GUIZERIX: COVID’s come a-calling

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, January 11, 2023

After three years of successfully evading the coronavirus, I finally came down with it on Friday.

At first, I honestly thought I’d eaten some salsa that was too spicy. The tickle in my throat was faint, nothing a cough drop or two couldn’t fix — or so I thought.

Cut to Saturday night, and I’m in bed with a fever, chills, aches and all the side effects associated with COVID-19. The congestion was so bad, it was like walking around while wearing a fishbowl for a hat.

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Thankfully, this latest version of COVID isn’t too bad, at least in my experience. Once I broke the fever, it’s been a steady tapering off of the other symptoms while I wait for quarantine to end so I can reenter society as a changed woman.

Perhaps the most difficult side-effect I’ve experienced is the near-total erasure of my sense of smell. It was like a switch flipped, and suddenly, my sniffer wasn’t sniffing.

I cried when I held my toddler close after her bath and realized I couldn’t smell that “clean-baby smell” I love so much. It’s frustrated me that, after being gifted perfumes for Christmas, I can’t tell which scent is which.

Even mealtimes, something I typically look forward to as a cornbread-fed Southern woman, are losing their luster. Fun fact: If one experiences anosmia (the 10-dollar word for loss of smell), their sense of taste is greatly diminished as well.

It’s like everything I eat is sponsored by La Croix — the admittedly refreshing but largely flavorless sparkling water brand. I get faint hints of sweetness, sourness, spiciness and bitterness, but by and large, it’s just a sad state of affairs.

Don’t get me wrong, I realize that making it through COVID-19 with only a screwed-up schnoz is a light sentence. It could be much worse: My toddler, my husband or myself could’ve gone to the hospital or experienced serious health complications from the virus.

That’s something I’ll keep in mind once my quarantine ends and I can resume life (mostly) as normal.

When I do return to life in person, I’m going to heed advice from the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and wear a mask for five days to ensure I’m not spreading germs to those who wouldn’t fare so well if they got sick.

COVID-19 is real, and thanks to advances in medicine over the last three years, it’s much more treatable than when it first appeared three years ago. But what wasn’t worse than a bad sinus infection for me could potentially be devastating for someone else.

I’m counting down the days to when life will return to normal, enjoying this little break from being around people and waiting somewhat impatiently for my senses to return to normal.

If anyone knows how to get my olfactories in order, drop me a line.