This will save you countless hours of wasted time. The Rusty Hearts are a five piece band based in and around the Madison, Wisconsin area. The Citadel: Arpes Kinderland (Thorax) Hearts of the Void: Ageroth (3) Hork Militia: Aug 29, 2020; 06: 57 25.89m: 0.4 Mara. I found "A Rusty Key" in the leyawiin mages guild in the second floor east or west in a room with lots of bones, bone meal and alchemical equipment on a small shelf next to a plate with a soul gem.
. I am bored and lonely due to self-isolation, so this post is as much for myself as for you. If you want to skip to my symptoms, scroll until you see the heading SYMPTOMS BY DAY.
As a news junkie, I've been tuning into BBC World Service for about a year now. In January, a "novel coronavirus" gripped Wuhan and shut down Hubei province in China. In February, the virus earned its new name, "SARS-CoV-2" and its disease "COVID-19," meanwhile, Iran and Italy were overrun with the brand new SARS virus, and you probably know the rest.
On February 11, when the news broke of the WHO's new name, I imagined it would be funny to have the reddit username u/SARS_CoV_2
. "Surely it's already taken," I thought. But you can see, I was indeed the first person to register.
Since I acquired this Reddit username in February, and since I acquired the real SARS-CoV-2 recently, I really have come full circle with COVID-19 :-)
In March, I watched the every state in the US announce cases (my state was in the last 5 with no cases). Soon enough in April, we were compelled to stay the hell at home. In retrospect, it's pretty funny that the entire state (and the entire country) was shut down when COVID-19 cases were relatively low. The shutdown was to buy time for COVID-19 research, but whatever. Currently in mid November, my state is reporting about 14x the new cases that we had during the lockdown in April.
From April till November, things progressed in a blur, as people in my state kinda, sorta followed COVID rules. For example, I continued to go to restaurants about 1x weekly, wearing a mask before I was served. Believe it or not, these rules don't protect people effectively since eating and talking in an enclosed space with others is a great vector for spreading virus particulates. I believe I've contracted COVID-19 while following the rules in my city. When a mayor, senator, prime minister, or even a health expert says a certain activity is okay, there's still risk inherent therein.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge how lucky I am. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I finished university and got hired for a well-paying and interesting job. I get to work at home. 2020 has been a shitty year for me; I was supposed to be living across the country, making new friends and growing up. Instead, I still live in my childhood bedroom, and my social skills are rusty and regressing. Nevertheless, I have never been worried about paying for life necessities, and I haven't needed to file for unemployment. Despite a pandemic, and despite getting sick, there's a lot of good stuff going for me.
SYMPTOMS BY DAY
First, my physical stats: I'm 21 years old and just under the level of 'medically overweight.' By American standards, I am slim. While not athletic, I am active; I walk an average of 60 minutes a day. Medically, I have no COVID risk factors.
I go to a restaurant with some friends. We're wearing masks when we sit down at the table. Believe it or not, we were eating next to each other, chatting and breathing around one another. This is probably where I got infected (which I discuss in the EPILOG)
One of my restaurant friends says he's tested positive for COVID-19.
Nov 3 (day 1 of symptoms)
Like a responsible grown-up (I'm 21, I'm an adult!) I am laying on my bedroom floor, watching election results come in. I have a slight cough from allergies, but I realize it's been a bit stronger lately. My throat is also a bit sore, but I wonder if it's from eating too much Halloween candy.
I feel somewhat sick today. Sore throat and dry cough are worse than on Nov 3. The scariest moment of COVID-19 happens right when I wake up. I walk downstairs and lean in a doorway, talking to my mom. Suddenly, I feel very lightheaded. To avoid passing out, I have to sit down and recover. I hypothesize that COVID-19 may have lowered my SpO2 (oxygen level) somewhat. Considering that SpO2 is always lower during sleep, I was probably at a maintenance oxygen level, unsuitable for strenuous behavior. I have no trouble breathing normally. I decide that I will test for COVID-19 if I feel bad on November 5.
My symptoms are marginally worse. I spend a few hours figuring out how to get a COVID-19 test. I'm exasperated by the patchwork of testing options. There is no apparent central COVID testing authority in my state, so I look at Walgreens and 2 different hospital options. It's unclear whether or not I will get a bill, which I could afford, but prefer not to receive. (I still have not had a bill).
I wake up and check my healthcare app. "You have tested POSITIVE for COVID-19." In a way, it's nice to see this result. After nonstop virus news for the past 9 months, I get to see for myself. Plus, I will likely be protected from COVID-19 for the next few months. I mentally agree to donate blood with the Red Cross ASAP, when I recover. Red Cross loves getting antibodies. Today is my worst day of symptoms. I feel kind of stupid. Experiencing mild brain fog, I can barely focus through my work meetings online. I quickly give up on a productive day, and retire to play videogames and sleep. I do not have a fever at this point. The highest I see on my thermometer is 99.1 F (37.28 C). My urine seems dark today, and I am generally well-hydrated. I drink more than 1 gallon/more than 4 litres on an average day. My nasal mucus is also unusually dark, with some red flecks. My nose is unusually clear. I can inhale deeply through my nose and mouth without pain or trouble. Most of the time, I have a stuffy nose.
I wake up with head pressure today. One eye is red, and my vision seems slightly blurred. I attribute it to COVID-19 (not general plant allergies). My dry cough is stable now, and my sore throat is improving today. I notice intermittent chest sensitivity/pain/soreness. I do not share this with my Mom because I don't want to scare her. (One male in my family died young from an aortic dissection [heart tear], so I am worried about my heart. I don't consider this as a "risk factor" because the genetic heritability is uncertain in my case.) Searching on Google, I confirm that chest discomfort is a fairly common if disturbing COVID-19 symptom.
My eye and head issues are gone today. My strange chest sensations and cough remain stable. I use a sinus rinse bottle to see if I have any blockage. In a rare experience for me, water comes out just fine. As I mentioned before, I almost always have some nose stuffiness, but not today. I realize I have anosmia today (can't smell anything). My normal sense of smell is very weak, but I quickly understand how important it was for me. I have no idea if I smell bad! Luckily, I have no company which could be discomforted by stray body odor. At first, I amuse myself by whiffing my whiskey, apple vinegar, and isopropyl (rubbing alcohol). The most potent scents are simply gone from my life today!
Chest sensation/discomfort continues today. I only had definite brain fog on November 6, but I feel especially sharp and eager to work today. My cough is stable today, sore throat is negligible. Around 18:00, I notice my chest pains are somewhat more intense today. It's still a concern, but I don't feel as if in danger. To me, the chest sensations feel like holding a deep, but not yet painful stretch in yoga. At night, I play video games with some friends and we chat online. It's the most social I've been since getting sick, so I feel warm and fuzzy inside (in a not-COVID way, of course).
Nov 10 (day 7 of symptoms)
I have still not run a fever. my cough is stable today. My chest discomfort is negligible today. I wake up late in the day and feeling acutely depressed. There's no good reason why I should feel like this. I decide that the depression is a direct effect of COVID-19, as opposed to a reaction from being cooped up at home. Despite feeling very down, I feel strongly that I have no reason to be feeling this way. If anything, I should be feeling happy. I improve my mood by dancing to my music and going for a walk in my neighborhood (leaving as much room as possible between others, and wearing a mask of course!) I also do some pushups and mild weight exercises in my bedroom.
Today I notice a marked decline in my cough. I feel just about normal today, emotionally and physically.
EPILOG: WHERE DID I GET INFECTED?
I'm not sure. My individual experience highlights the importance & difficulty of using track-and-trace well. To put it very lightly, we don't do that where I live in the USA. My silver lining is that I don't think I infected anyone else, but who knows. On October 31, an airline pilot was informed of recent exposure to COVID-19. Despite being a good 12 hours' drive from home, the pilot was made to rent a car and drive home. He was not welcome on his company's planes. Concurrently, I was having dinner with my friends at a diner. Right after quitting the diner, one of my friends went home and reconnected with his father (the airline pilot).
On November 2, my friend and his pilot father tested positive for COVID-19.
Around November 3, my friend's brother also tested positive from COVID-19. The brother, a high school athlete, totally ignores COVID restrictions. (Compare the brother to yours truly, who follows COVID-19 regulations, while understanding they are not necessarily safe).
The timeline for my friend, his dad and his brother's COVID-19 cases indicates that the brother and father were infected in separate instances.
Moreover, if my friend got COVID-19 from his brother, then my friend probably infected me. Otherwise, if my friend got COVID-19 from his father, I have no idea where I got COVID-19!
Luckily, everyone else at dinner on October 31 tested negative for COVID, around 5 days after my symptoms. If (or perhaps, when) they get COVID-19, at least it wasn't my own doing.
If you scale up my single experience and uncertainty to thousands of people every day, you might feel, like I do, that the COVID-19 is so far beyond traceable right now. As Americans, we can point the finger at the top levels of government, for not delegating COVID-19 response. We could also blame state and local governments for not reacting well to COVID-19. Of course, we can also blame people that actively disobey the common sense masking rules and suggestions. We may want to add the apathetic to this list. But speaking as someone who "followed the rules," despite being aware of their deficiencies, I spread my blame across all the groups I listed, including myself.
I originally wanted to give away this username, in the hope that someone could use it to promote their COVID-19 project online. I did not get any requests (maybe this goal was too lofty), and I no longer feel altruistic. I plan to start karma whoring, employing my past experience as a meme guy on Reddit. Perhaps you'll see me around on the front page?
Wear a mask. It's not a political statement, and it's not a big sacrifice. I spent a few hours (indoors & outdoors) with a friend, just hours before my symptoms. We drove around together in a Smart Car (they're really small!) and both wore masks. He is confirmed negative for COVID-19.
I live with my mom. We wear masks when nearby (since I got sick). 8 days into my COVID-19 symptoms, she has not had any symptoms of the disease. Wear a mask.