SURRATT: COVID-19 has gotten personal

Published 4:00 am Friday, January 14, 2022

COVID-19 has hit home. Literally.

I say that as I sit here at the kitchen table wearing a mask and writing this column on my laptop at 10 p.m. with the movie, “The Bridge On the River Kwai” getting ready to come on Turner Classic Movies.

COVID, which has now become the topic of popular discussion, talk shows and information both factual and fictional, hit my home Tuesday afternoon when my wife, who had been suffering from an upper respiratory problem for several days went to a local walk-in clinic and was tested for the flu and COVID and passed both.

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I greeted the news that she tested positive for both diseases with obvious concern and hope that the vaccinations we both received during the summer meant she would have a light case of what is now known as the Omicron variant. I was also praying and hoping that the booster shot I received last weekend was in full effect.

I had the same concerns when my daughter, who has not been vaccinated and had tested negative for COVID and the flu last week, announced Wednesday afternoon after a visit to another local walk-in clinic that she also tested positive for COVID.

It’s strange, and I guess kind of funny, that my family went through all of 2020 with its major outbreaks and spikes of COVID and managed to avoid catching the disease — and yes, it is a disease. COVID-19, for anyone interested, is an acronym for Coronavirus Disease-2019.

We did all the right things back then, wearing masks, washing hands, staying away from crowds and keeping the required social distance when out. We even swallowed our fear of needles and got the vaccinations that we hoped would at least give us protection, if not from the disease itself, possibly allow us to have a minor form of the illness if we caught it.

Now that two members of my family have caught COVID-19, we’re back to 2020, in a sense. Wearing the face masks, keeping the social distancing and trying in some way, shape or form to isolate ourselves — a difficult feat in a two-bedroom apartment, but we’ve managed to do some of it.

Come Friday, when this column runs, my family will have gone through two days (since the diagnosis Tuesday) with COVID — and the flu — in our humble home. And as I write this, I feel a bit fatigued myself and not sure if it’s sympathy for my wife and daughter, age or if I’m down with a touch of the malady myself. That will be a wait-and-see proposition. Since I’ve had the shots and the booster, my quarantine will end (hopefully) Sunday and I will return to the friendly confines of the newsroom and my desk on Monday. Or, my wife and daughter could recover and I could find myself in the grips of one, or two, respiratory diseases.

I’m hoping I can wake up Monday, have breakfast get dressed and then walk to my car and go to work. I’m a terrible patient and, like my mother, I don’t like having to stay in bed sick.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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