Before now, this has been a space exclusively dedicated to music. But I’ve had a bit of a week. Nothing serious, but it kept me on my back long enough to think about something besides polyrhythms and the new Steph Richards album I can’t wait to share with you.
I woke up Monday morning with food poisoning. Entirely my fault; it was the result of two small cucumber rolls I pulled out of the fridge on Sunday afternoon, left on a tray of sushi from the night before. I’m embarrassed to even write that. But there it is.
And there I was, at my girlfriend’s house, making myself at home in all the wrong ways.
After sleeping much of the day away, I gathered myself together enough to drive the 90 minutes it takes to get home. It is important to me that you know this drive was uneventful.
As confident as I was in my self-diagnosis, my ex (who outranks me on several counts, including the fact that she is a health journalist) reminded me that the symptoms of food poisoning and COVID-19 overlap in a couple of best-not-discussed areas.
A bit of context. I have been reasonably careful since the pandemic landed here in Toronto. I wear a mask when I go inside a public space, as do practically all of my neighbours. I’m fortunate to have a job that I can do from my bedroom. But I’m not living in a bubble either.
Renovations are underway in my home, so workers come and go throughout the day (almost always behind a mask). And while I wouldn’t consider eating a meal inside a restaurant, I have had a couple of patio lunches.
All of which is to say that by Tuesday, I was worried enough to get tested. My symptoms persisted into Wednesday and then Thursday as I waited for the results. I grew increasingly anxious. I’ve had food poisoning before, but it lasted just a little over a day. What if those cucumber rolls were as innocent as they looked?
Which is why I’m sharing all of this. As I lay there thinking very bad things, two emotions stood out: guilt and embarrassment. Who might I have exposed to the virus? Who else will get sick because of me? How would I explain my carelessness to the people I love? To my son and daughter? My girlfriend’s two daughters?
I don’t share this because I think it is unique, or in anyway a reflection of me. My hunch is that you’d be just as likely to think of others in the same situation. Your own health becomes a kind of afterthought. And this worry about those around you, those close to you, is crushing. It is failure. It is everything you’ve ever done to hurt someone, inadvertently or otherwise, multiplied.
Thankfully I tested negative. The food poisoning has not entirely run its course. And it is with mixed emotions that I find myself down seven pounds since my last blog post.
Please take COVID-19 seriously. And do what the smart people say.