Trust Me, COVID Is As Real As Its Hyped To Be

lady in PPE and boxing gloves

My Not So Fun Experience With COVID-19

Some things you have to experience to fully understand. Oh, we think we know what it must be like, but then we realize we were nowhere close to the reality connected when it comes into our own lives.

COVID-19 is one of those things – for me, and I’m betting for a lot of others who thought they had an idea of what it must be like to fight through it. Whatever you think you know of this deadly virus – and it is deadly – trust me, unless you are in the medical profession, you have so much more to learn.

No amount of Googling or doing your own research can prepare you for the hell that is COVID-19 should it grab hold of you like it did me. This thing throws random symptoms at you like its pulling numbers from a bingo spinner.

Chills? Yep. Aches? Like someone pounded on me with a sledgehammer. Headaches? All the migraine pills in the world couldn’t make a dent. Nausea? Let’s just say that and, well, leave it at that.

COVID Just Keeps Giving

Oh, and insomnia. Good ol’ COVID insomnia had me bouncing right up at 2:30 a.m. even though I’d only just gone to bed at midnight. Thomas Edison and his three hours of sleep every night had nothing on me. I must say, though, it was a great time to catch up on the TV shows I like, and the lovely Mrs. does not.

And let me make something perfectly clear. I’m vaccinated, this was a breakthrough case, and if my calculations are correct it came from someone who chose not to take the needle. Their choice, and this is still America, but why anyone would want to toy around with the possibility of getting this – I repeat, deadly – virus that has claimed over 700,000 lives boggles my mind.

It’s akin to walking through a rattlesnake den wearing sandals. You could, and you might miraculously get through, but why take that chance?

COVID-19 does not care what your political choices are. It doesn’t care where you go to church. It couldn’t care less what color your skin is or what gender you are. This virus lives for one reason only, to make you miserable, and if it doesn’t kill you there are times you wish for such relief.

Asthma + COVID, Not A Good Mix

I have asthma, which this thing literally loves. Any breathing complications are like a proverbial buffet to COVID. It feasts on them like a teenager does cheeseburgers.
Simply breathing feels as if someone has to lift a boulder from your chest. Of course, there’s also the terror that the breath won’t come – fortunately, for me, it did, but not everyone, as the evidence shows, has been so fortunate.

Since COVID-19 hit our world I have lost a good friend and my dear sister. Both fell victim to its ravages before there was a vaccine, and I can still remember one of the final things my sister Marilyn said to me when she was placed in a nursing home (petri dishes for it at that time) to recover from a fall.

“Rick, I’m so scared. They don’t even have me in a private room, and I’m afraid I’m going to get this and die.”

She did and she did.

Lingering Effects of COVID

My own journey with COVID-19 began when my wife tested positive on Oct. 7. I was actually negative that day but was told that my positive test was likely only a few days away. It was.

Junell – also vaccinated – had a rough time with it herself, but not having asthma helped her from dealing with the incessant cough and breathing issues I have had. Still, she suffered – and I do mean suffered – through all of the other symptoms I mentioned earlier.

How bad was it? We both fell asleep during our beloved Alabama Crimson Tide football games. Two things we don’t miss are meals and Alabama football.

Though we are both negative now, the after-effects have left me with a walking pneumonia. Meds are dealing with that, slowly but surely.

And there’s the lethargy. Where’s the Energizer Bunny when he’s needed? Every vitamin imaginable has become a part of our daily regimen. I’m not even sure what they all do, but if they can give me energy and help me from enduring this again, it’s going in our cabinet and in my body.

Shots, Give Me The Shots

Now comes the battle back. We’ll win. We’ll get our booster shots and, going forward, subsequently we’ll get vaccinated every year. Even Jeff Bezos turning over his fortune to me couldn’t convince me to do otherwise – though if he wants to pay taxes so the vaccine can be free in perpetuity, I’m okay with that.

What you choose to do is up to you. As I said, we do still live in a free country. But please, be safe and be courteous of others. I have never heard a more sobering statement in my entire life as when the doctor told me that were I not vaccinated I might be in the hospital battling for my life – or worse.

That “or worse” part kind of sticks with you.

Yes, I understand fully now how torturous an experience it can be battling COVID-19.

Believe me, I wish I didn’t know.

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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters