Short and Not So Sweet
This won’t be one of my usual deep dives, as I only want to convey a bit of reasoning as to why I won’t be writing a whole lot of fresh content this week (and possibly next); during the recent excursion to San Diego Comic Con 2023, my wife and I were forced to leave a day early after she tested positive for COVID late Saturday night (thank goodness we had a spare testing kit in our luggage; this is why I overpack).
We drove home early Sunday morning of course, after alerting the hotel staff, and we’ve been more or less housebound ever since. As of Sunday, I was still testing negative, so I did a few errands and stocked up on groceries (wearing a mask, of course). Later on, I began to feel gradually worse, until I took another test on Tuesday morning (my third), and the sample line on the test came up deep merlot red within 30 seconds. Oh yeah, I had COVID. With a vengeance.
I am grateful that I’ve been vaccinated multiple times, as our symptoms could’ve been much worse. Right now, it’s more like a flu from hell; with a fever, hacking cough, intermittent sneezing and worst of all, a complete lack of energy. I’m the guy who enjoys taking weekly 5 mile walks, and as of this writing, going to check the outside mailbox leaves me exhausted. Fortunately, my sense of taste and godawful sense of humor are fully intact. If I had to name one symptom of this that I despise the most, it’s the absolute lack of energy. It’s as if someone is draining electric current straight from my earlobes…
While attending San Diego Comic Con, I wore masks whenever I was indoors (especially in the “Soylent Green”-crowded Dealer Hall) or seated in an auditorium, only taking it off for quick photo ops (I was cosplaying as Fred Flintstone again) or if I was walking in a large open space. Mind you, I’ve been masking up religiously ever since the pandemic began in early 2020, and I haven’t stopped. I’ve quit going to movies almost completely (save for two this year), and I prefer cooking most of our meals myself or getting takeout. I’ve become a bit hermit-like, to be honest. However, I let my guard down a bit; not with my own masking, but with my wife in the same hotel room. My wife isn’t quite as adamant with masking as I am (and it’s no longer mandated in our state), so we assume she was most likely exposed to COVID around Preview Night (Weds) of the convention (based on the timing), and well, I caught it from her.
To be honest, I’m glad we caught COVID at the same time, since we’ll most likely recover around the same time as well (we’re both vaccinated). I also joke that she’s my ‘canary in the coal mine’ when it comes to symptoms–I see what symptoms she has and I know what to expect for myself in a day or so. She’s doing a little better today, and while my own fever seemed to have broken this morning (so says the thoroughly drenched t-shirt that I slept in), it seems to have risen a little bit tonight. So advance warning; forgive any grammatical or spelling errors–I’m not exactly firing on all thrusters here.
I also had to cancel my reservation for the annual Star Trek Las Vegas convention, aka “The 57-Year Mission” (or ’57-Year Mission’ as they call it now, since Creation Entertainment lost the Star Trek license), which was supposed to be next week, which crosses into our COVID self-isolation period. I cancelled my stay at the Rio hotel with no problems, but I had to absorb the convention ticket costs myself because Creation Entertainment refused any possibility of a hardship refund for my wife and I. Their ‘solution’ was to suggest that I go on FaceBook (which I’m not on) and try to scalp my own tickets (?!). I’m not even kidding. Most likely I will not be attending another of their conventions ever again. My sincere apologies to those who were looking forward to a 57-Year Mission report from Las Vegas.
In the early years of the COVID pandemic, three people I know passed away. And while COVID isn’t quite so deadly these days in most cases, it’s still deeply miserable, and if you’re a relatively active person who enjoys attending conventions, you don’t want to get this virus. I am not kidding.
Update: As of this morning, July 27th, both my wife and I have lost our senses of smell and most tastes, too.
So, the point of this shorter-than-usual column is, if you’re going to attend any large-scale indoor event, particularly a super-crowded convention like San Diego Comic Con, you’d be well-served to wear a mask. Yes, they can be annoying. Yes, they sometimes get tangled on our glasses, and yes, a handful of ignorant people might accuse you of ‘virtue signaling.’ My advice? Ignore them. I’m here to tell you that COVID is still very much out there, and it’s still one helluva nasty bug, and it just loves big conventions. Even if your symptoms remain milder than mine (for the record, I’m 56 years old), quarantine protocols in my state require a period of isolation, and that’ll really cramp your style.
Now, I would never tell anyone not to attend San Diego Comic Con, because there are truly special memories and experiences to be had there. All I’m saying is to be safe, and be sensible. Masks and COVID testing kits are still available at most drugstores or even through Amazon. If you’re going on a long trip to a convention? Pack a test kit or two in your luggage, and a few spare masks, as well. It’s worth it. Take care, and stay healthy, my friends!
May all of you continue to live long and prosper!