Hindsight

My illness in September of 2019 was quite the life changer. The after effects of the virus have left me on lifelong medication. It stopped me from smoking. And to be honest, it left me feeling older. I had blood taken three times in hospital and at the GPs to try and identify the culprit, but the tests came up blank. It was not one of the usual suspects, but that’s as much as could be said.

My symptoms matched with Covid. My lungs were wrecked. And by wrecked, I mean it was likely I had pneumonia. I had an elevated resting heart rate for six months. But whilst the commonalities between my illness and Covid were obvious, the same applies to quite a few viruses.

It’s also true to say that I’ve repeatedly shared poorly ventilated office space with both symptomatic and asymptomatic persons infected with Covid, and been the only one not to catch it. But I’ve always dismissed the idea that I had Covid in 2019.

If it were spreading in the UK in 2019, where were all the infected people, hospitalizations and deaths? There have been plenty of theories about the early spread of Covid from August 2019 onwards, but most of them have seemed either a little fishy or unable to account for the lack of victims. This week, I read an article which offered a reasonable suggestion as to why that might be.

It is possible that the original/early variants of Covid may not have been terribly transmissible. Nasty, and fatal for some. But not so transmissible. It would be left to later variants at the end of 2019 to deliver the society crushing transmissibility that has caused so much damage. That seems a reasonable suggestion to me. And if true, maybe I did have Covid. But we’ll never really know…

6 thoughts on “Hindsight

  1. I understand your dilemma. When my India cruise was cancelled in February 2020, I flew through Seattle on my way home to Mexico. A couple days after I arrived, I cam down with something. Mild cough. Terrible headache. Fatigue so bad I could not walk across my patio. And then both my taste and smell went on vacation to some small fishing village in Greece. We knew so little at that point that I simply self-medicated and avoided the staff for the two weeks it took me to recover. There were tests for The Virus here at the time. I had convinced myself I had been hot with dengue.

    A few months later, an antigen test showed up. By then I suspected The Virus had visited my house. The test said otherwise. In October I took another test in Oregon. It was positive for past exposure, not for current infection.

    To this day I do not know for certain if I was an early battle casualty of Covid. There is no way to know now. As you say. But it certainly did not keep either of us from stepping up for the jab.

    I have no lingering symptoms of whatever exposure I had almost two years ago now. For that I am thankful. Unlike you, though, I am old. And one of my conditions took a baseball bat swing at my head. I survived, but today is one of those days to contemplate the mortality of mankind and just being glad that we can enjoy each day of life.

    This may be a good essay for today. Now that I am feeling better.

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    1. I did not notice any problems with taste or smell. Although, having smoked for more than three decades, it’s questionable whether I have truly possessed either of those two senses this side of the millennium…

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  2. I have not been infected with COVID, and I pray I’ll be one of the lucky souls that manages to avoid it. But I’ve had a bout with two other serious diseases, one before it had been identified in south-eastern Mexico… Dengue fever. I never was diagnosed but seventeen years later, I immediately recognised my symptoms when I had a second bout. By then we did have a test and I was positive. I’ve also had Streptococcus pneumoniae, a strain of air bourne bacteria that is often fatal, especially in children. I spent 10 days in intensive care and about 6 months recovering. As well I was left with a permanent lung discapacity. I mention my two brushes with potentially fatal illness as “food for thought” to those who believe if they get COVID they will ultimately be fine. We are not as tough as we think.

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    1. I’m sorry to hear of your illnesses, albeit belatedly. But glad to hear you came out the other side. And yes, people are a little cavalier with life. You expect it from teenagers, but it’s disappointing to find so many people 30+ who still think they are invincible.

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  3. When the AIDs virus got a foothold in our general population, they started testing samples from people who died years ago from cancers. They found evidence of people dyeing clear back in the fifties from AIDs. It took some time to mutate into a real killer-Covid may be the same.
    That said: I had a bad case of double lung infection five years ago, it had many Covid symptoms but a double round of antibiotics put it down or seemed to; it could have just ran its course. The damage was forever, I have a chronic cough, not nearly as much stamina and a much poorer memory but lets face it, the last two could be normal factors of my age. One just does not know.

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    1. I’d recently read about the origins of HIV. It’s an interesting story, that dates perhaps back to the very beginning of the 1900s. And, of course, there are still those who think that that is a hoax.

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