Well, this weekend was an exercise in confronting my own mortality with Coronavirus floating all over the place. We keep telling ourselves that 40 is the new 25 or 18 or 6 (the delusion runs deep). And that's all well and good until you fall down a flight of stairs and the bounce with which you used to get up has turned into the thud as you slide yourself into a sitting position, panting through the pain, hoping not to burst into tears in front of your kids as you call out for your mommy. (Maybe 40 really is the new 6.) So that was the first thing that happened.
Then, I realized that I completely lost my sense of smell and taste a few days ago. This has affected me in weird ways. I made sauteed broccoli for my family and even though my sister warned me it was really salty, I kept chomping down the stalks without any thought to consequence, as I could not taste a damn thing. A few minutes later, my heart starts racing. "Oh Lord," I think, "this is it," as I frantically google Coronavirus symptoms. "Well Genius," my brain kicks in, "it could be you have Coronavirus, manifested by this new, undocumented symptom, or it could be your heart is racing due to the pound and a half of salt you just ate without realizing it cause you couldn't taste anything!" "Oh, yeah, good point," I answer myself, "but then why no taste or smell?"
Well, Reader, I will tell you that when I googled this earlier today, I was mentally reassured that "anosmia" (loss of sense of smell) and accompanying "ageusia" (loss of taste) are common symptoms of the common cold. Common, common, common; not deadly, common, so, phew! But then, a few hours passed and no less an authority than the New York Times publishes an article with the headline: "Lost Sense of Smell May Be a Peculiar Clue to Coronavirus Infection." And with each phrase I read: "no other symptoms," "a person who otherwise seems healthy," "noses were clear and they were not congested," "is in fact carrying the virus and may be SPREADING IT TO OTHERS!!!" (emphasis added), I became convinced. I've got it. I'm infected. Don't need a test, not going to get one to possibly get someone else sick in the process, I am Corona-fied. (I think.) Stay away.
But now that the worst has happened (I think), I feel oddly relieved. I have it (I think), I don't feel bad at all (thank God), and no one around me is sick either (really, thank God). I've been hanging out at home with the kids anyway and social distancing the few times I've run out for groceries before I knew this was an indicator, so I'm just gonna hermetically seal myself in my house and use my time wisely: by spending the next two weeks researching every possible type of ailment, condition, or disorder an otherwise healthy 40-year-old woman with an unchecked chocolate compulsion might come across in the course of her life. Sounds productive, huh? First up, Anxiety. Wish me luck!
I'll be wishing you good luck, good night, and good health!