A Month of Getting Covid

by thethreepennyguignol

So, I’ve been ill, blah blah blah, which is why I’ve vanished off the face of the internet for a little while a few weeks ago and why I missed my last mental health update post. But just when I thought it was safe to go back in the Tesco…I test positive for Covid.

Well, it was a good Covid-free run, you know? Two years, pretty much, and I avoided getting it, and I was able at least to hold out until I got my vaccines and booster jab, which means that I’m not even actually sick right now, unless you count prawn cocktail crisps tasting a bit funny as illness, which I very much do.

But to be honest, seeing that second little red line pop up on my nose-invasive test was…kind of weird for my state of mind. For the best part of the last two years, I’ve been doing everything I can to avoid getting Covid, avoid getting sick, avoid spreading it to anyone else, and actually catching the damn thing has been a bit unsettling. I always knew that I would catch it at some point, just by the law of averages, but actually having it is something else entirely.

My OCD brain can turn anything into a personal moral failing, and Covid is no different – after spending so long meticulously avoiding it, being hit with a positive diagnosis is kind of scary in a way. It’s been impossible to avoid the news about how serious this illness can be, even if I know functionally that I’m in a good place – my health anxiety is ready to take centre-stage, baby, and she’s been rehearsing this one for forever. She’s going to EGOT for this, just you wait and see.

But beyond that – you spend enough time carefully taking precautions against something that when you actually end up having it, there’s a weird dose of guilt and anxiety that comes with it. I’m healthy, I’m vaccinated, I’m not in any at-risk groups, I’m able to quarantine for the appropriate amount of time with my horrible cats and my lovely partner, but I still feel somewhat…bad for ending up with it in the first place.

There’s been a lot of morality attached to Covid over the last couple of years – wear a mask, save lives, get vaxxed, be careful, look out for the NHS, protect other people – and, even though I know I’ve done functionally as much as I could, there’s still some residual guilt and almost a feeling of foolishness for managing to get the Covid-germs up in my various orifices. Which is ridiculous: I don’t see anyone else who’s managed to get it despite taking the precautions they can as an idiot, and it doesn’t make sense to extract that to myself. But hey, this is my stupid anxious brain we’re talking about, and it’s not letting me off that easy.

I know I’m not letting anyone down getting Covid, not in a logical sense, but that guilt is still there – what if I passed it on to someone else, got them really sick? Could I have been more careful in avoiding it? How could I be so stupid, when I had managed to keep away from it for so long? When is it going to be safe for me to get out there again without panicking about the impact I’m having on other people? Those questions have been churning at the back of my mind ever since I found out that I had it, and that’s been stirring up a lot of anxiety and other weird feelings of guilt and discomfort.

I’m trying not to be too hard on myself at the moment, given that it’s not going to help my viral load to stress myself out, but I’m hoping this nervousness around having The Corona starts to ease soon. I figure that it’s not likely something I’ll have to handle again, so I’m trying to take it as chill as I can and observe what’s going on inside the ol’ brainbox without being the usual judgy bitch that I am.

So that’s where I’m at, as of today. Having Covid has been strange – not so much physically, which I’m really grateful for, but mentally. If you’ve had Covid, have you felt this way too? Also, what did you read or watch to get you through quarantine? A gal needs some recommendations, if you’ve got ’em.

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