Infinite Ascent.

by CJ Quineson

a covid christmas

in case you’re wondering why i’m posting so much

quarantining means that i’m holed up in my room, playing video games, watching youtube, and being sick, instead of doing what i usually do in the holiday season, which is being holed up in my room, playing video games, watching youtube, and not being sick.

this year could’ve been the year that changed. in a typical year my friends would all leave to go to their families. but this year, all of my roommates are around for christmas season, so i’m not alone. had i not been sick, i would’ve spent christmas eve dinner with them and some visitors, and chilled in the living room and done stuff with others. i would’ve scheduled some meals with people who are still in new york. it could’ve been fun. but i was sick.

last friday, the 22nd. i woke up after not a lot of sleep. felt like my throat was spiky. felt hot. took a covid test. it was positive. it was the first positive covid test i’d ever had, so this is, to my knowledge, the first time i’ve had covid. there’s been several times, since the beginning of the pandemic, that i had symptoms consistent with the flu, but each time i tested, and each time it wasn’t covid. but this? this broke my four-year streak of avoiding this virus. i felt like i lost a game i didn’t realize i’d been playing.

i couldn’t bring myself to take the day off work, so i did a code review or two, and went to standup. but i couldn’t bear it much after that. my ankles started feeling sore, and a headache was mounting. i logged off work, went on telehealth to see a doctor. she talked about palliative care. paracetamol, guaifenesin, menthol. got prescribed benzonatate too.

that first day of symptoms was a lot of cycles: sleeping for a few hours, waking up, sleeping for a few hours, waking up. i subsisted off soylent, which i had a newly-opened box of. i went through eight bottles.

my roommates are all lovely people. brian brought me water and lozenges. ixa brought me christmas eve dinner. jason brought me the meds i got delivered. i’m deeply grateful they’re here. i want to give them hugs. the viral load for covid peaks around the third day of symptoms. christmas, the 25th.

i surprised myself with how much work i got done. i did some archiving work for gph, which took five hours or so. i wrote a post about types, and a post about reading. in the world where i didn’t get sick, i probably wouldn’t have gotten as much done. but i would’ve spent more time hanging out with friends, which also matters to me. despite all i’ve done, i get the nagging feeling i could be doing more. the self-pity doesn’t help, but it does feel good.