Ain’t nothin’ bluish about this.

There’s a scene in Singles — Cameron Crowe’s 1992 under-appreciated grunge-era comedy masterpiece (and one of my favorite movies ever) — in which Steve (Campbell Scott) and Linda (Kyra Sedgwick) are awaiting the results of a home pregnancy test. If it’s blue, they’re expecting. If it’s clear, they’re not.

After ten minutes, they examine the vial and have a debate over it.

“That’s bluish, right?” Steve asks.
“It’s fairly blue,” Linda agrees.

Still not 100% sure, they decide to put it against something blue. And then, against something white. The scene is great because there’s nothing bluISH about that vial. It’s a deep, dark, undeniable blue. She’s preggers alright, but they are in too much shock to admit it.

Hey, speaking of home test kits, you know what else was undeniably positive this morning? My COVID test.

What. The. Eff.

I’d managed to go two and a half years without getting the dreaded coronavirus. Even spent a week in quarantine with my positive wife and never experienced so much as a sniffle. Just this week, the daily Madison newspaper switched their COVID reporting from daily to weekly because cases have dropped so dramatically.

Man. Talk about late to the party, huh?

And yet, not a total shock. Sunday morning, when we picked my parents up from their hotel, my dad informed us he had come down with a cold and slept like shit the night before. When he said he had a sore throat, we suggested he take a COVID test, but that never happened.

The day they left, I worked from home, and noticed I was coughing and sneezing a bit. Nothing real bad, so I went into the office the next day. My symptoms worsened, so I avoided everybody else and worked from home again on Thursday. I’d chalked it up to a rare bad cold, but when I woke up this morning and felt like I’d swallowed a mouthful of hot coals, I broke out a home test.

Figuring out how to take that thing was like deciphering hieroglyphics. Insert swab into nostril. Rub in circular motion. Repeat with other nostril. Break seal. Swirl in solution for 30 seconds. Rotate five times while squeezing. Put your right hand in, put your right hand out, put your right hand in, then you shake it all about.

So, that’s what a COVID test is all about…

I did all this right before stepping into the shower. The instructions said the results would take 15 minutes, but that positive line lit up like a Christmas tree within seconds. Nothing bluISH about those results either.

Metaphorically speaking. It’s actually a red line.

Well, shit.

Earlier in the week, when I told Tara how miserable I was feeling, she replied rather condescendingly, “Sounds like somebody’s suffering from a man cold.”

I wasn’t offended. This is how we interact. And truth be told, I get sick so rarely, when I do end up with a cold, fine: I tend to whine about it. Still, it gave me a bit of perverse pleasure informing her this morning that she was wrong.

Man cold, my ass!” I told her after I’d finished my shower. “I’m COVID-positive, bee-yotch!”

Has anybody ever so gleefully shared bad news? Probably not.

Then, I had to let my folks know. It was still super early on the west coast when I texted my mom, so I just asked her to call me ASAP. Don’t worry, nobody’s dead, I added, because when you wake up to a text like that, naturally your mind will go to dark places.

When my mom called a couple of hours later, she was still anxious. She knew that nobody had died, but assumed instead we were in the hospital, badly injured.

Guess that plan backfired.

“Hey, how are you guys feeling?” I asked.
“Well, I caught your dad’s cold the day after we got home,” she replied.
“Mmm-hmm. I see. Do you have a cough? Runny nose? Splitting headache?”
“Yes, yes, and yes.”
“I think you’d better take a COVID test.”

Tara, for the record, is perfectly fine. There isn’t exactly a lot of space to self-isolate in our apartment, so she’s been exposed for days. We figure maybe her bout with COVID earlier this year boosted her immunity. Plus, she had a cold a couple of weeks ago herself (though she did test negative then). Her immune system’s doing a spirited job of keeping her healthy, knock on wood.

I’m going to live. All things considered, I don’t feel too terribly bad. As annoying as these symptoms are, they’re more an inconvenience than anything else. I can still smell and taste and don’t feel especially sluggish. I can (and am) working from home, so all I can do is power through with rest, hydration, and medication. Hopefully by Monday, I’ll be back to normal. If a boring-ass weekend is the biggest fallout from this whole thing, I can’t complain too much.

Although, I gotta say, between the elbow/arm sprain from moving, the twisted ankle, and now COVID, I’m feeling like I can’t catch much of a break these days.

Tara would accuse me of making a “man complaint” anyway, so my lips are sealed.

51 thoughts on “Ain’t nothin’ bluish about this.

    1. Thanks, Deb. There are certain posts I refuse to “like” for the same reasons! I probably wouldn’t have tested if not for that sore throat. Even then, I just suspected that was the result of coughing so much the past few days.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My husband got COVID for the first time in July, and we were surprised that it took him this long because he travels for work on a weekly basis. I understood your excitement (at the positive result) when your wife mentioned the man cold. That’s also how my husband and I interact.😂

    I hope you feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t even know where my dad caught it from in the first place. The airplane maybe? One of the places we took him here? We weren’t around other people too much while they were here (walking around the zoo seems pretty safe and socially distant), but I guess it could have happened anywhere.

      Glad there’s another couple like Team MarTar out there!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well that seriously sucks, so sorry it caught you and your parents. Hope they’re not suffering any worse effects than you are. Rest and hydrate well, and try not to piss off Tara, in your weakened state that could be dangerous. 😉
    Out of curiosity, did you get two booster shots?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Same here. My husband got the 2nd booster before they switched over to the omicron specific. I was holding out for that, but have such a bad reaction to the shot, I’m not looking forward to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey be glad you only had the elbow sprain and twisted ankle to go with your COVID. I had an emergency gallbladder removal and two days of jury duty with mine. *grin* But seriously, hope you recover quickly and fingers crossed Tara doesn’t get it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gosh darn it, another Covid virgin bites the dust. I’m sure that will be me eventually. It’s so easy to catch it unless you completely isolate which is painful and nearly impossible to do. I’m cautious and sensible but can’t give up every activity or social interaction. Hope you recover quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This describes me as well. I like the term Covid virgin. When my kids were little, I used ot say that Moms just can’t get sick. Maybe now that I’m living in the vicinity with them again that still applies? They’ve both had it as have their significant others but I’ve dodged that bullet so far. Fingers crossed that continues, along with flu. Just got vaccinated for the latest strains of both, so there’s that.
      It may be that your body, Mark, is trying to tell you something, like slow down, buddy! I (and it) know how hard it is to “hear” (accept) that message, but, like nasty medicine, it’s for your own good! So, is Tara taking good care of you now that it’s your turn to suffer?


  5. I had a minor, 3-day cold (2 negative tests) after my son had covid while living with me and mom. He had it for 5 days. The other two, dad and sister, had it longer and one of them described it as a flu. None of us have any boosters, just the first two shots.

    I remain covid free for now but if I get it, I don’t anticipate the sky to fall. (Knock on wood.) Still, sick is not fun…

    Hope you feel better, and are symptom free, soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We’ve both avoided the virus so far, and consider ourselves quite fortunate indeed. That being said, we got our flu shots a couple of days ago and the “fallout” happened again last night. For some reason, all the covid boosters haven’t provided anything other than briefly-sore arms. But in the last couple of years, the flu shots…after 36 hours or so…kick our butts. Hope you get out from under it all asap.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve heard both people and ads alike say “come on in and get both shots at once.” We got ours two weeks apart from each other since it made sense to us to let our bodies “reset” between one shot and the other. I think the medical community just wants to get shots in arms as much as possible by making it convenient to do both at once. But yeah, it’s prime time to go for a flu shot now. Hope you’re feeling better.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, for some reason, I thought you already had it, but maybe I was thinking of Tara. It’s mind blowing when people don’t get it while living in the same house, but can pick it up randomly. I hope you feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad you only have a mild case. When I had it last April, I felt like I got hit by a bus. Ok, a small bus. Basically felt like a bad flu with a cough. The fatigue was the worst part. All I did was sleep for days. That part was lovely, but the rest, not so much. As for being vaxxed and boosted, I am, but only with the J&J version, none of the others. And I also popped positive within seconds. It was a tad exciting. Ha.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not rolling my eyes at the man cold thing, I’m rolling them over the not testing right away thing. That’s the first thing I do when someone has sniffles or a sore throat in this house–rule out COVID. That way we can isolate them and we can make sure they don’t keep spreading it.

    Had you or your father gotten the bivalent booster yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Classic rains it pours situation. That stinks. I suppose it had to get you eventually. Seems to get everyone. Good thing you got this variant and not the first. Funny about jubilantly sharing the bad news with Tara. Heh. Hope you’re on the mend now!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sorry to hear you’ve got old red line-itis Mark. May it continue to be kind & gentle with you. Sadly, there’s less and less of us about who’ve managed to avoid it. More members of my family fell victim to it recently, leaving just my sister & her husband, Himself & me. We’ve in for our next boosters this weekend, along with a flu shot, so hopefully that’ll ensure we’re topped up for when it inevitably happens. I thought I’d caught it from my mother just before she flew off to the US, but it turns out to have been just some ordinary other virus. I’d forgotten just how many of them are still flying around, especially at this time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bummer about the COVID. Like you, I was able to dodge it when my wife had it in June (or at dodge enough to not trigger the Covid test.) I bet you’d be worse off if you hadn’t had some vaccine, and some exposure to your wife’s bad luck.
    Did she have a “woman complaint” back then, or is it non PC to even consider the thought?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yikes. As I told two friends who ‘finally’ got it a few weeks ago: You were due.

    Every person on the planet will have it at least once, if not more, so you were due. I hope the symptoms don’t worsen, as I’m sure you are powering through it because you can’t man complain. 🙂

    Rest up, Mark, and maybe hunker down till you get your health insurance.

    Liked by 2 people

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