Family Fun

Days 8-14: Defeating the Nothing

When I wrote last Sunday, I was less symptomatic, Iliana was almost better, and Rob had returned to work.

On Sunday night, I had a very pleasant surprise. On a whim, I stuck my nose in a coffee can…and smelled coffee! It seemed that I was getting my sense of smell back in record time. At first, I had to spend time smelling things in the morning, to “wake it up.” But now I can smell everything pretty consistently, although not as strongly as I used to. I suspect it will continue to improve. Happily, this happened after I disinfected the apartment, so I was spared the overwhelming bleach smell! Rob and Iliana are starting to be able to smell things too, although much more slowly.

On March 9, 1,885 people in the US died of Covid. Also on that day, I was considered to be recovered. I was on day 10 since the onset of my symptoms and I had not had a fever in nearly a week. I was no longer contagious, and other than some lingering brain fog and sinus stuff, I was feeling good. It was time to return to work!

Being out of the apartment made me realize that I still had a lot of brain fog! Luckily, everyone was very accommodating at work. Being back was exhausting, but I loved seeing my students again.

The greatest irony of my situation is that, on the day I became symptomatic, teachers were cleared to get the vaccine in Texas. There was a sign-up for employees of our school, so I chose Friday, which was the latest date available.

Well, on Tuesday, I received notification that my appointment had been moved to that afternoon. I was very upfront about my situation, and they said that since I was on day 10 and had not received an infusion, I was good to go! I got the Pfizer vaccine, and I will be getting the second dose, even though they suspect that people who have had the virus develop full immunity after one dose.

Another fun fact about vaccines: people who have had the virus have crazy side effects after the first dose. On Wednesday, I was useless at work, the brain fog was so bad. I also had crazy muscle aches.

On Wednesday evening, I made it to my first yoga class since being sick. From the beginning of class, I experienced more mental clarity that I had since my symptoms began. The brain fog has stayed away from that evening on. By Friday, I was able to fully resume my duties at work.

During a surge in the pandemic, I had noticed that Air BNB prices downtown were very low. I suspected that the surge would be over by spring break, and it had been a year since we had last gone downtown. Usually we stay in Montrose, but this time we found a room in a high rise, right in the center of everything!

Friday was day 10 for Iliana, so we were safe to enjoy a weekend of normalcy.

We were greeted by a beautiful sunrise!

Our Jeep barely cleared the ceilings in the parking garage where it stayed parked while we rode our bikes around the city.

The high point of our day was a much-overdue ride on the Buffalo Bayou trail.

It was fun to have a day of normalcy, and in the evening, we set out to achieve my post-immunity goal of eating at an indoor restaurant. We rode our bikes around, but did not find anywhere open. Definitely a sad sign of the struggles of the past year.

We were on floor 28 of the building behind the restaurant

I was going to end this post with a reference to The Neverending Story, with the quote, “Falkor, it’s like the Nothing never was!”

But maybe we aren’t there yet.

We live in a world that has been very impacted by Covid. The streets are lined with closed businesses, where people have lost their livelihood. And nearly 2000 families lost loved ones to the virus on the day I recovered from it. There is a lot to heal, a lot to rebuild.

And yet we are moving forward. Spring break has always been a time to go out and do fun activities with Iliana, and we are looking forward to that this week. We have an appointment at the zoo on Monday, and I know we will find more fun outings to fill our week. We wear masks for social reasons, but we are no longer living under the threat of the virus. And I have no doubt that I will have my indoor dining experience by the end of the week!

So maybe we’re not at the part where it is like the Nothing never was. Maybe we are at the part where the Childlike Empress hands Bastien the grain of sand that is all that remains of her once great empire and tells him to make a wish. “As many as you wish. And the more you make, the greater Fantasia will be!”

Almost as if on cue, as soon as I finished writing this post, we saw a bunch of lights slowly making their way down the road outside our window. I closer look revealed that it was Critical Mass, and we could hear their music up on our balcony on the 28th floor. No, their numbers weren’t as insanely huge as they had been on the ride we joined years ago, but they were there, moving forward.

Next month we will join them.