I Finally Got COVID — and I’m Okay, But It’s Far From Over
I knew it was a risk to go back home for the holidays.
After spending hundreds of dollars doing the necessary testing, paying for the flights, giving up days of my time to be able to travel, and weighing out all the risks, it was the gamble I was willing to take.
Yet, I was still shocked when I saw those two bright red lines on my rapid antigen test notifying me that I was positive.
I was really upset at first. I had done everything within my power to be as safe as possible and had just tested negative 36 hours beforehand — how could I have gotten it?
Well, Angela, being in two airports, two airplanes, and a bus can do it to you.
But still, I grappled with my guilt for a few days because I couldn’t stop thinking about all the people I had potentially exposed the virus to.
Then I realized that this was a much larger conversation than just little ol’ me getting COVID.
Just because I finally tested positive for it, doesn’t mean that my guilt started that moment.
I’ve been guilty since the start of the pandemic — we all have.
Some of us less so than others. I would say the majority of us have done our best, within our mental and emotional capacities, to follow public health guidelines. We’ve all individually sacrificed something in order to do what’s best for others around us. Unless you’re these idiot “influencers” who travelled to Cancun from Quebec on a “party” plane, then I have no sympathies for you.
For everyone else though, the bottom line is, these last two years have royally sucked in so many ways.
And in getting COVID coming into this third year of the pandemic, it has given me a stark and somber reminder — we’re far from the end if it even exists.
Booster shots are being rolled out because our two vaccines aren’t enough to protect us anymore — we knew this was coming. However, I can’t help but think about countries around the world that are still waiting to even give one vaccination to their average citizen.
A large part as to why we are still in this dumpster fire is because we are selfish. Our governments decided that the health of the greater public was not more important than elections, national interests, and money. We decided that hoarding vaccines were more important than distributing them equally because of patents and revenues.
Many able-bodied adults refuse to get vaccines because of conspiracies, distrust, and whatever other excuses they’ve been able to make for themselves.
Large amounts of the population in Western societies claim that COVID isn’t “serious” and that we’ve gone too far with these totalitarian-like restrictions and lockdowns.
Fundamentally, we’ve really messed this all up.
Even my own whining to my loved ones about getting COVID was selfish. I’m a young able-bodied woman who will bounce back easily from it. Thankfully, it will most likely (knock on wood) not have any serious repercussions on my personal health. Thankfully, I’m in a period of my life where isolating for x amount of days won’t devastate me financially or emotionally.
I can’t say the same for others who have loved ones who have passed on because of this ongoing virus, or individuals who are struggling to get the care they need because our hospitals are once again overwhelmed. COVID is a serious thing and we need to stop this narrative that Omicron is only “mild”.
For many people, it is not.
Frankly, I don’t know if normal even exists anymore. And if we even want normal, because normal is what got us into this mess anyway.
To be honest, I’m not sure where I wanted this piece to go. Maybe just a place to rant, let out my frustrations, and say what’s on my mind.
However, I never want to be just doom and gloom, because well, I don’t think I could handle that emotionally or mentally.
Despite the absolute chaos of the way we’ve handled this virus, getting COVID also reminded me of all the good that exists out there.
Neighbours and strangers are helping each other out and lending a helping hand. People are volunteering their time to contribute resources and time to the communities they love. Individuals are engaging in difficult conversations to facilitate co-learning.
It’s important to acknowledge these little things because we all need to remember that there’s always sunshine somewhere, wherever you may be.