If you've been wondering where I've been lately, I took some time off to head back home to Chicago for my summer vacation. Yet, a surprise greeted me when I went to unpack my suitcase, a surprise case of Covid-19 that appeared a few days after getting back home.

On the plus side, it bought me four days more of vacation. That is if you count sitting in front of the TV constantly blowing your nose, hocking up loogies, squirting hand sanitizer on your hands, and generally feeling unwell while binge-watching a mildly entertaining Showtime series from a few years ago that was canceled after two seasons without a satisfying resolution, vacation.

I was chatting with one of my co-workers on the phone this morning as I went back to work today, in work-from-home mode. And she mentioned one of our support people who works from a different location said, "He got Covid? I thought we were all done with Covid."

Nope. It's still out there lurking about. We've just got done talking about it. Most of us have gotten done thinking a lot about it too, including me.

I was sure I was dealing with a nasty summer cold without Covid. So sure, I drove my snotty butt to the office last Thursday and stopped at Walgreens on the way for a bottle of OJ, some mini donuts, and a Covid-19 test just to make sure I didn't have Covid.

If I was sure it was a summer cold, why the Covid test? My wife's been battling a long illness in the hospital, and they don't like visitors bringing a cold into the hospital, much less Covid, so that was reason one. Besides, my wife already had Covid in the hospital back in December, so I didn't feel like giving it to her again, she's got enough on her plate without that.

Reason two, I flew to Chicago on my vacation. So while I stubbornly believed I was dealing with a summer cold. It did cross my mind that I spent some time in a crowded steel tube with next to others because both flights were full, so it was possible I picked up the virus while flying.

When my test came up positive I couldn't believe it. So I finished up my last mini donut, chugged the last third of my orange juice, shut my computer down, and high-tailed it out of the studios. I called my doctor from the car and arranged another test, administered in his office's parking lot that afternoon. That came back positive. The doctor's prescription? A five-day dose of Paxlovid, which the nurse said would have me good as new in 24 hours.

It took 36 hours and I wouldn't say I'm as good as new, although my congestion has significantly decreased and I can actually breathe through my nose clearly. I'm still having those sweats though, the kind when you're fighting a fever. So I may still be fighting off the bug a little bit.

I'm back working from home that's a good thing. I didn't pass along Covid to my wife, my Mom, or my friends at the office. Most of my friends I visited back home managed to avoid it. Except for two of the three friends I joined at dinner the last night I was in town. They got it too.

So I either picked it up somewhere on my trip and was contagious that last night, or perhaps, someone at the restaurant we ate at was Typhoid Mary and gave it to all of us. I tend to believe the latter because who wants to be the guy that gives others Covid, ya know?

All that said, Covid's out there lurking. I've said since the start that I think at some point we'll all get it. Some got it when everyone seemed to get it. Others like me, managed to not get it for a couple of years.

My advice, live your life. Have fun. And don't worry too much about it. When you do get it. Take care of yourself. And take care of others by doing your best to not pass the virus on. I'll see ya around when I kick this crud, hopefully in a couple of more days. Till then I think there's something on Netflix to binge-watch.

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Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

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Gallery Credit: Stephanie Parker

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