I can hardly swallow. My head feels like someone hit me in the face with a baseball bat. Mucus is stuck in my sinus, can’t suck it down, can’t blow it out. In all likelihood, coronavirus is here.
I don’t have a temperature yet or trouble breathing fortunately. I haven’t even coughed once. This is making me worried. I’m stuck wondering between if I am one of the 80% of people who show little to no symptoms – and if this is the worst it’s going to get. Or if the progression of symptoms from gastrointestinal to headache to sore throat means that I’ll be fighting for a ventilator in a few days.
We’ve been isolated for almost two weeks, so I should have been through the most of an incubation period that can last up to 14 days. Then the covid-19 can last another two weeks if I get the bad one. There is no treatment yet. Drinking hot liquids helps apparently. I bought some tea yesterday when I started to feel the sickness hardening inside of me.
My wife will bear the weight of this first domestic surge. Our sons have been coughing for a while, but they have been coughing all winter – they are children developing their immune system. As I lay here in bed I at least have solace in the fact that they will most likely not suffer from coronavirus. They have probably already developed the antibodies to become immune as the disease works through their systems. There is not much I can do to help with the kids though. Each yell and scream tears a hole through my skull.
There is a possibility that I’m overreacting, that I’m just sick with something that I would have had anyways and it’s not the coronavirus. There is no way that I’m going to a hospital or a doctor unless I absolutely have to, and if it gets that bad then it’s probably safe to say it is coronavirus. Uncertainty in this case is welcome.
But the kids make so much noise. Our apartment, our beautiful, stylish apartment, was not meant to house a family of four in constant interaction for months on end. Everyone hears everything. The hardwood floors creak with each step. Kitchen appliances resound across the open spaces. Even the bathroom is noisy as it butts up against the Internet cafe next store whose back room houses four immigrants. They are nice people, but they also make a lot of noise as they live on bunk beds in a couple of square meters.
So much noise. I smash my head between pillows and one of the kids drops a toy on the floor, reverberating through down feathers and sheets and into the infected sensors in my brain. The noise is constant on so many levels, the webinar my wife is trying to watch, my son running back and forth on the hardwood floor, the other one playing with wooden toys before getting frustrating and calling out to be picked up. I roll from side to side and can feel the fluid in my sinuses drip from one ear to the other.
Light hurts my eyes, I can cover my face. But the cacophony of the home jars my thoughts and prevents me from sleeping. The play kitchen is a mere meter from my bed, separated by the thinnest possible window, and the metal pots and pans clank to fake recipes. Occupying the kids is still the priority.
I suffer silently in a sea of sounds.