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Kicking Covid

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to The Village News

It is my hope you never discover what Covid is like. Cause, it ain’t nothing. For me, it was a rough week. Here’s what happened to us.

First of all, everyone that boarded the Grand Princess ship headed to Hawaii April 4 had to show proof of a supervised-negative-Covid test result taken within the last 48-hours before boarding in San Pedro.

Since we are both vaccinated early and boostered one time each, neither of us were concerned about getting a negative-covid-pre-cruise test result. We felt confident that we’d be OK. And we were.

Still, on the 11th day of the return voyage of the 15-day round trip cruise to Hawaii, my husband started coughing. We were confident it was a cold. Fellow passengers agreed with us since we all were negative when we boarded and isn’t Hawaii the most conscientious state in the union on Covid regulations? It sounded like his nasal passage was clogged. It had to be a cold.

So, he went to bed for 16 hours and felt better the next day. No need to panic, it was just a cold.

As we kept repeating to ourselves, after all, it couldn’t be anything else since we and everyone on the boat were all cleared of Covid before boarding.

And then. My cough started. It didn’t clog up in my chest. We could both function and just felt like we had bad colds. Never considering anything else.

Thinking back, we both wonder how anyone could get infected? The only possibility could be we were infected while on a local tour in Hawaii four days earlier. As I recall, no one was ever retested when returning to ship after taking a tour. Hmmm?

Tuesday, April 19, we got home to Fallbrook. We’d missed doughnut Sunday, so stopped at our local doughnut hole to grab a bag of treats to entice the grandkids down for a quick hello.

It wasn’t until they scooted back up the hill homeward bound that we thought to clear our conscience, so we both took an at-home-Covid test. Actually, I said “there was no way I could be infected, but if his home test was positive, I would take a test too.” Bingo. We’d won the lottery. Both of us tested positive.

I immediately put in a call for an appointment with my doctor. It happened, I could get a telemedicine appointment that day and so I took it.

As it turned out, I was within the first three days of infection which meant the doc could prescribe Paxlovid. It’s a five-day program that made a huge difference in my recovery.

Here’s the thing. We’ve both been vaccinated and each had one booster. How in the blazes did it break through our immune system?

My doctor seemed to believe I’d recover with or without the script, but I asked for it just the same. I am pleased to report by Day Four, I was at 80% cured.

The symptoms I had included bone ache, extreme fatigue, and for one morning my entire sinus cavity was clogged making me breathe through my mouth which created extreme dry mouth and a sleepless night.

Admittedly, we were naïve about what it felt like to get this strain of flu vs a cold. (We are still unclear why our federally funded at-home-Covid tests are made in China?)

What we discovered about this virus is that after five days of covid, you are no longer contagious. After 10 days you need not isolate. There is an upside in that we are now immune for six months. (So, we’ve been told).

To the best of my knowledge, that is what I have gleaned from our experience.

Naturally, I was yelled at by my daughter for getting the covid-flu strain and she declared she’d murder me if my symptoms escalated. Or if I contracted the omicron strain, although mostly it’s not lethal but can be. Nothing stops it.

If there is a moral to this story, for us, the vaccine kept us from having a more difficult case of this flu, and our doc recommends a second booster after the six months immunity expires. That’s what we’re gonna do. Everyone gets to decide for themselves.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected]


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