Well, Poo

To begin: I’m fine. I’m double-vaxxed and double-boosted, and my symptoms so far have been those of a mild flu; and in point of fact I felt worse yesterday than I do today. Yesterday I wanted to sleep all day, and mostly did; I was in bed at 6:30pm and didn’t get back out of it (save for a ten-minute interval at about 10pm where I ravenously ate all the cheese in the house) until 9am this morning. Today I’m mildly achey but not overly tired. My brain has been useless for the last few days, which I should have taken as an early distant warning, but did not because sometimes one’s brain is just useless. My sense of taste and smell is perfectly functional, for which I am grateful. I’ve called my primary care physician’s office to report in and see if I should get Paxlovid; I imagine I’ll hear back soon. In the meantime, and again: I’m fine.

I find it mildly ironic that when I finally definitively have gotten COVID, it’s when I’ve been at home for weeks; I traveled all over the US between March and May and got through unscathed. My assumption at this point is I may have caught it when we were out and about on our anniversary, or when we went to see Lightyear. The moral of “never leave your house, ever” is not lost on me.

My immediate plan is to do nothing and to eat all the food in the house and see where things go from there. In the meantime, I would note that my prophecy that if I did ever catch COVID, my double-vaxxed-and-boosted ass would find it a mild inconvenience rather than a life-threatening issue, seems to be panning out pretty well. So, please, if you’ve not already been vaxxed and boosted, please do that. It’ll make a difference.

(Also, for those about to ask: Krissy’s fine and I’m staying away from her. Athena is in California and also perfectly fine. The pets are fine, too. Everyone’s fine! Don’t worry.)

— JS

43 Comments on “Well, Poo”

  1. I am so sorry to read this
    I am glad your symptoms are currently mild and hope you continue to recover quickly

  2. Wishing you a speedy and minimally-symptom’d recovery.

    Also, with your preparations, there’s the possibility that the slow brain days really were independent events. Possibly burrito-related? Have you been venturing into any particularly dangerous burrito waters recently?

  3. I hope you are feeling better soon. Thankfully, you are vaxxed and boosted. I got it before the vaccines came out and trust me it was not fun. I hope Krissy does not get it. Be well

  4. I feel your pain. I just got over a case. I went 26 months without getting it, then brought it home somehow to my family. All of us vaxxed and boosted, and we’ve only had mild symptoms.

    My son and wife recognized the symptoms early enough to get the antibody infusion, but I did not. I’m officially out of quarantine today though (per CDC guidelines).

  5. Glad you’re not feeling too bad. Get your rest, stay hydrated, and if you have a pulse-oxygen sensor, just check yourself a few times a day. Hope you recover without any Long COVID involvement.

  6. Omicron spreads and reproduces so fast that it’s unlikely anyone will escape infection forever. The problem’s with the balance between parts of the immune system. Very simplistically: vaccination stimulates production of neutralizing antibodies, which prevent the virus from entering your cells by killing the virus, but the number of these antibodies decreases fairly rapidly after vaccination. That’s how the immune system works. B cells remember the vaccine, and crank up antibody production as soon as they detect the virus, but the virus may get into your cells and start cranking out more virus before enough antibodies are produced to stop it. Oversimplified, but basically that’s why Omicron spreads like kudzu.

    Note that if you take Paxlovid, early statistics suggest there’s a ca. 20% rebound rate, which means 2 to 5 days after you stop taking the drug, you may become infectious again. So stay vigilant until you get at least 2 days of post-Paxlovid negative results with a rapid test, or ask for a PCR test. Note that the rapid tests seem less reliable for Omicron, so you should wait for at least 2 days of negative tests before considering yourself safe; anecdotal evidence suggests 3 days is safer.

  7. We’re all fine here now. Thank you. How are you?

    Quote drop aside, glad to hear that you are feeling better. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery and good health to all in Casa Scalzi.

  8. Ugh! Sorry it caught you. But glad that your symptoms remain mild. Wishing you a swift recovery!

  9. What research is showing right now is that many people are exhibiting systems of flu, so they do a rapid antigen test and it shows positive. But: they have both the flu AND Covid-19. Had they had C19 only, they might have been asymptomatic, and so wouldn’t think to test. So you might be feeling the flu…

  10. Well, dang, John. So glad that your symptoms are mild. It seems that your situation is not that strange. I have patients and colleagues who have patients (all vaxxed and double boostered) who have traveled and been fine until they have come back home and gone to a movie theatre or a restaurant. Sending you healing energy and wish you a speedy recovery. Hope you can get back to finishing your book…I, for one, am eager for your next gift to us!

  11. Best wishes for you to recover quickly. As someone who had Covid before vaccines/boosters, I second your comments about getting assorted shots to make a mild case more likely. (Mine in the summer of 2020 was brutal.) Will also be interested to see how your Paxlovid experience goes should that happen.

  12. Poo indeed. I’m sorry it finally caught you, but very glad that you’re vaxxed and boosted.

    Our family, all fully vaxxed and boosted as well, has had multiple “well, poo” moments just like that in the past month, one of which wound up in a hospitalization. The hospital stay was very short, and the person recovered quickly and completely with treatment (no ventilator needed), which I attribute to the influence of the vaccines and boosters.

    I do think that we all need to recognize this virus is eventually going to catch up with all of us. We can improve our chances of surviving it with minimal impacts by getting the vaccine and getting boosted whenever appropriate, but thinking that we can just dodge it completely is pure fantasy.

    I wish you a speedy recovery and no further spread in the family, and I hope that the rest of your summer goes better.

  13. My husband was in your position a couple of months ago. For two years, we all managed to avoid it. But he picked it up at work from his boss. That’s when I found out that they don’t mask at work( …and they all work in a big open common room!). The major thing we did was to move me into a separate bedroom at night, and mask in the house. It was annoying, but neither me or our daughter caught it. It was not major for him either, just a fever for 2 days, runny nose and coughing. Never even a suggestion that he might need to be hospitalized. So yeah, fully vaxxed and boosted! I’m so glad you did too. I would hate to lose one of my favorite authors and fellow Nerd Boater.

  14. I’m in exactly the same boat; symptoms started Tuesday afternoon and tested positive yesterday morning. For me it’s “nasty head cold” symptoms. I have a call with my pcp this afternoon to discuss whether paxlovid is advisable for me or not.
    We have a tiny 845 sf house, so best we can do for isolation is I sleep on the sofa and we both mask up as much of the time as possible.

  15. Yep. Got me, too. Vaxxed and double-boosted. I got sick over the weekend after a trip out of state. I was pretty good, but not perfect although I kept my mask on during both flights and in the airport. My symptoms have mostly been fatigue and a cough, with a splitting headache that lasted a couple of days, but I’m on day 5 and I am much improved. Go vaccine!!

  16. Hope you feel better soon! Paxlovid gave me a really nasty metallic taste in my mouth — drinking ice cold lemon water helped quite a bit.

  17. I hope it is gone soon and you feel better even sooner!

    I haven’t had it, and I’m so sick and tired of headlines (and at least one commenter here) saying that EVERYone will get it, over and over.

    I am a diabetic in my late sixties, and if I catch Covid, it may well be one and done. As in, I will die.

    Yes, I am vaxxed and boosted. I’ve barely left the house in 2.3 years, just to do grocery curbside pickup and dash into a library to collect my holds. I occasionally see a friend — but outside (and in our homes during the low low numbers a year ago).

    Fortunately, my partner and I absolutely love hanging out together (after 44 years of marriage!) and can work from home. We have a big house and yard. Of course, it would never work without the internet (if nothing else, it supplies new topics to chat about).

    I really miss travel, but I may spend the rest of my life like this.

  18. My whole family caught it in the past couple of weeks starting with my 16yr old daughter. In her it just presented as a mild head cold and we were having great fun blaming her for our first cold in 2.5yrs. Then I thought to take a covid rapid test (positive) then the next day we all took PCR tests and sure enough we all had it.

    We’re mildly pissed about it since we are some of the most covid cautious people we know but had to back off giving my daughter a hard time about it. After all, it’s not really her fault. (…probably not… )

    But overall we’re vaxed and double boosted and it presented as a bad cold / mild flu.

    I’m counting us as lucky. Especially my older daughter who is allergic ingredients in the vaccines (PEG and polysorbates) and was only able to get the 1st shot. She seems to have youth on her side and is on her way to kicking it.

  19. My entire retirement plan is mostly “to do nothing and to eat all the food in the house”. So I’m qualified to endorse that plan. Feel better soon, or at least well enough to write. :)

  20. Huh. You and me both. I am currently isolated in our bedroom with COVID, also having been vaccinated and double boostered. My case is mild. I have a sore throat and an occasional cough. I’m taking paxlovid because my wife says to and I figure why not?

    The most annoying thing is that I have to skip a week of movies. I have AMC A*List and have been going to three movies a week since I was vaccinated. I too have already seen Lightyear, but I probably contacted my case in synagogue.

  21. I just had it, and I heartily endorse the “eat the ice cream” regimen of treatment- I found Breyer’s Mint Chocolate Chip to be particularly therapeutic.

    Feel better soon!

  22. I second Pam. Paxlovid makes your mouth taste like hot garbage. I was in your exact boat, but it had been running thru work…apparently sitting in an office with the door closed most of the time was insufficient.

    But also, vaxxed and boosted equaled inconvenience. Bad cold to light flu in symptoms, the worst part was when it was just me…confined to quarters.

    Once we confirmed the whole family had it (at that same mild nuisance level) it was much easier.

  23. I caught it about a week and a half ago, and like you was double-vaxxed and double-boosted, the most recent booster around Memorial Day. Mild symptoms, mostly congestion and sore throat. Five days of Paxlovid (yes it does leave a bad taste your mouth, assuming you can taste anything) and sleep and I was back to work.
    Not sure if you’re eligible for the Paxlovid scrip, as you have to have tested positive AND be at high risk of severe disease (65+ or immunocompromised, though I’m not sure of the age cutoff; it may be 65 or may be as low as 50).

  24. Just got off the phone with my doctor, who did prescribe paxlovid for me (62, but with type 2 diabetes, which is one of the comorbidities for Covid-19). The logic being “start it now while we still can, because if your mild case turns bad it will be too late.”

    John, I hope your case is mild and you recover quickly!

  25. I sincerely hope we hear of a full recovery however odds of myocarditis are good esp with taking so many injections. Be well.

  26. Hope it continues to go well.

    That is one of the weird things I also discovered about Covid. You could eat all the things, but it was not like other sicknesses where you didn’t want to eat. You are just too tired to do anything, including eat!

    Hope the mind gets back to shape quickly.

  27. A friend of mine’s husband was in his 70’s and they wouldn’t give him Paxlovid because he wasn’t sick ENOUGH. I don’t know if that was being a pain in the ass because he got sick in another state, though. So who knows.

    “I haven’t had it, and I’m so sick and tired of headlines (and at least one commenter here) saying that EVERYone will get it, over and over.”

    I second this. I know it’s probably statistically true, but I’m still going to try to not get it. I don’t have any other medical reasons to make it worse yet, but I’ll still be wearing masks whenever I can for the rest of my life, I think.

  28. Yep, that’s about what I figured for having COVID-19 if you were vaccinated and booster’d!

    Good luck and order out a lot, stay away from Krissy (and she should keep testing herself!) – and tell Athena to stay in CA and enjoy the cat and the food.

  29. Having gone through something similar, I have the same take-away: Being current on boosters is a godsend; walking away from the experience of being slightly ill with “hybrid immunity” is nice compensation.

    Dinner with my sister in Mesa, AZ on June 2nd apparently exposed me (judging by her e-mailing about being positive a week later). My first and only symptoms starting day 5 after exposure amounted to the world’s mildest head-cold: a light occasional cough and also a light sinus drip one out of three days. I tested ambiguous positive on day 5 (and began isolating) then a clear positive on day 7. My HMO advised I could test out of isolation if I desired, or just continue until day 15, which I did. My wife Deirdre picked up a similar small-potatoes case from me before I isolated, but my 83-year-old mother-in-law, who lives with us, didn’t — all of us being up to date on boosters, and careful.

    Good public health wins again. And so much better than before the vaccines.

  30. Feel better soon.. best of luck to Krissy too! Miraculously we’re double vaxxed and double boosterd and John and I have not been infected. We are the couple in the movies sitting in a sweet cabin in the woods with a roaring fire drinking cocoa totally oblivious to the zombies licking the windows and trying to get in. So far so good but it’s so contagious. Being responsible w/ vaxs and masks and limiting peoply events has helped. They are strict on the set of the show he’s working on.. they p/up a PCR test from our house on Friday b4 the week of shooting and then rapid tests during the week. Knock on wood! Feel better soon, hydrate, and viva le fromage !

  31. I had it last week (also DVDB)–Paxlovid cut my symptoms to basically zero, but it made my mouth taste like I’d eaten a Christmas bulb about three hours after each dose, which I discovered is a side effect in like 6% of the folks who take it.

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