Masking, public opinions, personal opinions, etc.

First some personal stuff: this morning, I did my PT in a very leisurely manner. Then I walked 2 miles on a route which was 95 percent snow-free. Averaged just a hair under 15 mpm (15:15/14:45).

Not much pain, but I do have to roll a bit…and this is now infections go: your recently weak areas get exposed.

I had almost 2 week of symptoms. And I noticed the following: of a group of 3 friends, two with small, slender builds had almost no symptoms at all, whereas the 3 with higher BMI (I am 6 feet, 195 lb pre COVID) had worse symptoms.

Technically, my symptoms would be classified as “mild” as I never had breathing problems; O2 was 97-98; main symptoms were disrupted sleep, fatigue, body aches, old injuries flaring up. Fever was only 1 day, coughing is slight and I did have mild drainage, except for one day where it was heavy.

Still, the experience is unpleasant enough for me to work to avoid in the future; the mask is coming back (I got slack for couple of days).

Public Opinion and masking Yes, I posted a photo of my getting ready to teach a class by Zoom and I posted a video of my wearing a mask while doing push ups.

And OF COURSE, someone had to comment on the mask, each time.

“Mask for Zoom?” and “Bro, take the mask off.”

Context: in the photo, it was my day of my first negative test. It was in the home office room, which has two folding doors leading to the living room, where my wife hangs out. So, I wanted to limit the amount of virus I put in this room (that she uses) and in the adjoining room; this was NOT my isolation room (nicked name “the goathaus”)

In the second case (the video) I had another negative test. But I was doing these in the living room where my wife was, so the mask was to protect her (unseen in the view of the camera.

Moral: if it looks strange that someone is masking, there may be more there than meets the eye. Sometimes, I am walking a short distance between indoor buildings and don’t want to bother with the “on/off”, especially if I am bundled for winter.

First full day back

Yes, it felt good; few streamed the classes. But it WAS tiring.

Maybe this will be the final test result I’ll post.

Workout notes: yesterday, full PT and 5 sets of pull ups; 3 were 6 singles and 2 were 6 reps (ok, 4 if you believe the critics)

I went into the office a bit.

Today: PT (full) and push ups: 5 sets of 20. Then one sort of rough commuter walk; I’ll have to roll a bit and I’ll have to stretch before walking. It wasn’t like the bad old days though..not even close.

Fool’s Gold

The saga continues. Frankly, yesterday’s negative kind of surprised me. I did not feel quite that good. And last night: frequent urination again (not as bad as day 1). And low and behold: faint positive.

I was expecting this yesterday. But I feel ok as I type this and I got a few things done, took a micro walk (about 1/2 mile total) and did my back exercises. Push ups tomorrow with back, and online AGAIN.

Society It appears as if COVID is being accepted as being part of the background now, just another one of life’s risks. I really wish we had used this to invest in better air filtration systems for our schools, office buildings and the like.

I do like that we are going to go to some sort of “seasonal vaccine” to match the current strain. I’ll get one of those for sure. And I’ll probably become a regular mask wearer (indoor in large groups that I do not know), at least “in season.”

Reluctance to get the newest booster

I’ve read about people who got the first vaccine and are now refusing to get the booster and I know some of these personally.

Of course, understanding why would require study by qualified professionals and not just some unqualified blogger throwing some thoughts together.

But here is my guess:

In the US, the vaccination rates of the older age groups are higher than those of the younger age groups. And boosters are recommended for the older age groups.

Now think about what happens as we age: things start to go wrong with our bodies. For example: my blog, at times, is a boring status update of my current health problems.

Within the past 3-4 years, as I went from 59 to 63 years of age, knee problems (long standing) have gotten bad enough to make me stop running. Shoulder problems took away swimming and made me alter lifting (and to do life long physical therapy). Back: yes, I first got treated in 1977, but the problems (spondylolisthesis) got bad enough for me to get an MRI and a referral to a spine surgeon. My psoriasis has flared up from time to time and excessive caffeine intake lead to urinary tract issues (happily resolved, though COVID brought some of it back)

And, if you look at my Facebook timeline, my “problems” are sort of normal for someone my age who tries to remain active.

And now go back to older people getting spaced out vaccinations and boosters. Chances are, these shots will probably coincide with something going wrong with their is the age.

In fact, I have a reverse coincidence: right around the time I got my omicron specific booster (September 2022) my back related glute pain started to improve quite a bit…but of course, my ongoing PT, activity modification and management and slow gradual increase in walking were probably the reason.

But oh my, the timing.

The TL;DR summary: old people get shots right around the time when something goes wrong with their bodies, and they ascribe the shot as the cause.

I think this is good old “post hoc ergo propter hoc.”

Covid journey

I am keeping track so anyone who gets COVID for the first time can see what one person’s timeline looks like.

Me: 63 year old male, 6′ 0″, 195 lb, vaccinated, boosted (2) and an omicron booster in September of 2022.

I do NOT know (for sure) where I got it; my unmasked meeting were:

colleagues (2) on Friday 6 January, basketball game bathroom 7 January, football game bathroom 8 January, trip with a friend (8 January) visit with 4 other people (evening of 8 January)

10 January (Tuesday) a planned workout turned out to be much, much harder than normal.

10 January (Tuesday) burning eyes and nose, onset of fatiuge

10-11 January frequent urination while trying to sleep. Fatigue, body aches, burning nose and eyes. Tested: very dark positive.

11 January (Wednesday) : fatigue, body aches, fever (99 to 101 F) Felt like death warmed over. Started Paxlovid.

11-12 January: another rough night; some drainage.

12 January: some drainage, fatigue, but improved symptoms

13 January: better night. Some symptoms.

14-15 January (weekend) Better still; just a tad tired, and that is it.

15 January: tested. Positive line is there but very much fainter. Ended Paxlovid (5 day course, 11-15 January)

16-17 January: *almost* back to normal.

17 January: positive line is oh-so-faint…does not show up in the camera.

18 January: taught class online. Vowed to return on the 20’th. Looking good!

18 January evening: “not so fast”. burning eyes and nose comes back. Mild fatigue starts to set in. Drainage starts; nose is like a spigot of clear, runny fluid. Ruin another mask with so much drainage.

18-19 January: (Wed-Thursday) rough night. coughing and drainage. Mild fatigue (NOT like day 1)

19 test: strong test line after only 5 minutes. Fatigue, light body aches, drainage, etc.

20 Taught online. Some fatigue, light drainage. Napped on and off after classes.

21 Jan (Saturday) tested. Different type of test. Emphatic positive (red line) Drainage is way down, burning eyes are down, feeling better but not “well.”

22 Jan (Sunday) slept through the night sans NyQuil. Taking nothing regular. Normal urination patterns, very little coughing and residual congestion; not much. Still felt anxious upon waking up. slightly more energy. Fainter test line.

23 January (Monday) woke up a bit tired…somewhat “allergy eyes and nose” but improved with morning coffee. Normal sleep..ok, still sort of a “second sleep” pattern but none of the frequent urinaton.

24 January: fitful night; lots of urination. Felt I was going to test positive the next morning. I did. It was faint, but there. Need to rest more and drink more.

I feel as if I am in purgatory. I don’t feel poorly enough to warrant slacking so much, but I am still contagious. And yeah, I tire easily..very easily. Even teaching online classes takes something out of me. Attitude is not good. Tired of this crap. Wish I had been more careful; won’t make that mistake again.

25 January: BinaxNow tests; I screwed up one test with too much liquid (tough to get the drops to be 6) and didn’t trust the second test (though it showed negative). This is the third: negative. The night before: some frequent urination; stomach upset at about midnight. Felt great throughout the day; taught online, did chores, just a tiny bit tired.

26 January. Negative (though mostly line on one side) Felt good enough to go to the office and work.

27 January. Negative. Taught and worked a full day, with PT, 5 sets of 20 push ups and a 1 mile walk after lunch. And..that wiped me out. Am tired. I feel I am out of it, but strength is low.

28 January. Negative. Did PT (leisurely) and walked 2 miles at 15:00 per mile (15:15, 14:45) on mostly snow free roads. Low energy; napped in the afternoon. Note: sinus headache when I woke up but two Tylenol were sufficient.

Physical therapy notes: 20 Jan: back exercises in my isolation room.

21 Jan: back and shoulder on the porch (30’s) and 25 pull up repetitions (20 of them modified, one “Honest” set of 5)

Pulse oximeter: 97-98. Not an issue. No wheezing, etc.

Misery idex:

Death days: 1 (11 January)

Man-flu achy days: 5 so far (12, 13 January, 18, 19, 20 January)

Cold-caliber annoying days 3 so far (14 January 21 January 22 January )

“I feel well” days 3 so far (15, 16 and 17 January: fool’s gold).

What COVID rebound looks like

Yes, last DOSE, not “does”. Brain still foggy.

Details: Jan 10: workout harder than it should have been. Burning eyes and nose. Night: hard to sleep, frequent urination, felt awful.

Jan 11: body aches, fatigue. Tested: black test line. Started Paxlovid. fever hit 101.

Jan 13: great reduction of symptoms, cough almost gone; felt much better.

Jan 15: felt really good. Last full does of Paxlovid.

Jan 17: line all but gone; felt I was out of it.

Jan 18: late evening: lots of discharge (runny nose). slight body aches. No fever, but very congested; cough returns.

Jan 19: black test line is back. Slept on and off between “work from home” stuff. Symptoms NOT as bad as on the 11’th; sort of like day 2- day 3 again. Not a complete backslide

Jan 20: today: feeling a bit better, but watery eyes and a slight cough. No fever. A bit flushed.

Rebound infection

Wednesday 11 Jan: Felt like death. Heavy dark line.

Thursday: somewhat annoying, but fever gone.

Friday: line diminished, feeling stronger.

Saturday-Tuesday: test line almost gone…feeling reasonably good but not perfect.

Tuesday night: trouble sleeping. Some light coughing.

Wednesday night (18 January) uh oh…burning eyes and a lot of drainage.

Thursday morning: itchy eyes, decent sleep. Gunked up.

Now for Jan 19: “It’s baaaack”. I really didn’t need to test…this positive appeared by 5 minutes.

Fortunately, this is common (ok, that isn’t fortunate) but is more annoying than dangerous. I am isolating to keep this crap from others.