September 6, 2022

Goodbye, Haute Nendaz , Switzerland. Until next time…


I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.

-Bill Bryson


I awoke early this morning, after a hard night.  My temperature remained elevated and I developed a sore throat that intermittently woke me from sleep.  This morning, though, the soar throat, although not gone, is significantly better and the fever is gone.  The sore throat convinces me I should take a Covid test.  I argue with myself, “How could I have Covid and still walk 7 – 7.5 miles?”  But people can have Covid and be asymptomatic and I have a sore throat, so I tested for it (I brought 4 tests with me from home).  The test was positive.

My family were not surprised and no one I was exposed to felt threatened or in danger.  It is, after all a risk we all take when we travel these days.  Now, I have to decide what I’m going to do about it.  I could stay another week without much problem.  After all, I do have health and travel insurance that would cover the extra cost.  I really want to get home and see Waldo, though.  I decide to look once again at the CDC guidelines.

The CDC says that for the first five days since the onset of symptoms, one should isolate.  After that, as long as the symptoms are better and the fever is gone, one can come out of isolation, but they should wear a mask.  The CDC arrived at these recommendations through various studies and considerations.  It is known that Covid is most infectious just before the onset of symptoms.  After 5 days, one can still shed virus, and therefore, still be infectious, but by wearing a mask, the risk of infecting someone else is quite small.  The CDC weighed the effect on the economy and the interruption of personal lives, as well as the impact of spreading the infection, and decided that this scheme was the best solution in an imperfect world.  I figure this is day 5 of having symptoms (counting the days when I had a low-grade temp and sinus irritation), symptoms are improving and, so far, I am afebrile.  So I meet the criteria.  The fever seems to come on in the evening, so I decide that I will go ahead, mask up, and keep my plane reservations to return home tomorrow, unless I develop a fever tonight.  As long as I’m afebrile and my symptoms continue to improve in the morning, I’m good to go.

I spend the day mostly sleeping, only getting up, now and then, to grab a small bite to eat.  I have no problem sleeping that much, but I’m not really feeling sick, except for a slight sore throat.  Night comes and I’m still afebrile.

I get up before dawn the next morning and pack – no fever and my sore throat is almost gone.  I say goodbye to my family and get on the bus to get to the train.  After many hours on trains and planes, I finally arrive in Boston.  Throughout the trip, I remained afebrile with only minor symptoms (even the extreme tiredness was gone).  I pick up my car and drive to pick up Waldo.

It’s 11 o’clock when I get to the house where he’s staying and the people are asleep – they left the back door open for me.  Waldo is very happy to see me, wiggling his butt and whining with excitement.  I pack up his stuff and soon we’re back home, ready to resume our lives and our walks.

No one I know and can track has come down with Covid, so I’m comfortable that I did the right thing.

I have come to some conclusions from this trip that others might appreciate.  If you want to experience the joys of international travel in the midst of 2022 Covid, you can.  But be prepared.  Some countries still require Covid testing before entry.  Covid is out there and the R0 for BA.5 is 18.6 (R0 is a measure of how contagious a disease is) and it is easy to catch (it’s a little more contagious than measles).  For most people, it’s not a big deal if you get it.  But it is still killing lots of people and if you are in a high-risk group that could get really sick, you might want to reconsider travel.  You can still get very sick even if you’re not in such a group, but it’s not very likely.  Weigh your risks and benefits carefully and make a well-informed decision before you go.  If you go, it would be wise to get both travel and health insurance, just in case you have to prolong your visit.  Lastly, the travel system is stressed right now, due to a shortage of pilots and other things, and delays and cancelations are frequent.  It’s even worse during the height of vacation season, so try to avoid traveling then.  Pack and plan as though you will miss your connecting flight and be without your checked luggage.  Assume that will happen and then be surprised if it doesn’t.

After having said all that, if you feel that the benefits outweigh the risks for you, then, by all means, go.  The world is a big and wonderous place, filled with many fine people (and dogs) and amazing things to experience – fine food and wine, people happy to share a small piece of their lives, and extraordinary cultures rife with long and deep histories.  Just make sure that you are fully vaccinated, boosted and you follow the recommended guidelines.

But for now, please, excuse me.  A black furry critter is agitating me to take him out for a walk.

It’s good to be home.


Come on! Let’s go!



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