Before I get into this, I want to make it perfectly clear. I am 100% pro-vaccine, pro-mask, pro-lockdown, and this post is in no way trying to downplay the effects or severity of getting COVID. It’s no joke, and if you need any sort of proof of this, feel free to head over to the COVID-19 Darwin Awards at https://www.reddit.com/r/HermanCainAward/
Of as writing this – Jan 12th 2022 – It’s been 2 years since this virus landed in Canada, depending who you ask. Many think COVID started in March 2020, but the first COVID case in Canada on record is Jan 25 2020. My mother caught something the first week of Jan 2020 that basically took her out for the better part of 6 weeks. Nobody could tell her what she’d caught and for the first time ever I genuinely feared for her health with how she was describing her symptoms and the very slow rate of recovery. She wasn’t alone – there were a lot of cases of this mysterious long lasting flu going around during that time – was it COVID, we’ll never know.
So, despite spending the past 2 years being responsible, social distancing, keeping my bubble very small (and at times not seeing people for weeks on end), getting my vaccines as soon as they were available to me, and being diligent with my mask, I caught COVID. I can’t know for sure, but it was just before Christmas. I suspect the Omicron strain.
A Timeline Of Events
On Dec 22nd I became a bit achy and developed a slight mild headache. I took a rapid test (brand 1) that evening which came back negative. No fever when testing myself. That night when I went to bed I was shivering excessively as I crawled into bed wearing my usual attire of underwear and no-shirt. I immediately put on a sweater & PJ pants and remember tossing and turning for a good 2 hours before I finally passed out – still colder than I wanted to be. I woke up 2 hours later drenched in sweat. I peeled off the sweater & pants, took my temperature again (normal) and went back to bed. I tossed and turned again but finally was able to get about 5 hours sleep in total. I woke up paranoid I was surely positive. I took another rapid test (brand 2) before leaving the house (to commence my holiday plans). It’s negative.
By the end of day on the 23rd I was feeling about 80%. I spent the next few days with my mother for the holidays and felt overall pretty good. Just a slight headache, but the body aches were gone and I never felt anything else abnormal. I attributed the headache to poor hydration as I was thirsty but had no desire to drink much water (despite usually drinking 3L a day). No respiratory issues, no fever, taste/smell was fine. Surely I just got that “cold” people were talking about (and was going around) as I had 2 negative tests and really only had one night of feeling crappy.
I take a PCR on the 28th out of pure caution as I was seeing a friend for NYE and wanted to be 100% sure. I take another rapid test on NYE (brand 2 – negative) as my PCR results still aren’t back yet. She’d taken a PCR a day prior with negative results) and I have 3 negative rapid tests under my belt in the past week. I feel at 100%, and we see one another. Since NYE I’ve more or less been a hermit and haven’t been in close contact with anyone except one person despite feeling just fine – it’s more “cases are still 10k+, I’m not chancing this”.
That is until yesterday – when I FINALLY got my PCR test results, a whole 13 days later. You’re positive for COVID-19. Fuck.
Why Bother Testing At All?
Thanks crippled healthcare system! The damn results took longer to get than the quarantine period! What use is there to even test if this is what we’re up against. We should absolutely be testing, and I’m NOT advocating otherwise. But, they’re rendered useless if they’re (A) not detecting it, and especially (B) taking 13 days to return results. Because of both of these factors I put my aging mother and friend who is a health care worker at risk – both without even knowing it – and being as sure as I could I was not infected as all my tests came back negative. I felt I took an abundance of caution, although in the end I suspect it could be argued that based on that one night of feeling terrible I should have self-isolated until a negative PCR came back, and not trust the rapid stuff at all. Yet, I’d argue anyone in my position after 3 negative rapid tests would do the same.
Thankfully my friend confirmed a negative PCR test prior to returning to work. My mom is a slight chance as she had very minor symptoms for a day, but was otherwise fine and also tested negative on a rapid (heh, I get the irony).
The point is, I took the precautions. I was lucky enough to be able to score some rapid tests (a box of 5 before they were insanely scarce), and I even spent 2 days calling every damn place in the city for a PCR. I kept my bubble very small and responsible. I had absolutely no way of knowing I was positive until LONG after it was too late.
The running theory is that I likely got it on the 19th when met a friend for lunch (not from them, but possibly while in public), symptoms started on the 22nd, and then I would have still been positive on the 28th, but non-contagious by the 29th or 30th. There’s one other theory, but the timelines seem too far off. It doesn’t even matter at this point as I’ve contact traced that entire 2 weeks and we can safely account for everyone.
Although my symptoms were negligible (I feel worse today after getting my booster yesterday, than I did with COVID). I can only imagine what I could have felt like, or what could have happened should I have not been vaccinated. I worry about the long term effects on my health, and even life span. The past few days I’ve felt a bit of a pressure on my chest as if I have a sore muscle. My breathing is perfectly fine, but something isn’t 100% right. Maybe some lingering symptoms? I’ll be getting it checked out if it doesn’t subside soon. – But I’ll be wondering this the rest of my life whenever I begin to feel a bit unwell.
The thing is I can’t really let it get to me, or get in my head. There’s nothing I can do about it now as I can’t change the past, nor the fact I contracted this virus. However, I can be thankful for the health I do have, the fact my experience wasn’t all that terrible, and most certainly that I’m alive. Silver linings, right? But, I can’t seem to shake some other frustrations.
Fuck You Doug Ford. You’re Not A Man, You’re A Coward.
Ya, I said it. That lying, stupid, ignorant, con-man, hypocrite, racist, piece of human feces. The man who’s greatest achievement to date is uniting white nationalists, while managing to semi-privatize our once great socialized healthcare system here in Ontario. Plus, the man can’t make a cheesecake worth shit. Canned cherries & miracle whip? Jesus fucking Mary & Joseph dude, I’ve seen friends stoned out of their mind make more respectable desserts using ingredients they found in a gas station at 2am. If you call that cooking, I’m literally an iron chef.
The man who’s own daughter & son in law are prominent anti-maskers & anti-vaxxers who he refuses to call out. His son in law has been forced to resign from the Toronto Police Force (Sorry for the BlogTo Article, ugh) for refusing to get vaccinated. Is this the kind of cop you’d feel comfortable having pull you over? Do you think this is the type of cop you’d feel protected by if you were a woman who was the victim of domestic abuse? What if you male domestic abuse victim – think he’d make fun of you? What if you were a transgender person who was the victim of sexual assault? Think he’d be sympathetic? I have my theories. He’s been questioned about them many times, and while calling people “yahoos”, he still refuses to comment on his daughter & son-in-law who are insanely outspoken about this whole thing. Coward. Then again, he also is proud to pose for photos with neo-nazis, and then pretended his wife was Jewish (except, she doesn’t practice Jewdism) after he was caught calling someone an anti-Semitic slur. The Classy Coward he is, Doug Ford.
I’m absolutely disgusted with the provincial government, how they have not only done absolutely nothing to prepare for this wave, but actively were sabotaging efforts to curb it. They enacted measures far too late (as they always do), and then hid behind the curtain as the province burned. Their negligence is criminal in my opinion. This isn’t anything new.
We’ve known things were absolutely going to happen regardless of how many waves there will be. Rollouts of vaccines, proof of vaccine, and hell – even contact tracing. We knew we’d need this shit months, even years before we did. Was there even a shred of planning? No. We should have been developing a system for proof of vaccine in the summer of 2020. We should have been putting basic framework in place for a vaccine rollout at the same time. They knew we’d need to tie this to a health card and only in the past few months we have a semblance of a working system (albeit it’s still horribly done).
When vaccines first became available, it was basically like the Hunger Games trying to find one. I remember hearing about them being available about 15km away at a church. I called, where they assured me there was nobody in line and I was eligible. I jumped in an Uber at crazy surge pricing and shot up there as quickly as possible only to arrive 25 minutes later to find a line that stretched around the length of a fairly large building and easily 500+ people ahead of me. When I asked they told me the line formed easily within 15 minutes or less. There was a line of cars still pulling up that stretched down the street, and backed up a good 100 meters on a major road. I decided to never spend $50 on playing “race for the cure” again and was finally able to book appointments a few weeks later. The province screwed this up so badly a group of volunteers ended up starting Vaccine Hunters to help people find a place to get inoculated. For the untold millions we spent putting together a half-assed system, some kids did a better job using Twitter & their home computer.
Then there’s the proof of vaccine. We should have had app developers working on this long before it was ever needed. Instead we got PDFs emailed to us, where we’d stand in line at Applebees as people would dig through 6 months of emails on their phones to find the one where they had the proof of vaccination, then have to pull out their wallet to prove our ID. Here’s a fun fact – those vaccination PDFs are so easily forged that a 5 year old with a copy of PC Paint could do it. I could have forged these documents with a 386 computer running Windows 3.1 – Seriously. There’s proof, although I’ll say that the QR code will absolutely work, just not for what you think it would.
I could go on for days about all the ways Doug Ford has failed us, but that’s not the point of this post and it’s just me getting rattled up about someone we’re going to end up voting out of power 6 months from now as long as people don’t completely lose their minds, yet again.
Get Your Optimum Points, Folks!
Isn’t it crazy how we’ve gotten to a point where getting rapid tests is nearly impossible, and getting a PCR test is basically only available to people who can afford them? Who could have guessed that the wealthy yet again get the access to proper healthcare, where-as those who are barely scaping by get the royal shaft. Would it be wild to know that all those “essential” workers are the ones who can’t afford it. You’re our heroes! Bullshit, treat them like heroes then.
Is it any secret that Uncle Dougie is funneling all this taxpayer money to private healthcare firms like Switch Health – one of the only places you can get testing done these days? Privatized healthcare going private? Don’t believe me – just look at the primary description on their website metadata : “Toronto-based healthcare company dedicated to providing better decentralized patient care”.
Don’t forget the kickbacks to the big pharmacies like Shopper’s & Rexall get for all their testing & inoculations. Would it be shocking to know these are some of Dougie’s friends too – The Weston family who are some of the wealthiest people in the province, just cashing in like Scrooge McDuck? I’m just waiting for Doug to do a presser announcing 20x the optimum points for buying 20 packs of COVID tests, kind of like he did praising Tim Horton’s breakfast sandwiches (was this a paid plug, I seriously want to know) at the same time promoting a woman knocking off copyrights by making NHL branded masks. I’m so confused.
We’re All In This Together.
No, no we’re not. Since my positive test, I’ve received a grand total of no communication from anyone from any sort of government or regulatory agency. Nobody has done any sort of due diligence. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t matter seeing as my positive test came back 2 weeks after I took it and I was clearly no longer someone to worry about.
But, then there’s the time I returned from a trip to Portugal at the end of August 2021. Where I took a PCR test in Portugal the day before boarding my flight home (negative), and arrived in Toronto well and good. I cleared customs with a few usual questions and a few extra about COVID exposure and also asking to show my proof of vaccine (which, I just needed to flash my phone – again – easily forged – yet surely they could easily have looked me up in their infinite database to know if I was lying). I received no less than 20+ phone calls from the government telling me I needed to quarantine for 14 days and I shouldn’t leave the house upon returning home from overseas.
This completely contradicted what was told to me by 2 different CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) officials when I explicitly asked them if any sort of quarantine was needed and they assured me I didn’t need to due to my negative test and vaccination status. Only to have a Provincial officer show up at the door of my condo a few days later asking me if I’m quarantining. I explained the situation, he laughed and said “I check in on about 30-40 people a day of which about 95% of you are marked in error. The system is a disaster and it’s so broken”… “well, it’s keeping you employed, right?”, I quipped. As he laughed – and I can’t even make this shit up – I got yet another robo-call from the government asking if I was quarantining.
COVID Ain’t No Joke
Look – I got it, and I was lucky as all hell for not having any serious reaction up to this point. But as of writing this there’s been about 315 Million cases worldwide, and 5.5 Million deaths. That’s no small number. The impact this pandemic has had on the health of those 310M people has yet to be fully realized, seeing as 5.5M of them are now dead. The impact it’s had on millions (billions) of others is immeasurable when it comes to mental health, their employment, and so many other factors. We’ll never know. How many of our most beloved restaurants & bars have closed? How many of these front-line “essential” workers have been forced to work in even more grueling conditions to barely scrape together rent at some shitty apartment where they’re forced to live with a roommate in their early 30’s just to make ends meet?
If I wasn’t vaccinated, I can only guess at what my experience would have been like. Maybe I’d be just fine, or maybe I’d be in the ICU on a ventilator right now unable to write this post. That’s something I’ll never know. But what I do know is I’ve had friends die from this virus. I’ve had friends get incredibly sick and nearly die from it – before vaccinations were available. In the past 30 days I’ve had more people test positive for it than everyone I’ve know who’s been positive in the past 1.5 years.
I delivered homemade roasted chicken soup, fish curry & the best damn blood oranges I’d ever tasted to friends who were racked up with the virus, WHILE I WAS ALSO POSITIVE, only I didn’t know it because I felt nothing and kept testing negative. Here I was, touching elevator buttons with my germs and sanitizing my hands trying to do so whenever I was touching a public surface, meanwhile I was the one people should have been afraid of.
At this point I just hope the long term effects are minimal if any. Maybe I’ll live a long and healthy life – or maybe I’ll die pre-maturely as a result. Time will tell. I can’t change what happened, but I can absolutely work towards a better future. I’ll continue to eat well, exercise, and pay attention to my health. I’ll go for my physical, and I’ll be cognizant of what could come.
If you’re not vaccinated, please take this post as proof that vaccinations DO work. Go get your Fauci ouchie(s). Wear a mask. Keep some distance when possible. I fully believe that’s what kept me good for the past 1.5 years, and it’s just by dumb luck I managed to pick it up somehow. I know I would have gotten it sooner if I wasn’t so diligent. We’re (hopefully) in the last waves of this disaster.
My heart goes out to those who have been affected far more deeply than I have. Family members or loved ones who have died, lives turned upside down, jobs lost, lives absolutely crushed. I’ve been extremely lucky and I’m thankful for that beyond what any words can describe.
But many weren’t. And that’s why it’s our responsibility – as a society – no matter your age, gender, sexuality, colour, or creed – to work together for a common goal to get past this. We’ve made arguably the biggest step in medical science as a result of this pandemic, and it just blows my mind there’s people out there still hellbent that they’d rather die than take a vaccine to protect them.
For what it’s worth, and you’ve probably heard this by now but just in case, rapid tests have a higher chance of a false negative done the traditional way. The current recommended testing method (at least in other countries, ours and the US are being slow to catch up) is to swab the back of your throat, then all up in the inside of your nose. For whatever reason Omicron hangs out lower in your respiratory tract, so just going up your nose runs the risk of not catching it.
Something to keep in mind if you find yourself going through this BS again.
All opinions, posts, comments, & content are solely that of my own. They in no way, implied or otherwise, represent the views or opinions of any business, corporation, or entity that I may be associated with.