May 12, 2020

It’s a rainy day on the rail-trail.


COVID-19, are you going to be naughty or nice to me?

-Steven Magee


Zeus is pissing through a sieve and Waldo and I are out on the rail-trail, putting in our daily six miles. It’s chilly, temperature is in the mid-forties, rain is falling in a constant shower and gusts of wind drive the water through my gloves. My hiking shoes are “water-proof,” which means the soles and lower uppers are impermeable to water. To allow breathing, the uppers are covered with a fabric that allows the water to get in. We haven’t been walking for long and my socks are soaked. Waldo is wet, but the rain isn’t so forceful that he’s seeking shelter beneath bushes or trees. He just continues on down the trail, doing his Waldo-thing. I plod along behind, looking forward to getting warm and dry at home when we’re done.

The coronavirus has hit us where it counts. My daughter is a PACU nurse at a local hospital and she figured all along that she would bring it home, no matter how careful she was. However, the devil didn’t come in through that door. Instead, he assaulted them through the window. Her biological father, Adilson, who works as a commercial housekeeper and deemed to be essential, lives with my daughter and her family and brought it home from work. He had troubling symptoms of cough, headache and low-grade temperature that did not qualify him to get tested. His doctor thought he just had a cold. Then Emily and Matty got sick, but this was mild and lasted for only about three days. Adilson got slowly sicker, with worsening cough and higher temperatures. Finally, he could get tested, but the turn-around time would be around five days. Meanwhile my daughter’s husband fell ill and, finally, so did my daughter. Because she is a nurse, she could and did get tested with the results coming in about 24 hours. It was positive. Everyone else’s test came back positive as well, of course.

For the past month, my daughter has been strict about avoiding all but the most fleeting contact with me. She saw the really sick people in the ICU, who are mostly elderly, and she didn’t want me to take the risk of getting this disease. I saw the family on the rail-trail the day before my daughter became ill (remember, the family were told they just had colds), but we kept the six-foot distance prescribed by social isolation. I have not been wearing a mask when out on the trail as I believe that the protection it would offer is negligible compared to the protection that outdoors provides. Up until now, I remain well and out on the daily trek with Waldo.

Emily and Matty, at this point, are healthy, thank God, and very bored. They are now quarantined inside the house and can’t venture out except to retrieve the garbage cans. Video gaming, watching movies and YouTube on their iPads helps some, as does the perpetual sibling squabbling.

Adilson, after about two weeks of being sick, is finally feeling a bit better, although still symptomatic, and talking about going to Walmart. Maybe he’s in denial. He gets the “What part of quarantine don’t you understand?” reaction from the rest of the family and now spends most of his time sprawled on a couch.

My son-in-law is still having some fevers, along with most of the other symptoms, but doesn’t feet as bad as he did a few days ago. He, too, spends his days lying on a couch, watching TV and tactfully avoiding my daughter. At least he’s no longer spending the day in bed.

My daughter is irritable and just wants all this f***ing s**t to stop. The headaches, muscle pain, cough, and the rest has caused a fire breathing demon to possess her. I find this encouraging, as I know, from experience, that when she’s sick it’s only when the demon exorcises itself that I need to worry.

So, we, as a family, have been hit with the plague. But. luckier than all too many, it looks like we’ll weather it just fine. Now, if I can avoid getting sick, or if I do, survive it as well as my daughter’s family, we’ll be okay. This too shall pass.

As will this rain storm. And the cold weather. And whatever else life has to throw at us. Change is the only constant in life.

Waldo and I finish our walk, return home, dry out, warm up and chillax.

Another day, another six miles.


PS As of this posting, the family is fully on the mend and returning to work!


Don’t go toward the light, Waldo!

1 comment

Susan Loughmiller

Sorry your family got the plague. All of us in the ER believe we had it back in January when the company was telling us not to wear masks because we would scare the public. None of us were tested because the virus ‘didn’t exist’.
We didn’t even get tested for the flu, because we would have to see Employee Health before returning to work. Too much red tape.
I remain healthy so far. Just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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