Systems Check: Ooooooouuuf
I posted this on a Twitter thread yesterday but I think it’s worth noting here as well: Not long after Athena had her COVID test, I had one as well. It came out negative, but it was also a less accurate test that apparently has higher error rates when the symptoms are (relatively) mild. In retrospect and in consultation with some people who think about this stuff more than I do, I’ve come to the conclusion that I probably did have COVID, given the symptoms and some lingering (but, again, relatively mild) issues I’m having. At some point in the reasonably near future I’ll have an antibody test to confirm or deny this theory of mine. For now, I’m going on with the assumption I did have it but still interacting with the world as if I didn’t — i.e., staying home most of the time and taking all full and necessary precautions when I have to go out in the world.
I should note that generally speaking I’m fine and the rest of the family is fine. Athena has by all indications fully recovered from her encounter with it, and both Krissy and Dora (my mother-in-law who lives nearby) are perfectly fine and healthy. The lingering issues I’m having are general fatigue, which is generally solved by a nap, and a mushy brain, which is not horrible in a general sense — who among us is braining at peak efficiency in December of 2020? — but has been a real pain in the ass in trying to get this book done. Turns out, you need a sharp brain for writing! I’ve been plugging away at the current book while I’ve been under the weather, and, well, I have words, but at the moment that’s all I can vouch for.
More specifically, what I’ve noticed is that while there are some writing things I can still do perfectly well, there are other things my brain just can’t get it together on. At the moment I can write dialogue just fine, but I can’t plot my way out of a paper bag. This is a problem because while it’s fine that people talk to each other, they and the story then have to do things. I find the specificity of my fuzzy brain issues interesting in an academic sense, but in a practical sense, it’s annoying as fuck. I actually need to write this book and if at all possible, I want it to be good. Being able to plot is something I need my brain to do.
It does feel like the fuzzy brain thing is beginning to lift, which is good. But it’s happening slower than I would like, and it would have been better not to have had fuzzy brain to begin with. It is what it is. And honestly, if the worst thing that happens to me from this maybe-probably-COVID is I spend a some weeks plodding along in a lower gear, mentally speaking, I will count my blessings. Other people have had it much much worse. I’ve kept my editor appraised of things and (here we knock on wood) it shouldn’t have any effect on when the new book comes out in 2021. But if it does, I’m not going to beat myself up too much about it.
Consider this piece a closing bracket to this opening bracket piece, where I basically said the same thing but with less covidity. And be careful out there, folks. If in fact I did contract COVID, I’ve gotten off very very easy. But it’s still no fun at all.