Fall Surprise: Covid 19.

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It was November 14, and I spoke to my cousin on the phone. She asked me if I had had covid 19 yet. I told her no, that through some sort of mix of being ultra vigilant, and a large portion of luck, it was November 2022, and I still hadn’t caught Covid 19. As they say in Swabian, “grad mach I’s Maul zua” (roughly translated, as “I just closed my mouth”, or “famous last words”), I had a sore throat the next day, and indeed, tested positive. Since I had masked up virtually everywhere but at one event, I am pretty certain that’s where I caught it. But who can tell these things at this point? It’s not like there was ever a tracing app in the US.

My symptoms were relatively mild, and because I am immunocompromised, I was prescribed Paxlovid rightaway. The side effects here were also relatively mild, I had a disgusting, bitter taste in my mouth for the five days I had taken it, and I did have a “rebound” reaction, where, I thought everything was over, and then a cough appeared. All in all, I think I was out for about ten days.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our Thanksgiving plans with family, which was upsetting, as we hadn’t seen them in a while, and everyone was looking forward. I also had to cancel my Inflectra infusion, which worried me: I usually begin having symptoms right at the end of one cycle. Worse, my doctor’s office is so stretched thin, that the next open appointment was not until four weeks after my original appointment. Instead of six weeks in between, I went 11 weeks between infusions. They did bloodwork at that appointment, and unsurprisingly, my symptom markers were up- I don’t think the infusion should have come one day later. Flare averted! My other fear, that I would develop antibodies and the medication wouldn’t be effective anymore was also unfounded.

So, all in all, I was lucky all around. I am grateful that my symptoms were mild, that my students were so accommodating and endured my zoom teaching, that I had the possibility to do so, that I had access to Paxlovid, and that I my infusion worked out.

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