Thursday, March 9, 2023


I went to work yesterday. I just couldn't face another morning of trying to find a library substitute, and besides, I just had the sniffles. An itchy, stuffy nose, basically. I didn't walk to work like I usually do, given the weather, but instead navigated the newly-fallen snow to the tube.

I worked all day, mostly feeling OK. I checked out books, I re-shelved. I helped manage a shelter-in-place drill, which is meant to rehearse our actions should be have a school shooter or some similar event that requires us to hide out in the building. (Those drills are creepy. I hate them.) And I put the finishing touches on our book display about dragons, using an old tapestry banner I found years ago in one of our library cabinets:

No one knows where this banner of St. George slaying the dragon came from or who made it, but it's pretty fabulous and I was glad to finally be able to use it. I think it's two or three decades old, at least, and it could use a good cleaning, but the age spots aren't readily noticeable when it's hanging up. (We also have similar banners featuring the Statue of Liberty and an eagle with the American flag.) Its only real flaw is that the shaft of George's spear is missing. Let's see if anyone notices.

Anyway, I plugged along until mid-afternoon, when I began to feel a bit worse. Just woozy and, well, sick. While talking to my boss, she mentioned another of our colleagues who recently tested positive for Covid and he'd been surprised because it "felt like allergies."

Alarm bells went off in my head.

Throughout this cold I've dismissed the possibility of Covid because I didn't have Covid symptoms -- no loss of taste, not much of a cough, no shortness of breath, no apparent fever. I just feel a sort of malaise and mostly nasal congestion. Dave feels the same and he was equally dismissive (and also went to work yesterday).

I saw the day through and came home, and the first thing I did was take a Covid test. Dave took one too. And of course, they were positive.

So, yeah, both of us basically super-spread Covid all day. I think I probably had it Monday too, when I also worked. I am SO mortified. I called my boss and confessed I'd tested positive, and e-mailed my co-workers with an apology. It's probably too much to hope they won't get it, but maybe we'll be lucky.

(Top photo: From my walk in the cemetery with Olga on Saturday.)


gz said...

So easy to pick up an infection...but you have the consolation that you are conscientious.
Get well soon all

Moving with Mitchell said...

Oh, crap! I've tested negative three times in three days. Maybe I'll test again. Be well and hope you didn't inadvertently spread the wealth.

Andrew said...

I was going to mention Covid when you mentioned you were unwell, even if not really sick. I thought you would have tested yourself. Ah well, a week off work is not so bad if you don't feel too bad.

sparklingmerlot said...

Oh dear. I think with the developing strains the classic symptoms (like loss of smell) aren't necessarily a sure fire thing.
Is the shelter in place drill because you are an American school or is it common in English schools. Fortunately we don't have to have them here and I hope on all things holy we never have to.
I do love the old statues in cemeteries. We don't get them here for obvious reasons. The first nation people didn't erect monuments to their dead and the western influence is only a couple of hundred years old.

Frances said...

I was a bit surprised that you have those drills.....certainly doesn't happen in English schools! Are Americans abroad allowed to bring their guns? I doubt it! Hope that you get over the covid quickly and easily. I read yesterday that I shall be getting yet another booster ( spring booster!)

River said...

That's the sneaky thing about Covid, the newer variations don't have the same symptoms as the original, they are more like allergies, colds and flu.

Ursula said...

Don't shoot me. I am only putting forward a point.

Does it actually matter whether it's Covid that ails you - and may have passed on? As long as I can remember back, in England in particular, people would sacrifice other people's health and drag themselves into offices despite being on death's door (common garden gnome flu - no laughing matter). I actually despise(d) those worker bees. Sit it out, sleep it off, I'd say, in the privacy of your own company.

I wish both you and Dave well - just keep reading your backlog of The New Yorker and pray you won't be subject to what's termed "Long Covid". That would be pretty shit bat luck, though not infectious. A bit like the fall out of Glandular Fever or ME.

Before you say it, yes, it's well known my bedside manner is atrocious.


Sabine said...

Speedy recovery to you both. I lived unknowingly in close proximity with my covid positive husband for several days, he was just cranky, slept poorly and headachy and on day four finally had a positive test whereas I have remained covid free throughout. Vaccines work. Both for humans and the virus - it must be so pissed off with us by now.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Oh dear! Millions of people have died from COVID you know. I hope that you and Dave are not about to join their ranks as this would mess up my morning blog reading habits. Also - who would look after Olga?

Boud said...

Sorry you came down with covid, and inadvertently took it to work. Let's hope it's all mild and soon resolved. You're so conscientious about your colleagues.

Ms. Moon said...

Ooh boy. Sounds exactly like what's happening over here although we haven't taken a covid test. A few days of light symptoms and then BOOM! We're both coughing up substances best left undescribed. And feeling SICK. And I spent all day in town yesterday, certain that I was fine, fine, fine, no doubt exposing whatever this is to all I came across. I feel horrible about that.
Rest up, Steve. You and Dave get better soon.

Ms. Moon said...

P.S. I do love that dragon so very much.

Ellen D. said...

I am so sorry to hear that you and Dave have Covid. Hope you get well soon. Read, relax and recover!

Ed said...

I wouldn't blame you. It is just our new reality these days and it will happened elsewhere and with others doing the spreading. I think the best anyone can do is to just stay up with the vaccine but that is still a big ask over here on this side of the pond.

Red said...

I wish you a speedy recovery. I think you had your shots and that your colleagues have had shots and won't get covid.

Sharon said...

Oh no! Just when we all thought things were getting better. I hope it turns out to be a very mild case. I just asked my doctor yesterday about getting more shots. She said that there should be a new vaccine come out in the fall and I should wait for the new version.
I hope you have a very speedy recovery.

Debby said...

Oh NO! I suppose that I should probably test too. Thanks for the nudge.

NewRobin13 said...

I was so hoping that you two were feeling better and was surprised to read that you and Dave have Covid. I so hope that you both recover quickly. Please take care there. Thinking of you both.

Kelly said...

I'm sorry you and Dave both have Covid! Even from the start, I've noticed symptoms can vary and even those in close contact with the infected don't always get it. You didn't know and now that you do, you're doing the right thing. I hope it's a quick recovery for both of you!

Bob said...

Hope y'all feel better soon, and that this doesn't become a "thing" at the school.

We still mask up when we go into crowded spots ands it makes me feel better.

Allison said...

Well crap. I am sorry to read this. Here's hoping for a quick recovery and no long sequelae. At this point in the life of the virus,any illness requires a Covid test, it's just that sneaky.

The Padre said...


The Bug said...

That banner is very cool! And I'm sorry you guys have COVID - hopefully it remains mild!

John Going Gently said...

Poor u xx look after yourself

That first photo is sublime

Jeanie said...

Oh crap. That's awful and I'm so sorry. I hope it's not a bad case and eases up soon -- but ick. Please lay low (I'm pretty sure I don't even have to suggest that) and take care -- get well soon.

Jeanie said...

Oh Steve, I'm so sorry. That's totally crappy and sorry that both of you are in the same boat. I probably don't even have to say "lay low" because what else can you do? But do take care and get well soon!

Jim Davis said...

Well, damn, Covid again. Sorry to hear that. Do take care of yourselves, hope you feel better soon.

Margaret said...

I'm so sorry that you're dealing with Covid; I hope it doesn't get any worse and improves quickly. I'm waiting to get it since I've frequently been to visit my mom in the care facility, although the whole staff and visitors are masked. However, the patients aren't.

Steve Reed said...

GZ: Not conscientious enough! If I were conscientious I'd have tested earlier. Oh well, what's done is done.

Mitchell: I think if you tested negative during your fever, you're negative.

Andrew: It just seemed too mild even to test! It's funny how I suspect Covid when I'm sick, except when I actually HAVE Covid and then don't suspect it at all.

Caro: I don't believe English schools do them.

Frances: No, Americans here are subject to English gun laws just like everyone else! Like most American installations around the world (embassies, etc.) we are very security-conscious, though.

River: I am surprised how mild this is. Even more mild than my first bout with Covid a year ago.

Ursula: No, you're right -- we should stay home regardless of what we have. I'd probably have stayed home Wednesday except I had such a hard time negotiating coverage for my position on Tuesday, when I did stay home. It just seemed easier to go to work on Wednesday.

Sabine: Yeah, I've heard other tales of couples where one was positive and the other not. It isn't inevitable that the virus spreads. But it is likely.

YP: A ray of sunshine you are. :)

Boud: I feel so bad for exposing them!

Ms Moon: It might be worth a test, though when no one else is testing it's probably more for your own curiosity than anything else. I guess nowadays we're treating Covid like any other cold or flu.

Ellen D: That's the plan!

Ed: I'll keep up with it, as I always have. (Maybe that's why my illness has been so mild).

Red: Fingers crossed you're correct!

Sharon: Interesting. I guess they're treating them like flu shots now -- engineering Covid shots to respond to the newest varieties.

Debby: If you're feeling sniffly it's a good idea!

Robin: Not as surprised as us! :)

Kelly: I didn't know but I feel like I SHOULD have known.

Bob: Well, it's already a "thing" at the school, even without us. It's been going around.

Allison: It IS sneaky.

Padre: Unfortunately, real.

Bug: Isn't it a cool banner? It's been in the cabinet for years and I've always wanted to display it, so it's nice to be able to do so now.

John: Fortunately it's more nuisance than anything else!

Jeanie: It's not a bad case at all, so that's something. (I think your first comment went to spam but I found it. :) )

Jim: Our new reality!

Margaret: A care facility is probably a pretty safe place, actually, because everyone there is SO careful about Covid. If you want it, come to a school!