Having Covid sucks. There is nothing good about it. The only saving grace is the degree of infection. In our case, both Ellen and I both got a milder form of the virus. Mine was moderate and felt like a bad cold. Ellen’s was milder, without the congestion I had. We were able to get the medicine Paxlovid early which immediately helped. Fortunately, except for the recently released booster, we had taken all four shots and boosters which also helped keep us out of the hospital.
The best thing about our bout with Covid was being able to recover at our cabin in the woods in Vermont which we call the Farm. For eleven days we hunkered down and tried to heal. The biggest event was hearing an apple thump on the ground or spotting a deer far away nervously munching the grass. Phone calls on our landline helped but we didn’t get around much in our isolation. Watching the New England autumn light change over the course of a day was a cheap thrill.
We were both really tired. Occasionally, I would take short walks just to do something different. Later, when we had more energy, we’d take short walks in the Vermont forests marveling at the dappled light and the little wonders of nature like a cluster of mushrooms growing on a dead tree. We both knew we were feeling better when Ellen felt strong enough to give me a haircut.
Mostly, we slept the deep and profound sleep of a dark and quiet place. Often, we would sleep 11 or 12 hours a night. And then take a nap in the afternoon! Being able to sleep this deeply was the best medicine. Also, being forced by Covid isolation to slow down allowed us to watch a cloud float across the sky or enjoy the flickering red light of sunset through a pine tree. This too helped us along to the road to recovery. Coffee, of course, made everything better.
Finally, despite the brain fog, I was able to finish the delightful book by the famous Ukrainian writer Andrey Kurkov called Grey Bees. It is a novel about a Ukrainian beekeeper caught in midst of the earlier war in eastern Ukraine. I just started a book by the incredible Atlantic writer Anne Applebaum called Red Famine Stalin’s War on Ukraine. You may notice a theme here. Ellen and I are preparing to produce a public program on libraries and Ukraine in October at the San Francisco Public Library. This is part of my way of getting prepared. I am thankful I have the time and now the strength to read these two exciting books!
We are now headed to Boston where tomorrow we will take a flight to Denver for the final chapter of this most unusual journey. Stay tuned…