth. Focus on your own growth. Focus on helping others to your best ability.

It’s okay if you’re not okay. It’s okay if things aren’t going according to plan. It’s okay if you’re lacking motivation. We’re in a cocoon. We’re exactly where we’re meant to be. This is part of the healing process. Embrace it.

Don’t quit. Don’t lose hope. Don’t give in to your impulses. Stay strong. Stay present. Stay grateful. We’ll get through this; stronger, smarter and more resilient than ever before.

Mindful Monday #2

There seems to be a lot going on in the world right now. In light of all the uncertainty, let’s remember to be mindful. In this session of Mindful Monday, I’ll talk about emotional awareness, your responsibility, exposure to information and gratitude.

I’d like to share an intriguing thought I had over the weekend. The planet is healing. Yes, the situation we’re currently in is daunting and frightening. However, there are always blessings hiding within the curses. Greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and waste dumping have all been significantly reduced.

Hmm, also randomly started thinking about The Great Depression and the 1918 flu. Quite a circular process.

We should take some time to reflect, to learn, to grow and to empathize with the world around us. Be wary of toxic productivity, understand your boundaries and focus on your blessings. Let’s relate this to Covid-19.

Emotional awareness

There’s a lot of panic, anxiety and stress amidst the chaos that’s unfolding. We need to be aware of how our emotions are unfolding. It’s critical to stay level-headed and find ‘healthy’ coping mechanisms with our circumstances.

Don’t fall prey to other people panicking. Don’t spread misinformation or be a reason for other people to panic. Watch out for fake news. Don’t be guided by fear. Stay aware of your emotional state and accept it.

It’s okay to feel worried. It’s okay to feel nervous. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Try to be nonjudgmental towards yourself and those around you. The more you’re able to understand what you’re going through, the better equipped you’ll be to help others.

Your responsibility

As it stands, there is no cure for the pandemic. All we can do is try to reduce its impact. That means we need to take responsibility for our hygiene, social distancing and reducing stigma.

Social distancing is one of the most effective ways of containing a pandemic. By reducing the amount of people you’re exposed to, you decrease your chances of being affected or affecting others. It’s critical to maintain high levels of sanitation and hygiene at this point, to ensure you eliminate any sources of contamination.

Stigma always seems to be the elephant in the room. We all know it exists, yet we tend to ignore it. It’s absolutely crucial that we remain supportive and kind to everyone, especially to those who are infected or prone to being sick.

Start taking this seriously and act now. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Here’s a link to an incredible article interpreting the data and talking about your role in helping to deal with the covid-19 outbreak: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca

Exposure to information

We’re living in a hyper-connected age where we’re exposed to more information in 24 hours, than people did in their entire lives around 25 years ago.

Keeping that in mind, we need to be conscious of the news we expose ourselves to. We might not immediately realize it, but after scrolling and reading a few articles our entire mood can change.

Ask yourself how much information you really need to move forward with this. We need to constantly stay up-to date, but within reasonable boundaries. Stay mindful of what your subconscious is absorbing, there’s always a lot to be thankful for.

Gratitude

The best way to deal with negativity is to focus on what is going well. It’s not always easy to shift into that frame of mind, but once you do, nothing can pull you down.

Most of us still have eyes to see, a mind to comprehend with, an eagerness to learn, a loving family, wonderful friends, food to eat and a place to stay.

Think about that more. Show your love and affection to your friends and family. (Virtually of course) Be thankful and be a source of positivity to the world around you.

It’s not easy, I know. We’ll get through this. We’ll look back at how insane things were and smile, knowing we were tough enough to survive. We’ll talk about this to our children and grandchildren one day.

Don’t lose hope. Stay mindful of what’s going on within you. Take in deep breaths and smile. Now is all you have, make the most of it.