Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (and Whimsy)

Posted on March 30, 2022 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with no comments yet


The Covid Couch


Sometimes, it is very difficult to describe something you’ve witnessed. It’s even harder to describe feelings. Over many years now in this space, I have shared many stories with you about places I’ve been, people I’ve met, and some of the weird and wacky experiences we all encounter at some point in our lives. I have tried to describe phenomena like a lightning strike. Yes, I was in our house when it was struck by lightning eight years ago. I have attempted to capture the majesty of the Northern Lights and the Grand Canyon with limited success. I have taken you to vastly different places in the world from one of the hottest (India) to one of the coldest (the Arctic). How does one describe love, loss, elation, or depression?

Some things simply defy description.

Eleven days ago, I was in Halifax visiting a friend. Both of us are music lovers and decided that it was time that we venture out and catch some live music at a well -known Halifax pub. The fact that we had to make a reservation, led us to believe that some Covid protocols were still being followed. We would discover that reservations were needed because a very popular two-man band was playing and after two years of no live performances, seating would be at a premium. Of course, this was a mere two days before the province of Nova Scotia was going to drop mask mandates. We dutifully wore our masks entering the pub and were escorted to our table – a ring side seat just a few feet away from the band. There was no distancing of tables, and the place was packed. The table immediately beside us had approximately 16 people. Even before the music began, you could tell that they were in a mood to party. That feeling permeated the room. Of course, once seated and with a beer in hand, nobody was wearing masks.

I’m watching you nodding your heads knowing what’s coming next.

An experienced band knows how to play their instruments… and the crowd. The first set had many great singalong tunes, but none that one would consider high octane. Shots arrived at the adjacent table and the volume level went up noticeably. The mood was terrific, and it was so great to see everyone wearing broad grins.

During the first intermission, I approached the stage (masked) to chat with the two band members, people I know very well. They were in top notch form.

The noise level in the pub went up several decibels as alcohol flowed freely. It was only a matter of time before the dance floor was occupied.

So, bye, bye, Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry”. American Pie is hardly a song that will blow the roof off a drinking establishment but if you want to get the crowd engaged, then this Don McLean classic is a sure-fire starter.

“Goddam them all, I was told, we’d cruise the seas for American gold” We all know what happens when you combine matches and gasoline. This was the song that ramped up the energy level in a big way. People were singing as loud as they could, clapping their hands, and banging glasses of ale on their tables.

“Oh me, oh my, I heard me old wife cry; oh me, oh my, I think I’m gonna die”. The band had found their groove and the crowd was eating it up.

“Sometimes we’re bound for Liverpool, sometimes we’re bound for Spain, heave away, me jolly boys, we’re all bound away. When a complete stranger tries to wrangle you on to the dance floor, you know the party has neared its zenith.

“And I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walks a thousand miles, to fall down at your door. Da, da, da, da, da, da; da, da, da, da, da, da; da da da dun diddleun diddle un diddle uh da, da”. Those of you who remember pinball machines recall that if you shook the machine too violently, it would “tilt”. By the time the boys finished their second and last set, the entire room was a bit tilted.

Do you ever get that gnawing feeling that you’ve done something that you might regret?

As we exited the pub, I turned to my friend and said that if we didn’t get Covid after this experience, we weren’t likely to ever get it.

Two days later, we both had Covid.

It might not surprise you that many other people at the pub that afternoon also received a positive test result.

Many people have said that the symptoms of variants are much milder than the original virus. I beg to differ.

Please bear with me and allow me to try and describe how it must feel to be hit by a bus.

(BTW. After last week’s Words of Wisdom about Covid, I vowed to myself never to write another word on the subject. “How did that turn out, Len?”)

Two days after being in the pub, I felt “off”. You know that feeling when you know something is brewing but you can’t quite put your finger on it. The day after this onset, all of the well- known Covid symptoms started to emerge. Despite having two negative rapid tests and knowing that my friend had tested positive, I decided to book a PCR test and was fortunate enough to get one that very day. The next day, I woke up and found that a bus had roared through my bedroom overnight and landed on top of me. I did another rapid test, and it came up positive, as did the PCR later that day.

Most god-fearing Canadians have at one time or another, consumed too much alcohol. If you haven’t, bravo! You don’t have to read this paragraph. Now, I didn’t wake up with nausea that might be brought on by doing multiple shots of tequila, but I did have a headache that must have been spawned in hell. Trying to get out of bed was excruciating. Even trying to process a thought was pain inducing. Persistent cough. Check. Runny nose. Check. Congestion. Check. Fever and chills. Check. Achy joints. Check.

WARNING. FOR MEN ONLY. Most septuagenarians have to get up at least once a night to pee. I haven’t done an exhaustive survey, but I believe most men do their business (#1 anyway!) standing up. Finding the toilet bowl while semi-conscious is typically an act of faith. Much to the chagrin of spouses or partners, a man’s aim is not always on the mark. Now when you crawl out of bed and your body is shaking violently with chills, finding the bathroom is tricky enough let alone finding the toilet bowl. Sorry, ladies for this rather crass visual.

You can’t fool this old dog. I know every woman reading this post read the last paragraph.

We all know what happens in small towns when someone dies. There is an outpouring of concern and goodwill. This includes transfer trailers full of food showing up on the doorstep of the deceased’s family. I have discovered that being sick with Covid evokes similar gestures. As a courtesy to the residents in my building, I felt it necessary to tell them that I had tested positive. I also told my children and siblings. Soup, casseroles, homemade biscuits, and a variety of sweets appeared at my door. It was, as they say, an embarrassment of riches. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I also lost my sense of taste and smell. I didn’t mind scarfing down tuna casserole that I couldn’t taste but to eat a dessert in this condition would border on blasphemy. Joni Mitchell said it best: “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.” As of this writing, my sense of smell and taste have not returned.

By the end of the week, almost all of the symptoms were gone, and I was left with something bordering on the common cold. The good news is that I now have an additional layer of protection in addition to my vaccines and booster shots.

Many people exhibit very mild symptoms with Covid. I naively thought that I would be one of those lucky people. This is not meant to elicit sympathy. No “pity party” required.

“Oh me, oh my, I think I’m going to die”.

Not quite yet!

Have a great weekend and hello April.

P.S. There will be no public shaming. I am pleased to report that yesterday, I finished writing the first draft of my book about the north. It will be, by far, my biggest book. There are presently in excess of 80,000 words but after a serious culling, it might be more like 70,000 to 75,000. Stay tuned

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Highland Hearing Clinic

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