Good Morning: Simple items, pandemic fatigue

Future Brown
Herald Democrat
Future Brown

This weekend, Facebook shared a memory with me from one year ago. The photos the social media app shared of my daughter from that day will always stick with me. 

They were taken on the day I caught COVID-19.

I had been asked to take Christmas pictures of my daughter and others for a creative photo shoot. It lasted less than 15 minutes, and as the photographer, I was always several feet from the subjects. 

Still, three days later, I woke up with a pain in my chest. Generally, when I get sick, it starts with a sore throat. But, this was not like that.

The pain was coming from lower in my chest, and when I took a breath in, the pain would travel throughout my lungs starting at the top, making its way to the bottom. I tried to make each breath crisp and sharp to keep the pain tolerable.

As with any cold, my first remedy was hot tea.

My pain on that Wednesday remained at a one or a two. The next morning, it elevated to a four, and along came a deep guttural cough. The phone call I received around 10:30 a.m. did not need to tell me what I already knew. A family member I had seen over the weekend tested positive for the virus, and the symptoms I had newly been experiencing were early signs of something more than a cold.

I immediately made an appointment that day for a test that would yield results in 3-5 days. Not feeling like I would get my results fast enough, I made an appointment for the next day at a freestanding emergency room so I could get my positive results in 20 minutes.

By Saturday, both tests had come back with plus signs. Though I was the only one in my house that tested positive, my mother and daughter were quarantined as well.

While the next two weeks were not that bad, I had COVID for Christmas.

Why did this have to happen to me? I worked from home. I only left the house to drop off or pick my daughter up from preschool. I took advantage of other shopping means so I did not step foot inside of stores. To this day, I am still a regular mask wearer and I keep sanitizer near. I did the best I could and the virus still found me.

For the next almost three months, I coughed. It was painful.

Now one year later, photos from that day bring an emotional response from me: happy and joyous at my daughters smile and sad about what followed that period, confused about the misfortune of the situation but grateful that my situation did not end up like so many others.

Over the last two years, we have all had moments that will forever illicit an emotional response. Some moments will bring out past trauma and anxiety and others will help us find joy and peace. 

In both respects, that photo from one year ago will sit with me forever.