To put it simply: COVID is in the house.
After several days of sniffling and coughing, my wife on Easter Sunday went to City MD in Forest Hills for a COVID test.
It came back positive.
When I got home from all the Masses on Easter, she called out to me from the bedroom: “Greg, I’ve got COVID.” I turned around and headed out the door and got my own test.
It came back negative.
So here we are.
First things first: Siobhain is feeling okay. No fever. No aches. No weakness. It’s a lot like a bad cold right now. She’s getting better day by day. Her spirits are good. We’re fortunate to live in an apartment with plenty of space, so we’re able to keep a distance and wave at each other from one room to another. I’m sleeping on a lumpy sofa bed and consuming a lot of vitamins and making occasional forays into the world, to get orange juice and bagels. We’re staying masked as much as possible. Siobhain is praying a lot of rosaries. I’m catching up on writing projects. Life goes on.
My wife should be able to be out and about by next week, maybe sooner if her symptoms abate.
As I’ve said to several people over the last three days, we’re lucky. Very lucky. My corner of Queens was Ground Zero for the pandemic in 2020. Back then, hospital morgues were so full, they brought in refrigerated trucks to contain the bodies. Funeral directors were overwhelmed. The sense of dread was persistent and real.
If this had happened two years ago, this would have been alarming.
Now, it’s just an inconvenience.
The doctor at City MD said being triple-vaccinated helped make our symptoms milder — and, of course, we’re at a stage now where the latest variant is weaker. He also said I probably had COVID at some point recently and didn’t realize it. I may have inadvertently passed it to Siobhain. (I had a sore throat a couple weeks ago, and I just attributed it to all my traveling and speaking in March.)
And so it goes.
Like I said: we’re lucky. There are people suffering from this illness in ways that are far, far more severe. It doesn’t dominate the headlines anymore — Ukraine is doing that — but the virus is still claiming lives and impacting hundreds of thousands around the globe. (At last count, the daily average for new cases worldwide numbered nearly 727,000. Our doctor said that with the convergence of Easter, Passover and Ramadan this year, we may see a spike in a couple weeks.)
In 2020, when the pandemic began ravaging the world, Pope Francis composed this prayer to Mary. It remains an eloquent plea for intercession, consolation and healing:
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!
UPDATE: After a week, some good news.