Sunday, April 10, 2022

Delay for Drama


Surprise! I'm still in London.

Why is a long story involving my own hyper-cautious nature and unique personal neuroses. Basically, I began feeling a little peculiar on Friday, and I worried I was coming down with something. It seemed unlikely to be Covid, given that I had Covid only two months ago and should still have some natural immunity -- and I didn't have the hallmark symptoms of Covid (cough or fever). But I also know that I work in an environment where Covid is making the rounds and the last thing I want to do is get on a plane and be a vector of illness.

(To be fair, Covid is making the rounds all over the country, not just where I work. The Office of National Statistics says one in 13 people in the UK had Covid the week ending April 2 -- about 4.9 million infections!) 

So on Saturday morning I called British Airways and postponed the flight a day. I'd already taken a negative antigen test, but I figured I could go get a pre-flight PCR test for an extra measure of security. So that's what I did -- I went down to a shopping center near Victoria Station and got tested, and that test came back negative last night.

That still leaves me in a bit of a conundrum, though. I apparently don't have Covid, but I feel like I might have something, even though my symptoms are mainly just fatigue and a mild headache around my eyes. So do I get on the plane? I'm still waffling.

Fortunately, British Airways is very flexible about these things because of course they don't want sick people traveling either. In the midst of Covid they'll make changes for illness without any additional fees or penalties. I could postpone the whole trip until June.

Or I could just go, because I also know that I'm a drama queen when it comes to illness and I am entirely likely to be making up this whole situation. My "symptoms" are very subjective.


On a positive note, staying home yesterday allowed me to sit out in the garden and see the first butterfly of the season -- a peacock on our forget-me-nots. I blogged a very similar photo almost exactly two years ago.

I also took Olga to the cemetery, and although I felt like I was walking through wet cement on the way home, we had a good outing. I was waylaid by a very chatty woman who regaled me with the story of how she acquired her pug -- apparently her brother saw it standing unattended outside a "gypsy camp" under the Westway and took it to a vet, where its microchip identified its owner as someone in Canada. Her theory is that the Canadian moved to England and brought the dog, and a "gypsy" stole it. So she is now adopting it. It sounded to me like her brother was actually the dog thief in this story, but I resisted the urge to tell her that.

People are so funny. Why would this woman I have never seen before feel the need to tell me, a total stranger, such a tale?

(Top photo: The dancer atop the Victoria Palace theater, where I saw "Hamilton" several years ago, near Victoria Station.)

63 comments:

Elizabeth said...

That woman's story sounds almost like a fever dream! I'm sorry that you're not feeling well -- since the pandamnic, I've felt unwell on and off a lot. I guess it's psychosomatic, since I've never tested positive for Covid, but I'm actually not a drama queen. Viruses are very, very weird.

Rachel Phillips said...

Maybe psychologically you were thinking of Olga at the back of your mind and you wanted to find a way of staying with her.

River said...

I wouldn't be flying either while feeling a bit "off". That's a beautiful butterfly. I almost never see butterflies anymore. A rare monarch every few years is all.

Tasker Dunham said...

I bet she was a northerner.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Well that's a shame! I was looking forward to more of your Florida tales. From your description of the symptoms, I think you may be suffering from reedus steveitis, commonly known as Sidewalk Syndrome. Best wishes if you get away today!

gz said...

Better safe than sorry..hope all goes well in the end

Sharon said...

Sorry you are not feeling well. These days, I would be concerned too. In fact, I am concerned every time a new sniffle or ache shows up. That woman's story about the dog is very strange. It sounds like something she might have dreamed.

Marty said...

Hmm. I thought the idea of a chip was to contact the owner when the dog is lost. Doesn’t sound like any effort was made in that direction!
Hope you’re feeling better soon.

Angelicastar said...

They stole the dog and if the vet scanned the chip he/she was suppose to keep the pet and contact the owner. She is only feeling guilty. How can you adopt a stolen pet. She and her brother need jail time. By the way follow your better thoughts in reference to your trip to Florida. Sometimes our mind give us a warning on what not to do. Very glad Olga is feeling better.

Bob said...

Hopefully all works out and you can have your getaway.

That woman is the recipient of stolen property and is as guilty as her brother.

Boud said...

Sorry you're under the weather, but better not risk a flight if you have any doubts. Any virus is not good to take on a plane. There may be Covid adjacent viruses around.

Sabine said...

Get better soon!

jenny_o said...

This is the kind of conundrum that I truly dislike when I'm having it! I hope the answer becomes clearer over the next few hours. And I hope you get to go ahead with your travels.

I wonder what the REAL story is about that dog. I hope it gets good care.

ellen abbott said...

I don't suppose it occured to either one of them that the dog's owner was there at the 'gypsy camp'.

As long as British Airways lets you change the date of your flight without an extra charge why not just postpone it til you feel well.

Ms. Moon said...

As we are learning around here, covid is not the only thing making people very sick. Wait until you're sure you feel okay. Of course we can never know that we're entirely bug-free. But I think you made the right decision.

Jenny Woolf said...

I've known a couple of people who felt really bad but had 3 or 4 days of negative tests before getting a positive. One of them actually had a flight booked to give a talk and went anyhow, was too tired to give the talk, returned to UK spent 2 days in bed wondering what the heck was wrong with her THEN FINALLY got a positive test. Apparently lateral flow test is only 75 percent with this variant. I had Covid 2 months ago too and have had 2 days of unexplained extreme fatigue since, tho that has gone away quite fast. This whole Covid bug is apparently really unusual from a medical point of view and medics apparently don't fully understand it. Sooo I would put it off.but good luck if you go ahead cos it IS a really hard decision.

NewRobin13 said...

I think you made the right choice about not getting on that plane. I appreciate British Airways making it easier for passengers to change their flight plans. I hope you feel better soon and that every test you take is negative. Take care there.

Michael said...

I have been absent from blogging for a bit, and I am just catching up on yours. Safe travels to Florida. I hope you feel better and that your trip goes smoothly.

Colette said...

Hope you feel better soon. I'm imagining that woman was super lonely, and had forgotten how to have a casual conversation with strangers.

Kelly said...

What a bizarre story about the pug. I look forward to tomorrow's entry to see where you are!

Red said...

When it comes to the trip, I say go for it.

Allison said...

I hate the feeling bad with no real symptoms other than feeling bad and not knowing what will develop from it. Hopefully it will pass quickly and you can go to Florida.

Wilma said...

Your photo of the dancer atop the Victoria Palace Theatre is wonderful - she looks like she is leaping for the cable on the cranes.

Margaret said...

That woman sounds lonely. I was a little like that when I was first widowed. I just needed to talk to someone. I would throw on a KN95 or N95 and go.

Ellen D. said...

Whatever you decide to do, it will all work out. Feel better no matter what!

James and Brigitta said...

I probably would take the advantage of not having to pay for changing my flight but only because I think it's a shame to spend my vacation feeling under the weather. I'm really not worried about getting Covid anymore,'most' people don't get that sick anymore, just like most survive the flu or a bad cold (unless you're immune depressed). I'm not making light of it, the first strain was much deadlier, and I am vaccinated and boosted, but I have let go of the fear and of thinking it's something we still should take other special precautions for. I think we got this.

The Bug said...

I agree with those who've said to postpone if you don't feel well - it would be no fun to take a trip if you're under the weather. And that means that you can spend your time tracking down the pug and getting it back to its rightful owner! Although no one has said anything about how the pug feels - maybe he likes the crazy lady. Ha!

Debby said...

Flying with a cold is misery.

Unknown said...

That's a bit of a pain, no pun. You know your own body better than anyone.

The butterfly is a beauty.

If the dog was well cared for, it should not have been taken.

Catalyst said...

Because she saw you were a dog lover. A sickly dog owner, but still.

Steve Reed said...

I think the power of suggestion can be very strong, particularly when it comes to illness. (At least for me.) But yes, viruses ARE weird!

Steve Reed said...

Leaving Olga is definitely a downside of traveling! But Dave sends me daily pictures. :)

Steve Reed said...

It's one of the prettiest butterflies we have, and the last couple of years we've seen quite a few of them. We don't get monarchs, though!

Steve Reed said...

LOL -- as long as we're deploying stereotypes!

Steve Reed said...

You'll get Florida tales now that I'm here!

Steve Reed said...

I think it's all fine. Just me being hypercautious.

Steve Reed said...

It was a strange story, and definitely a how-did-I-get-in-this-conversation moment for me.

Steve Reed said...

She was vague on whether anyone had tried to contact the Canadian!

Steve Reed said...

Exactly -- they're every bit as guilty of thievery, it seems to me!

Steve Reed said...

I think so too. How do they know the pug's Canadian owner didn't live in the "gypsy camp"?

Steve Reed said...

And of course now that I'm here I could still get Covid any day. There is no absolute security, is there?!

Steve Reed said...

Thanks!

Steve Reed said...

It's the conundrum I most dread, which is probably why I brought it upon myself.

Steve Reed said...

Exactly! Who's to say the Canadian didn't live there?

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, there are certainly plenty of illnesses making the rounds! I think in my case it was all in my head, though. If I'd had an objectively detectable symptom -- like a fever or a rash -- that would be one thing, but when my only symptoms are things I feel I doubt my own perceptions.

Steve Reed said...

Yes, I've heard that too -- that the tests can be falsely negative at first. I'm not sure that's true of the PCRs, though -- that's why I wanted to get one of those instead of just trusting the lateral flow. The PCRs are more sensitive.

Steve Reed said...

I am so thankful BA is being flexible. (To be fair, I paid a steep price for this ticket in the first place!)

Steve Reed said...

Thanks, and thanks for coming back around, Michael!

Steve Reed said...

I wonder! Maybe that's what was going on. She was very chatty with everyone. I heard her talking to several other people too.

Steve Reed said...

You just never know! LOL

Steve Reed said...

I went for it! You only live once, right?

Steve Reed said...

I do too. I can never tell whether I'm making it all up or not.

Steve Reed said...

Thanks! That's exactly the effect I was going for! (I had to stand in the middle of the street to get that angle, praying there would be no traffic!)

Steve Reed said...

That's certainly possible. And yes, I came and brought my masks!

Steve Reed said...

I like that positive attitude!

Steve Reed said...

I feel the same way when it comes to my own health -- I'm not afraid of catching it at all. I AM afraid of bringing it to older people in my family, though -- particularly this new variant that's so rife in the UK right now. (Still Omicron and relatively mild, fortunately.)

Steve Reed said...

I just decided to crack on and go. I think I was being a drama queen, as I said. The pug seemed perfectly happy!

Steve Reed said...

It is, but I don't think I even have a cold. I think I just had a case of nerves.

Steve Reed said...

I agree -- I don't understand why her brother picked it up in the first place. I think he believed it was lost or abandoned.

Steve Reed said...

Ha! Apparently not sickly enough to scare her off!

Moving with Mitchell said...

I'm also fascinated by what complete strangers might decide to share with me. Sometimes much more than I want to know... like about irritable bowel syndrome. Sorry about the delay. A cousin I saw last week tested positive for Covid -- just found out a day ago. I fly home Tuesday. I've got no symptoms and will test myself daily. So far, negative. I think I'm in the clear. Argh.

Jeanie said...

Sometimes I think strangers feel safer telling a stranger. They don't want to keep telling the same story to their friends or family or perhaps don't want to worry them in some cases. Or maybe you just have a lovely friendly face. You'll know the right thing to do. Wear your mask at least. That'll make everyone feel better.

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