Insert Foot: Thanks, Omicron. But things could be way worse

Omicron, COVID-19, coronavirus

Insert Foot vs. Omicron.

I was literally writing this column when I got COVID-19.

Well, when my test came back positive. I got it at some point this week, from my daughter, who got it from someone at work who lost their sense of smell for most of a week and decided, “Hmmm, that’s weird. Why don’t I work in a busy store for the next few days while deciding whether to take a COVID test.”

Very thoughtful. Thank you.

So after two vaccines, a booster, a lot of mask-wearing, and even more complaining about the general stupidity of humankind … I still got it.

But you know what? It could be worse. And it would be, without two years of mild attention-paying.

So far, I just have a sore throat and a headache. Which used to be called “Sunday morning” around my house. I think the worst part of my morning was telling someone I was around last week I tested positive and they might want to see a doctor.

It was like I was in my 20s again.

I have a friend who got COVID a year ago. Like me, she’s a careful weirdo who believes in science. She still can’t smell or taste, which her doctor tells her is likely permanent.

Imagine not knowing the difference between pizza and pickles for the rest of your life. I mean, death is one thing, but …

My daughter, whose medical privacy rights keep me from divulging her name (Olivia) without her express written consent, was supposed to be in San Francisco this weekend, celebrating her 20th birthday. She instead endured her father singing “Happy birthday to you, Covid’s not the flu, you haven’t lost your smell, only feels like your hell.”

She didn’t find that very amusing.

I also was supposed to be in San Francisco today, seeing the virtual Michelangelo Sistine Chapel exhibit. Instead, my kid and I will be in our cramped apartment, annoying each other and not feeling great. But we’ll also not be trying to watch TV around pesky respirator machines with tubes jammed down our throats. We’re vaccinated and we’ll live.

Oh, it’s not going to be all Crunch Berries and Van Halen videos. I’ll be doing my best not to resort to watching The Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife’s Bodyguard’s Hitman on HBO, which I tried watching for several minutes last night, before wishing I had a theater to dramatically storm out of.

I tried, Salma Hayek … but even looking at you for more than seven minutes couldn’t drown that dialogue.

Everything looked A-OK a couple months ago – restaurants were pulling the tables back inside, rock bands older than Earth were planning overpriced shows on big boats again, dogs and cats were singing and frolicking together on mountain tops … life was indeed returning.

Then we all had to learn the name of another “variant.”

Thanks Omicron.

Omicron crashed the party and ruined everything. I have an otherwise healthy young cousin suffering from jackhammer migraine attacks with no end in sight, his parents and brother spent Christmas sick, isolated and miserable. Another cousin also came down with it this week, a day after his son got it. My niece has been in bed with symptoms … nobody can leave their homes and the walls are closing in.

And we’re all vaccinated. As many times as they’d let us.

After I tested negative for the third time in as many days this week, I put on my scuba mask and Darth Vader suit and pulled into town for supplies (COVID tests). CVS literally just backed the truck up to unload cases of them.

I didn’t know they could put that many people in a CVS. I expected to be welcomed onto Space Mountain at the end of the line.

By the way, all those family members and I are well-off, middle-class suburban people with solid roofs over our heads. We can afford HBO, hobbies and our problems are typically of the first-world variety. We can also afford to buy 13 at-home COVID-19 tests – which I did over three days – to determine if we have what is, for some of us, more of an annoyance than a murder virus.

Trying our best not to spread it is the least we can do for everyone who can’t afford to be so inconvenienced.

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