Thursday, October 21, 2021

She had doubts that COVID was real, or as bad as the news made it seem.

I am saddened to hear of the passing of Colin Powell, a man who was a reluctant warrior who hated war, and was the kind of man we need in leadership. He admitted the error of going to war thinking the enemy had weapons of mass destruction. Although he stood with President Bush, his last public statement was a speech for Barack Obama. I read the book he wrote about his life and was compelled to send the book to a young man in my family because I thought Colin Powell's values are what we should all aspire to. 

He died not from COVID but from cancer he was fighting and other health issues. He was vaccinated but caught a breakthrough case and because of his health issues, his age, 84, he could not recover.  This reminded me of the article I quote below from Everyday Health, an online magazine I subscribe to.


 Although she says she was taking precautions against the virus (like social distancing and wearing a mask), Fekken admits she had doubts that it was real, or as bad as the news made it seem.

Then she and her husband got COVID-19.

“I didn’t have to go to the hospital, but there were days where I wondered if this was the beginning of the end for me,” she says. “I’ve never experienced sickness like that before. I’m a pretty optimistic, upbeat person, but COVID made me feel hopeless because it truly shut me down.”

For three weeks, the normally hurricane-level-busy Fekken struggled to walk from the bedroom to the porch for fresh air — a distance of about 20 feet. She lost her smell and taste, suffered from fever spikes that left her soaked, and watched TV with her eyes closed because of ocular headaches. Every day, she focused on deep-breathing exercises suggested by her daughter, a paramedic, but even that was exhausting. Self-care meant simply surviving until the next day.

“We know people who have died of this, including three people who were in my high school graduating class, and once we started to feel better, I felt changed,” she recalls. “I had a huge sense of gratitude and a new respect for the virus. I started to appreciate everyday things I used to take for granted, like walking down the driveway to get the mail, or being able to smell what I’m cooking.”

Although Fekken’s sense of smell has returned, she still can’t fully taste her food, even six months after recovery. Her self-care now is more modest than it was at the beginning of the pandemic, she says, but also more meaningful. She’s not focusing on distracting herself during a lockdown, but rather on recognizing the seemingly small moments and tasks she once did without thinking.

“I’d like to think I’ve always appreciated my life, but getting COVID-19 made that take on a new meaning,” she says. “Everything I do feels like a gift.”


This woman was fortunate to recover, but if she had been sick with cancer or diabetes or other serious illness, she likely would not be here today. And I wonder how Colon Powell was exposed to COVID. Did someone who was not vaccinated come to visit him, or did he come in contact with an unvaxed person by going to his doctor's office or the drugstore? Those of us who are older and have a chronic illness, even though we get the shots, are at the mercy of others. Love thy neighbor. Get the vaccine.

After being tested for COVID this week, I had to quarantine until I got results. This morning, early, I received a call telling me the test is negative. I felt I was not sick with that virus, but to have the test verify, makes me feel much better now.


1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

Sadly, Colin Powell's story, and that of Fekken are repeated across the world.
I had to have a test last week too (I had unwittingly been in a contact area). It was also negative.