Five Lessons From Getting Covid-19, For the First Time, in June 2022

Your number’s always up.

Will Leitch

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Two months and two weeks ago, I wrote about the odd sensation of feeling as if you were one of the only people left who had never had Covid-19. Well, scratch my name off the list: Last week, I woke up with chills and a headache and, yep, it turned out I was positive. I’m now symptom-free and through my quarantine period and generally stronger for the wear. I’ve also found, anecdotally, that the number of people who have never tested positive before but have in the last fortnight or so is, well, high. So be careful out there.

Here are five observations from being a late-in-life Covid-19-er.

  1. It’s not a regular cold or flu. I did not get particularly sick, all told. I was freezing in the middle of the night — despite it being 100-plus degrees in Athens, Georgia, where I live — to the point that I had to put on a sweater, and I had some body aches and head throbbing. But it was not devastating, and I was never much in fear for my life, thanks, surely, to the vaccines and booster I have received. But to be clear: It was different than a regular flu. I could just feel my body working hard, like there was something unusual and disorienting that it (along with science) needed to expunge. It wasn’t deadly, and I’ll confess I was never all that terrified. But it is undeniable that this illness was just different than other illnesses. Which was probably the scariest part.
  2. Nobody shames you anymore. My wife had Covid-19 back in December 2020, right before vaccines, and all anyone wanted to ask her was, “How did you get it?” They weren’t trying to shame her — they were only trying to figure out this weird new virus — but you can see how she would have felt that way. But in June 2022, no one even bothers to ask you how you got Covid-19. You got it simply by walking around the world like everybody else.
  3. There still isn’t much rhyme or reason as to how the virus is spread. My wife, who was with me all day every day for the two days before I tested positive, tested negative. No one I saw in the days beforehand tested positive either. I don’t know anyone I was around who has since said they had it. Tracking the chain of Covid-19 has always been confusing; the day my youngest son Wynn…

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Will Leitch

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com