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I’m going to start this with two simple words: I tried. I really did. There was a lot of dodging and weaving. I ducked and covered. Well, mostly covered because it’s required and, well, science. I wouldn’t call myself a master of combat. I wouldn’t compare my stealth to that of the majestic bobcat— I closely resemble a wombat— but I gave it my all.

I had grit, determination, and tenacity on my side. You will not get me, not again. For visual reference, I’m bouncing around my apartment kicking the air and throat punching an invisible foe. Dodge. Weave. Kick and punch. Hiyah!

Photo by Ryanniel Masucol from Pexels

Despite my obvious skills— humblebrag— the worst game of hide and seek has come to a tragic end. Here I sit, I can go no further. The white flag flies high above my head. That’s right, I give up, you win. You got me, fair and square.

I’ve had an internal debate for a few days about whether or not I should post this. Most of you will understand the nuances and not run afoul with misinformation, conspiracy theories or political rascalities. Grr, I hate political rascalities, and no, it doesn’t matter which party you favour. They all have their moments, and they make me question the fate of humanity.

I like to think that most people are reasonable, understanding, and logical. You’re kind and compassionate as well. I’m not worried about the majority. It’s the rest of the pack that has me concerned. I’d hate for my experience to be used as a gotcha, haha, moment. It’s more complicated than one soundbite. So, for the love of all things decent? Please don’t take this out of context.

That’s my disclaimer. I hope it’s enough, fingers crossed.

So here goes, my fun, giggle time news is: I tested positive for COVID. Tag, you’re it. Stay home, isolate yourself from the human race, and good luck. It’s exacerbating, I’ve been careful, especially with the latest variant and how contagious it is. I’ve barely left my home, and I created a nice, tight, little bubble for myself until the bloody thing burst.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

I’m fully vaccinated, booster included, and I wore a mask, washed my hands, and wore gloves. Well, I wore gloves because it was twenty below zero, and I didn’t want frostbite. It still counts as protection, and I washed/sanitized my hands religiously.

Then the blasted day came when I had to venture out into the world to run unavoidable errands. I was hesitant— I’m not the luckiest person you’ll ever meet— but I told myself to relax. I’ve covered all of my bases. Besides, I’ll be in and out quick as a flash. What are the odds, really? I mean…Fuck my life.

It might not sound like an issue, but this can become a big problem. I’ve had a kidney transplant, and I take anti-rejection medication. This medication lowers my immune system, which stops it from attacking the transplanted kidney. My immune system doesn’t know the difference between a virus and a life-saving organ transplant. It’ll attack anything new or different, like some people I know. 

You can see the problem here. If it can’t attack the transplant? It has trouble going after everything else. Which includes a new variant that sounds like a two-bit villain in a movie adaptation of a comic book. If it’s contagious, I have to run while it seeks me out. It’s the worst game I’ve ever played because I can’t win.

My choices are minimal. I stay home, don’t come in contact with anyone, and feel more alone than I’ve ever felt before. Or, I run out to the store for a couple of things with the faint hope that the odds will be in my favour. Spoiler, they’re never in my favour. 

It’s okay to be sad sometimes.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m feeling a little sorry for myself. You can tell, can’t you? Yeah, I’m not hiding it very well. I need to work on my poker face. I’m fine. Everything’s fine. No, seriously, it’s all fine. How was that? Better? No, it needs work.

Again, I’m vaccinated and boosted, but here’s where the nuance comes into play. Vaccines are less effective in people with weakened immune systems. They don’t work as well as they do in someone who’s got a complete squadron of soldiers ready to bust COVIDs ass. You might have a thousand highly trained white cells kitted out with the latest in anti-viral weaponry. I only have a hundred so, who stands the better chance in this battle?

Photo by Paweł L. from Pexels

The good news is, my meagre forces are spry and eager to get to work. They might not be much to look at, but they’re working very hard. If they didn’t have the extra training, I’d be a hell of a lot sicker than I am now. I’m thankful for the shots. I’m grateful for the fighting chance. That’s all I want, really. A chance to get through this pandoodle alive.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask for, is it? Wow, that’s a weighted and rather grim question. Someone needs to lighten up a little, eh. I will, that’s a promise, but first I have to excise the moodiest of moods.

If you’ve been here a while, you know that this isn’t the first time I’ve gotten tagged by this blasted bugger. Did I scream not it? Yes, I did, but Omicron doesn’t know that rule, or it doesn’t play fair. It’s a cheater, cheater pumpkin eater.

That’s right, you heard me, pumpkin eater. Ptooey!

Whew, my apologies for that little outburst. It wasn’t very kind, but I’m not in a forgiving mood. I’m grumpy and a little sour at my current predicament. There may or may not be a pouty lip on my face. Did I stamp my foot, clench my fists, and hold my breath until my cheeks turned red? It’s a possibility. There is, without a doubt, a few choice words waiting to tumble out of my mouth, but cursing out a virus just doesn’t have the right oomf.

I demand satisfaction! Or, at least, some ice cream. Sure, it’s the middle of winter, but I’m sick, and it’ll feel nice on my burning throat. If I can’t have a pistol duel with a virus and dawn? I’ll settle for a sweet treat at noon.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Alas, I sit here, isolated from the world because I refuse to be an outbreak monkey. I’m muttering words that would make a delicate disposition blush. Their aim is broad, their effectiveness is limited, and I’m feeling sorry for myself.

I don’t know if it’s a healthy thing to do, but I’ve been alone with myself for one day too many. I think that’s the most challenging part of this whole ordeal. I should be used to it. My body betrays me all the time. However, on those occasions, I can be with others. They’re a lovely distraction that takes me out of my body for a little while.

Being alone? It’s starting to affect my mental health. 

This blasted virus is highly contagious, and I’d hate for anyone to get it. The vaccine is doing its job, sort of. It’s helping my immune system fight off the attack, and— knock on wood— I should be back on my feet in a couple of weeks. Whether by choice or disease, other people might not be so lucky. Staying home is the kind thing to do. If nothing else, it’s the decent thing to do. 

Doing the right thing, as simple as it is, always comes with a price. In this case, loneliness is bringing out a pity party for one. I used to think I was a painfully shy loner who didn’t need anyone. Happy with my own company, I didn’t need another soul to make me feel a certain way. The proverbial lone wolf, and yes, I know it’s scientifically inaccurate.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve realized that it’s not entirely true. Yes, I’m an introverted, socially awkward/inept person who doesn’t need a lot of interpersonal connections to be happy. But— and that should be in all caps, underlined and followed by an obscene number of exclamation marks— I still need a community. I need to look someone in the eyes, have a conversation, and connect on some level of familiarity. 

Of course, this won’t last forever. I’ll be free to roam soon but soon isn’t soon enough. I want it now. I want it to be over. I want to…. I sound like a petulant child. This is a full-blown pity party. So what? Why can’t we feel sorry for ourselves once in a while? Who said we have to grow up and accept the bad shit that happens to us without blubbering.

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR from Pexels

Sure, staying in this mind-frame for too long isn’t good for us, but feeling it, owning it and indulging for a little while? Let’s stop demonizing certain emotions, and that includes self-pity. When life sucks, and we’re feeling sad? When we’ve been locked inside with only our thoughts for company? Maybe a little bit of indulgence is warranted.

Just a little bit, and then remember that this to shall pass. The sun will come up tomorrow. Life is like a box of chocolates. And singing in the rain is an underappreciated cliche. 

I know it will be okay. It will work out, and I’ll find something to look forward to when this is over. For the moment, just another hour or two, I’m going to sit here and say bad words. I’m going to be sad because I’m lonely and feel icky. It’s a pity party for one, and that’s okay.

It’s okay to be sad sometimes.

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