The terms “pandemic”, “Shielding”, “self-isolation”, “lock-down” and others that became common in conversations have become rare in discussions. Lock downs are barely mentioned now, only as bad time from that awful year that was 2020 and the conspiracy theorist nut nuts have mostly fallen silent. For two and a half years I managed to avoid the dreaded Covid-19. Finally it caught up with me, and it wasn’t pretty.
The current strain (Omicron BA. 4/5 at time of writing) seems to be rampaging it’s way through the UK with varying effects. Most victims suffer flu-like symptoms, My experience was that I thought I was going to die….for about 24 hours. My head felt like someone had been poking knitting needles in it, my body ached, breathing was painful. The next day I had the same symptoms as most other people – just like flu. I did however, on day four, lose my sense of taste and smell.
The dreaded second line in the LFT stick appeared, and showed on every test for 10 days before being strangely, but happily absent on day 11. Still I felt fluey though.
It struck me how complacent we have become. Did we end restrictions too early? Were the majority even following the rules properly? Should there still be some form of mandatory infection management – face coverings in built up public places and events etc?
I had a trip away and a concert booked for the day after the first positive test. I toyed with the idea of still going, but my conscience wouldn’t let me go, knowing I might be the cause of someone else suffering the same as I had….or worse! A former colleague put it well – “Us oldies have morals”. At the time, I wasn’t sure that was a good thing but now, having had time to reflect, I’d not have felt right had I travelled on a crowded train then sat at a crowded concert knowing I had Covid. Also, I’m not sure I’d have coped physically as I was still feeling quite ill. A week after testing negative I’m still feeling wheezy and I tire quickly, and coffee (and everything else) still tastes strange or of nothing.
Why am I typing this? My experience seems to be a common one at the moment. There were almost quarter of a million recorded cases in the last month, who knows how many unrecorded? Most were very mild cases, but some weren’t. We will definitely need to get used to living with this virus in time but, perhaps for now (at least until we have it as under control as possible) we need better forms of management. It hasn’t gone away, it has actually mutated again and will continue to do so. The sensible among us are vaccinated and that is clearly helping, but maybe, just maybe it’s time for a rethink on how we view this, still ongoing, pandemic.