Editorial by Chad Hobbs
As the end of October approached, I was preparing for Halloween’s arrival. Unfortunately for my household, it was all trick and no treat this year.
We had worn our masks for months, as did my sixth-grade son when the school was finally opened back up. A week before the holiday, however, we had an early visitor come to our door. It wasn’t there for treats. It was tricks it had up its microscopic sleeve.
cOVID had come a knocking, and I couldn’t keep it from coming in. It is hard to know for sure the when or how of its arrival – such is the nature of viral visitors, but it manifested its entrance through my young son.
Not long after he arrived home from school the Friday before Halloween, my child who rarely complains about anything said he had a headache and felt stuffy. By the next morning, he had a terrible headache, was even stuffier and said his throat was a little sore. He laid around the rest of the day with that undeniable, tell-tell look of sickness in his eyes that every parent has seen when their child falls ill. As bad as he was on Saturday, he did a complete 180 on Sunday.
I won’t lie, that was a huge sigh of relief because most of the day Saturday I was beginning to worry he had COVID. Well, that was short lived optimism. By Monday, my wife was feeling bad in a generic, non-specific kind of way. By that point, I had passed my son’s short-lived illness off as a cold. After all, it is cold season, too.
That Tuesday had been a particularly stressful one to begin with. Not only is that the day we lay out the paper, but we were down two members of our small team of daily staff members already – one to vacation and the other to quarantine after their spouse tested positive for COVID. By the end of the day, my wife called, sounding a little shaken. She said she had lost her sense of smell and taste. As she tested positive the following morning, it became apparent our son hadn’t just had a cold. Within the week, I too would find myself sick as well, and would spend the end of October and beginning of November quarantined at home.
These are my thoughts on the virus, relative to the experience of myself and those close to me. How it found its way into my house, I cannot say. It was not for lack of wearing a mask. It was not from some “super spreader” event we attended. So, I would caution pointing fingers at why this thing is spreading and who is at fault. We followed the recommendations. We followed the mandates. Yet, we still got it.
As far as the seriousness of the illness for us, it was similar to my previous experience with the flu. I do not say that lightly or to make light of the virus. Trust me, I was sick. I had the worst fatigue I have ever experienced. The headaches were horrendous. My spouse lost her taste and smell, but I did not. Otherwise, our symptoms were pretty similar. We were stuffy, but had no sore throat. G.I. issues came and went. We both smoke way too much, but neither of us ever got close to having any respiratory distress. It was easy to get winded, though and the fatigue was ridiculous.
As far as the health department’s involvement, contrary to popular belief, it was non-existent in our experience. This is not to knock them, but they have obviously been overwhelmed by the contact tracing at this point. We were never contacted, nor were my colleague’s family, after they received multiple positive tests.
Whether the virus is getting more contagious but less severe as it continues to mutate, or we just got lucky in our house, I cannot say. Fortunately, for whatever reason, we were pretty sick but never in threat of hospitalization. Hopefully, as the numbers of positive cases continue to rise, this will be the experience for most. Sadly, for some though, this has not been the case.