To stave off deconditioning after months of inactivity, I walked the grassy fields of Central Park at the very least thrice every week. Typically I made it a mile, different instances barely 4 blocks, adopted by a two-hour nap. Train was welcome as a result of it was a change of disposition. Since lockdown, my house had served as my residence, a office and an infirmary.
July 9 began out like some other day in post-Covid life. My temperature was 98.3 within the morning and rose to 99.7 by 7 p.m. I didn’t assume a lot about it after I referred to as my brother; I used to be accustomed to the temperature fluctuations by then. However at about 11 p.m., as he and I commiserated over the state of California’s wildfires, I began to really feel faint. Then, what felt like a heat ball gathered on the prime of my shoulders and began to rise, till my entire head was engulfed in warmth. I panicked and obtained off the telephone, as a result of I didn’t wish to alarm my brother.
Beads of perspiration fashioned on my brow. My hair was saturated on the roots with sweat. Inside a couple of minutes, my entire physique was sopping. The backs of my knees. My forearms and shins. Even the fold of pores and skin the place my hip and thigh met. It was as if my inside thermostat had gone berserk and each inch of my physique was overheating without delay. I took my temperature at midnight — it was 100.1 and rising — and I packed my head in ice to chill off. I lay down, hoping the fever would subside. When it didn’t, I referred to as an in depth pal and requested her to textual content me within the morning. If I didn’t reply, she ought to name me. If I didn’t choose up, she ought to ship for an ambulance. I used to be terrified I wouldn’t get up. I took two Advil and crawled into mattress.
Within the morning, the fever was gone. But it surely had been changed by a wave of convulsive chills that persevered for 2 hours. I took a tepid bathe, and a few extra Advil and drank a quart of water, involved I might be dehydrated. My temperature hovered at 99, and I used to be exhausted. I crawled again into mattress and stayed there all day, drifting out and in of sleep whereas watching episodes of “Recreation of Thrones.” I used to be refreshed after I awoke, not stunning on condition that I had slept many of the previous 24 hours. I took a stroll. At 7 p.m., as I anticipated, my temperature rose once more, solely this time it was accompanied by chills and physique warmth. My face was flush and, as they did two nights earlier, beads of sweat coated my brow.
No, no, no, I stated to myself. This may’t be taking place. Possibly by way of the power of my will, I may make my fever go away. I put ice packs on my again, largely as a result of it felt good, and referred to as my pal once more. Tonight was going to be tough, I instructed her. I drank water and crawled into mattress, overcome with fatigue. There, I fell asleep at 11 p.m. and didn’t get up till midday. As rapidly because the chills, fever and fatigue appeared, they had been gone. Just like the film “Groundhog Day,” I might relive the worst of Covid time and again till, in the future, hopefully, I might not.
However coping with the bodily repercussions of Covid was solely half the battle. I ached to see shut mates, most of whom lived distant. Different mates projected their fears and considerations onto me on the similar time I used to be coping with my very own. One pal recounted the story of an athlete, a longtime runner, who had contracted the virus and will barely stroll a couple of blocks after 5 months. She had respiration issues. And she or he wasn’t getting higher regardless of attentive medical care.
“Isn’t that terrible?” my pal stated.
Sure, it was. It scared me, too. I attempted to alter the topic, however my pal continued.