I’m a light packer. I learned how to pack light the hard way. In 2003, I took a large rucksack and a sizeable sports bag with me for a three plus month tour of Mexico. Within a week, I’d ditched the sports bag. And, obviously, a sports bag worth of stuff. Travelling light is a habit I’ve kept to, and one that has become suddenly popular. A 10kg carry on bag does me most of the time.
This does mean that I bring very few souvenirs back with me. Fridge magnets. Maybe a Starbucks mug. From Uzbekistan, I returned with a jar of honey and a couple of silk scarves. And Covid-19. Mrs P and I both bought a dollop of Covid back with us. My best guess is that the infection was gifted by the lady with a hawking cough in the row of seats behind us on the flight home.
Not that we knew about this particular souvenir immediately. It took a couple of days. Mrs P showed symptoms first. I woke up a day later feeling a bit off. I got ready to go to work anyway. But before I went out the door, I checked the roster. I was due to work with a 70 year old chap, not in the best of health, who has spent last few years battling cancer. So I did a quick lateral flow test. Just in case. That turned out to be a good call. The second red line spelt a few days off work for me or a potential death sentence for him. I thought I’d best go with the former.
I went from ‘a bit off’ to ‘a bit miserable’ in the space of a few hours. The illness was persistent. I tested positive for eight days, Mrs P for ten, both of us symptomatic from start to end. Not that we were ever particularly ill. Worse than a cold for a few days. Never close to being a flu. Short spells of feverishness. A mild cough. My main symptom was fatigue. I slept nearly 11 hours a day most of those days. It was, at its worst, unpleasant.
That’s my Covid ‘22 story. It’s a lot better that the Covid ‘20 and ‘21 stories that many folk would tell, if it hadn’t killed them. Nothing dramatic happened, not least because Mrs P and I did the sensible thing. We’re two and a half years into this pandemic. It boggles my mind that so much coronavirus discourse is still directed by misinformation, old information or plain old fashioned conspiracy theories.