The Day I Was Told I Might Have COVID
From waiting to get tested to having been informed — a Canadian’s perspective on it all.
Last week I opened my email to being informed that on the 18th the local gym I work out at had a member that tested positive for COVID. Since I had my workout scheduled around the time this individual was there, I was to go into self-isolation and self-monitor my symptoms until the 2nd of December.
I’m fortunate enough to be living in a country that has taken the pandemic somewhat seriously — with only citizens really hampering mask use and not our own government. I’m also fortunate that the province I’m living in has had considerably low cases as well. They’ve taken extreme measures to ensure people’s safety and peace of mind as far as I’m aware.
But that’s only on the physical side.
From a mental standpoint, everything changes and the shift caused a mental strain on myself for a week while waiting for test results — results that showed I was negative.
But while waiting, I was no longer the bystander who is socially isolating to ensure I don’t get the virus. Now, I was isolating because I might have the virus.
Beyond that, questions and scenarios were swirling in my head.
Was I wearing a mask often? Yes.
Who did I come into contact with? Many.
Have I been sanitizing my hands and washed them regularly? Yes.
Have I been to any public areas before the news was told to me? Many.
COVID Is As Much Mental As It Is Physical
Even though the results came back negative and all last week there was no shadow of a doubt that I didn’t have the virus, there is still that mental strain.
I still potentially exposed the virus to hundreds of people without realizing it.
All at the same time, being thankful for certain measures being taken.
The province I live inhas been taking extreme measures to handle this second wave and people are following it — wearing masks, keeping social distancing, and every public area being cleaned thoroughly and sanitized extensively.
We evenwent into code orange — placing further restrictions on where people can gather — over the fact they’ve gotten 30 or so cases in the past month.
You can chalk it up to people being overly dramatic but I consider those as necessary measures.
If these weren’t in place the potential damage could’ve been larger.
Your entire mindset changes depending on how this pandemic has impacted you. Furthermore if you’ve been exposed or not to the virus.
Before the 18th, I saw my life as normal as it could be during the midst of a pandemic.
I’m struggling financially, but I’m still working away at things as best I can.
I look at anti-maskers and conspiracy theorists and shake my head at how silly they are.
I go out to public places feeling as safe as I can be, knowing that people are taking measures to be safe and it’s my duty to take measures for myself to be safe.
Now, things have shifted.
I still think all the conspiracy theories and anti-maskers are silly and I’m still in no better financial position.
However there was a deeper concern to those around me to the point of paranoia. Between the time I was informed to the day I was exposed I went to my local gym, two grocery stores, an office building with my mom and hung out with some friends.
In theory, I’ve exposed hundreds of people potentially to the virus without even realizing it.
I came back negative so everything is fine, but over that week, there was still part of me entertaining the idea, especially when normal body functions could be seen as symptoms.
On Tuesday I had a dizzy spell and nausea with the next day feeling weak. Could’ve been some bad food I had — which I’m sure is the case since one of the porkloins I had seemed undercooked. — or maybe it was COVID.
My appetite for food was diminished and I had only two meals per day instead of three. When I first took bites into my food I was paying attention to see if I could still taste the food I was eating.
My cousin was also forced to stay inside with me since he was potentially exposed to it too. He spent a lot of the time sleeping, sneezing, and not eating much either. While that’s typical behaviour of him, it’s not hard for your brain to make large leaps of logic when you have COVID on your mind.
The Real Restrictions Are The Ones In Your Mind
But through this experience, I’ve come out a little wiser and more understanding of this situation. Even though I knew deep down that I would be fine and that I had nothing to worry about, I wanted to lean more onto the mental side of things.
This experience further solidifies a lot of what I have been telling to others and my general feelings about this pandemic and all of it’s intracies. There’s nothing that revolutionary that came from this experience.
But it’s worth reiterating some of my thoughts all the same. After all, my goal in life is to be able to help people. Even if it’s writing an article to remind people of things they already know.
Despite this virus having killed 1.47 million people at the time of publishing this, this is a small fraction of the world population. It’s still bad no doubt about that, but what this tells me is that the vast majority of people aren’t going to have to deal with the virus itself.
Instead, they’re going to be dealing with their own mentality.
Even though the number is small relative to the 7.8 billion people in the world, the restrictions — or lack thereof — that governments have placed onto the people impacts all of us.
When this all started, my cousin had to deal with people babbling about all kinds of conspiracy theories. People had to wait in lineups to get into stores.
Even now, I’ve got to wear a mask at all times when going to the gym and many members have stopped showing up. Yesterday there were about six or so people in the gym at the time — not including the small group of staff.
All of these decisions impact several people and it’s these events that get people all flustered. Why? Because this change was forced onto them and people will look for any kind of reason to cope with it in some fashion.
Anti-maskers are rioting in Canada because we’re forced to wear a mask. It sounds absurd to me because Canadians and several Americans should be used to masks. After all, once winter comes, the smart thing to do is wear a scarf.
But because the government has required us to wear masks and to take all these measures, people immediately feel violated and think of themselves. We start to politicize every action and delve further into selfishness.
People aren’t going to the gym because they can’t be bothered to put on a mask.
Others don’t understand that wearing a mask is also a selfish action in its own way. You wear a scarf to protect yourself from winter cold. You wear a mask to reduce the risk of ever catching the virus.
As soon as restrictions are being placed onto things, we groan about it even if those things never applied to us. One of my dad’s co-workers was complaining that he couldn’t go out in public. It’s a legit complaint, though it’s undercut by the fact this individual follows a strict routine of working and immediately going back home. He’s been doing that for years before this pandemic even was a thing.
Of course resistance will occur when there is any kind of change and how we all handle it varies on our mindset. But that’s why it’s so important these days to take care of our minds and to pay attention to them.
This year I’ve been fascinated by people’s actions about how they’ve handled this pandemic. And yes there’s been a number of terrible things that have stemmed from this, but this is something that’s allowed us to have deeper understanding of people and of ourselves.
The only thing we can do now is to use that information moving forward. Vaccines are going to be introduced by late 2021 or even 2022 and with that there’ll be more resistance. There’s bound to be more chaos spreading for months to come stemming from this.
I believe that we will persist through it all this in the end though and hopefully come out of this with more revelations. I know that I will certainly from this experience alone.