Saturday non-snippet: Reflections on a nasty bout with COVID-19


Rather than put up another excerpt from a book, I thought readers might like to know a bit more about my battle with COVID-19 over the past couple of weeks.  It’s been educational.

It started two weeks ago when, at one of our regular Saturday evening get-togethers of the North Texas Writers, Shooters and Pilots Association, one of our number was troubled by a nasty cough.  We didn’t think much about it at the time;  that sort of thing goes around over the winter, and we’ve all been victims of it.  We shared supper and went our separate ways, and thought no more about it.

The following Tuesday (I think), a few of us got together at a local diner for lunch.  The coughing victim was there, and coughing even more than he had the previous weekend.  I was beginning to feel a bit under the weather, which I assumed was just another winter cold, or perhaps the start of a bout of flu.  However, by Wednesday it had turned into a fever and chills, and I put myself to bed.  Miss D. wasn’t affected at that time, so she went to work as usual.

By Thursday morning, I was really badly affected, and Miss D. was beginning to come down with the same symptoms.  We also learned that day (if I recall correctly) that one of her colleagues at work had tested positive for COVID-19, and a couple who had been with us the previous weekend had also tested positive and were self-quarantining.  Miss D. was feeling bad enough that she didn’t go to work on Friday.  Fortunately, we’d stocked up on cold and flu medications, dietary supplements and other necessities, and we had plenty of food in the house, so we hunkered down to ride it out.

I think what saved us from a really bad attack was that we’d read the warnings and boosted our intake of supplements.  Each day we’d been taking Vitamin D, zinc, a good multivitamin, etc., so that our immune systems were in reasonably good shape to fight off the attack.  Once COVID-19 set in, we had multiple packs of cold and flu medication to deal with the symptoms.  In my case, because I use a CPAP machine to sleep, I’d made sure I had high-strength nasal spray on hand, because with a clogged nose a nasal-cannula-mask CPAP becomes an expensive boat-anchor.  I was very grateful for it over the past week.

The most frustrating aspect of the situation was the almost complete lack of information and assistance from the medical profession.  I have serious reservations about many doctors and nurses, based on some very negative experiences following my disabling injury in 2004 and other medical conditions since then.  They were amplified and extended by the almost complete lack of interest shown by providers once we knew we had COVID-19.  Those to whom I spoke kept trying to fob me off to go somewhere else, rather than bother them.  They gave me wrong (sometimes conflicting) information, refused to even consider prescriptions for the better-known short-term treatments (e.g. hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, etc.), and were generally very unhelpful.  Staff at one regional hospital and its associated clinics gave me six different answers to the same questions at different times, and when I followed their instructions and turned up for a test, they wouldn’t provide one.  It was intensely frustrating, and probably the most aggravating aspect of the situation.  (I had more to say about it a few days ago.)

At the time, of course, we were in a severe winter storm situation, which played havoc with local infrastructure.  Temperatures dropped below freezing on the same Wednesday I developed symptoms, and stayed that way for ten days, until yesterday morning.  We had up to a foot of snow, depending on whose figures you believe, and the ground is still covered with snow and ice.  It’ll take several days of warmer temperatures to melt it off.  That’s a big change from what we normally see of snow in these parts, which is a light dusting that melts away within a few hours.  We were fortunate that we didn’t need to do any shopping;  the roads were very treacherous.  We were lucky enough not to lose power during the storm, unlike a few million other Texans.  If we’d had no power, I don’t want to think what living with COVID-19 would have been like.  It was pretty miserable as it was!

Miss D. shook off her infection quite a lot faster than I did, largely (I think) because she’s a couple of decades younger than I, and in better physical shape.  (As Old NFO and I have been known to ruefully remind each other, “It’s not the years – it’s the mileage!”)  I ran a fever for a full eight days, finally shaking it off only two days ago;  and I still have chest congestion and an associated cough.  I’m taking expectorant medication to help get rid of that.  It’s frustrating to me that I haven’t “bounced back” faster . . . but I’m in my sixties, and not in great health due to partial physical disability, two heart attacks, and other vulnerabilities.  Under the circumstances, I’m told I should be very grateful that I got off as lightly as I did!

Our coughing friend from two weekends ago was admitted to hospital this week, and spent a few days on oxygen, being pumped full of remdesivir.  He got home yesterday afternoon, and will be resting for at least another week or so.  He had a rough time of it, and I’m glad he’s OK.  Officially, Miss D. and I are out of quarantine now (ten days after the first symptoms), but we’re going to be cautious and spend a few more days in self-imposed isolation, to make sure we don’t carry any COVID cooties to anyone else.

Miss D. and I reckon this was our second bout with COVID-19.  We had a similar infection a year ago, in February 2020, and the symptoms and effects were very similar to this year – just not as pronounced.  At the time, testing wasn’t available, and now, even though tests are available, cutting through the bureaucratic red tape to get one is frustrating as hell, so I haven’t bothered.  (Miss D. got one at a local pharmacy, and expects to hear the results early next week.)

Will it be worth getting the vaccine?  I don’t know.  I’m not anti-vaxx at all, provided it’s safe and effective;  but the safety aspect has so many question marks over it that I’m not convinced.  (If Congress has to exempt the vaccine manufacturers from legal liability if anything goes wrong, that’s a great big red flag, right there.  If something does go wrong, guess who’s left holding the baby?  That’s right – you and I, the recipients.)  There’s also the very serious consideration that this “vaccine” is actually a form of DNA modification, if I understand the science behind it correctly.  There’s never been a vaccine like that before, and I’m not sure I want to be a guinea-pig for it.

However, I must admit, COVID-19’s whipped my butt over the past ten days.  I’m in a very high-risk group for it, due to age and other factors;  and I consider myself lucky to have beaten it so far.  I may have to reconsider my options and get the vaccine, rather than risk fighting it on my own again.  It might be “third time lucky” for COVID, rather than me!  I’ll have to think very hard about that.

At any rate, I’m on the mend, as is Miss D.  We’re grateful for that, and have a lot more respect for what COVID-19 can do to the human body.  If you get it, or if you’re at high risk for it, take as many precautions as you can.  It’s no fun at all.



  1. Scientist here. The mRNA vaccines do not alter or insert into your DNA. They're physically incapable of doing so. Still, it's your choice to take one, or not. I just don't want you to refuse to take it on account of someone else's BS.

  2. I’m shocked even in Tx, wow!

    How many people have died due to the unholy jihad against hcq and other anti virals.

    refused to even consider prescriptions for the better-known short-term treatments (e.g. hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, etc.

    Roger Simon: How the Hydroxychloroquine Scandal Wrecked America and the World Along With It.

    And a way to get hcq!

    French study of when Switzerland temporarily stopped hcq. Death rate went up. Restated death rate went down.

    NY Dr that pushed hcq that got booted off Twitter does telemedicine:

    IVERMECTIN is also supposed to be helpful. It's available from vets also.

  3. Wife and I are both 65. We wont take that shot, too many unknowns.
    So far, we have been lucky. But we do not go anywhere or do anything, just in survival mode out here in the desert.
    Part of that is trying to survive on SS and part of it is there is no where to go, anyway.

  4. To be fair, if they hadn't given liability protection to the drug companies, it would be another couple years of testing before we were even considering the possibility of the chance of having any vaccines at all.

  5. HCQ is effective up to 5 days after onset of symptoms. Ivermectin is effective up to 10 days after onset.

    The ivermectin in agricultural medicine is the same as human medicine.
    Get the apple flavored oral syringe for more accurate dosing.

  6. Peter,
    I know you and Miss D work out, so just a caution based on my own experience

    I caught "something" last March: 24 hours of chills and fever, a dry non-productive cough and anosmia. Overt symptoms lasted about 14 days, and when I stopped coughing I tried to get back into exercising. Five minutes on a static bike (I usually do 30 minutes) and my chest got tight, so I stopped there.

    It was about a month before I could work at anything like my usual level, so you might want to take a cautious approach to getting back into your usual routine.

  7. Peter, I'm 60 (overweight, high blood pressure, asthma) and work in a residential setting in TN which allowed me to get Phizered about a month ago. Side effects included pain in the arm and mild fatigue that went away a day after receiving each shot. I have been repeatedly exposed to infected people in 2020 without becoming sick. I have had a cough the last week and a half without other symptoms.

  8. I've had the 'rona twice as well. I took Vitamins D, C, and Zinc to help get over it both times. Overall, it took me 3 weeks to get over it each time. It sucked both time but was never anything I considered even going to a doctor over, let alone a clinic or hospital.

  9. Peter, the vaccine does not in any way alter your DNA. I wrote about this not long ago, because I was hearing that rumor. There are people out there who will smear a vaccine, any vaccine, for their own nefarious purposes. This is not me saying to go get it – your choice. But be very cautious about the rumor mill. Anti-vaxx conceals a nasty, I'll even say evil, agenda.

  10. Due to heavy allergies, I use a face mask with my CPAP. The nasal canula thingy is just not viable.

    I've found that the mask helps hold my mouth shut and does a better job of forcing air into my nostrils than the canula or nostril pillow thingy.

    Side effect, by holding my mouth shut it has cut down on my snoring. And if the nostrils plug up there's enough pressure to open my mouth so as to allow me to breathe.

    Since you have a CPAP, don't forget to field strip it and clean it real well. You don't know what type of nasty things will grow in the system until you do. The main seal under where your house plugs into your water tank, under the lid for the water tank compartment, will look seriously disgusting.

    I clean everything I can with a toothbrush, Dawn and hot water. Aferwards, a good soaking in Hydrogen Peroxide for all the soft rubber parts (courtesy of a gallon ziploc and a bottle of H2O2.) Rinse with more hot water and hang everything up to dry. I've kept the same tank and face mask going for 3-4 years now.

  11. Upon the advice of Doctors at UT Southwestern and based on my medical history I have taken both doses of the Pfizer vaccine completing the second dose yesterday. I scheduled my shot late in the day so maximum road thawing could occur. The arm is little sore after the second dose but no big deal. I didn't feel the first shot at all. The only side effect I've experienced so far is fatigue after both doses which I solved with a nap. I've had so much going on including emergency surgery for a detached retina and keeping our well and water system warm during the winter apocalypse I may just be exhausted. Success all around – eye is healing nicely and no frozen pipes or other damage. If I get other side effects of the vaccine I'll put something in the comments section. I've this before – the decision to get a vaccine is up to you based on your Doctors advice and considering your own history.

  12. There's a company in Utah that makes a nano-silver solution. "St George Medicinal Herb, Inc".

    It's not colloidal silver, so it won't give you argyria.

    I mostly use it for stomach upsets – like when I've eaten suspect food, and want to make sure I'm not going to have food poisoning – or for sore throat, since it comes in a spray bottle, but it works quite well for injuries, even in small animals. My parents have used it to clean and disinfect abcesses on their cat, which then healed perfectly, when they couldn't afford a vet visit.

    Last time my mother got a respiratory bug, she put the silver solution in her CPAP and it cleared the infection in a couple days. (She has the mask type though)

    And, lest you say "that's a bunch of hippy mumbojumbo!", metals in that area of the periodic table have anti-biotic properties. Copper will kill germs on surfaces, hospitals use silver-laced dressings to pack wounds, and platinum is used in a whole raft of cancer treatments to … disrupt cell division, I think.

    At any rate, it's another existing option for treating illness, and it's shelf-stable, as long as you keep it out of strong light.

  13. I wonder if your troubles with testing and treatment are because of your state.

    I lost my sense of smell on a Thursday, and had a test scheduled within an hour for the next day. I got results on Monday (positive). I did the next 10 days in isolation. I had no problems getting either the test or information.

    I'm too young and unimportant to get the vaccine before April, probably, but I should have some resistance in the meantime. My wife and both parents have had their 2 shots, with almost no side effects.

    Get the shot, Peter, so you can keep writing for a long time.

  14. I had Covid in September 2020, and my initial symptoms were: No taste or smell hence no eating with a loss of 8 to 10 pounds which is recognized by your inner self saying “who cooked this” for food taste like cardboard. Second is chills, no minor chills, major chill in which you seek warmth via heat, blankets or clothing. After this there are many ongoing symptoms. These vary dependent on the individual. They could be: malaise, fever, aches, congestion, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, chills, no smell/taste and depression. These symptoms come and go, my health care worker called this “ebb and flow.” You think you getting better, but not so.

    Week 1 and 2 was bad. Nothing really got done, Week 3 and 4 felt better, still symptoms. Week 5 was good with little symptoms. I had a deep depression during week 1, One sits and just gets down on yourself. That depression, e.g., to give up, which could kill you if you have a comorbidity. Week 5, I noticed my memory was failing. It could be old age for I am seventy, or lack of using ones neurons. Others who had Covid tell me that they too had memory issues. You can’t remember a word or someone’s name. This memory loss went away, least I believe.

    I took Tylenol for fever, Benadryl for congestion and to help me sleep, and forced fluids. I would add when able a walk in the sun, also to take vitamins C, zinc, and D3. Exercise/sun will increase appetite and helps one to rest/sleep well.

    Someone with Covid will not want to do anything. They need food and liquids for which they can't taste nor want to cook. If you know someone, then take them something, don’t ask, just deliver.

    To stay Covid free, which is hard, wear that facemask to protect others but to this add: distance; wash hands (always after returning home); attempt to do less social gathering; a shower a day with clean clothes every day for water works is our savvier; and stay healthy(e.g., limit drinking and smoking). It will be a hard pull to avoid Covid, not an IF but just a WHEN. Because of this get the vaccine. Even if you have or had it, get the vaccine.

    The vaccine is here, but it will hard pull or there are many of us. As a nurse, I administered Pfizer inoculations yesterday. In Wood County Ohio I estimated the county did over 3600 inoculations for school staff. This was one day. Please note the many folks won't get inoculations. If you can get inoculated, then it will be worth it just to avoid 5 weeks of hell. Remember no if it is when.

    Respectfully Submitter, Sgt Pete, RN

  15. I agree with Pootie Tang and Cedar above – there's no possible way for the vaccine to alter your DNA.
    It seems like you should have acquired immunity to the COVID after your first bout with it. Maybe your second time around was due to a mutated variant? Kind of like how the flu mutates.

  16. First of all, very glad to hear that you and Miss D. are on the mend. The precautions you took probably made a major contribution to this gratifying outcome.

    Now to the likely way how you got infected. I'm sure that the person with the cough at your "regular Saturday evening get-together" is a fine fellow otherwise, but attending with a cough (a known symptom of CoViD-19) was irresponsible in the extreme.

    The preponderance of medical information that I've seen says that asymptomatic transmission of the virus is nonexistent or very rare. (Which is why mask mandates for the general public are stupid, in addition to being harmful to wearers and to the social climate.)

    But for heaven's sake, STAY HOME when you run a fever or are coughing or being wracked by bouts of sneezing! In the absence of paid sick time legislated for all employees, employers should announce a policy that their workers are allowed to stay away for up to ten days without a loss of income if they have reason to believe they caught the 'rona.

    And even if you take a financial hit staying home or feel miffed at missing out on company, do the right thing anyway. Out of consideration for your fellow humans, stay home until the symptoms have cleared!

  17. 1) Glad to hear you're both on the mend.

    2) Don't be surprised if you notice lingering after-effects long beyond when you would expect not to. that's typical.

    3) Infection doesn't necessarily prevent re-infection. Seen it first-hand.

    4) Lottery win? No. Worst day, this is bad in <10% of cases, and deadly in <3%, overall. Even with co-morbidities.

    5) Vaxx? I'm still holding out too, even though I could have gotten the Pfizer shots already. Nyet interested in it. Too much bad juju, from where I sit.
    Better alternatives down the road may move me to a hard "maybe".

    Hand washing and N95 use has done me just fine, so far.

    You drops your nickel, and you takes your chances.

    Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery.

  18. 3) Infection doesn't necessarily prevent re-infection. Seen it first-hand.

    I'm one of these as I had it a second time in September. I gave blood two weeks ago. Today I got mail stating that I do NOT have COVID-19 antibodies in my blood. Given that what I had in both March and September was unlike any other flu or cold I've even had, and most certainly matched the textbook description of COVID, my test results suggest that immunity to this virus does not last long (and neither will the vaccine),

  19. One issue with mRNA vaccines is the possibility of being set up for a catastrophic immune response to a second exposure to the same or a closely related virus. This has happened in cats with other coronavirus vaccines; it probably is not going to be a common reaction with COVID vaccines if it occurs at all. In humans and dogs, anyway.

    There are also theoretical concerns about antibodies produced to the spike protein cross-reacting to placental cells. Even if this were to pan out, there are a lot of people for whom this is irrelevant.

    That said, once your immune system is primed to recognize "self" as "not self" and attack it, it's a transferrable skill. And, as one of my professors said, "if it goes on long enough, every case of chronic inflammation has a good chance of becoming an autoimmune case."

    What the results from the clinical trials on COVID vaccines so far say is that no new cases of autoimmune disease have developed. Thy haven't said much about aggravation of existing autoimmune cases.

    Another potential problem with the mRNA vaccines is allergic reaction to the polyethylene glycol adjuvant. This allergy does exist, but is probably less common than some fear.

  20. God bless you, Peter, and congratulations on pulling through. My wife and I each went through two bouts of Covid, back to back, in the last two months. The one that laid her low (double pneumonia) was a minor annoyance to me, and vice versa (without the pneumonia). Doctors and clinics were likewise clueless and apathetic (when not actively hostile or afraid) here in Ohio.

    I react oddly to many illnesses and medications. The fist Covid was a 4 day minor annoyance, where the only thing I could taste was salt. The second bout (two weeks later) was 17 days of misery, where I could taste and smell the individual constituents of everything. I could taste the plastic of the pipes and the calcium in the water supply.

  21. Vaccination update – after getting the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine Friday I spent yesterday (Saturday) with muscle aches, fatigue, and indigestion. It seemed like the scars from all my various injuries and incidents flared up and my arm was a little sore at the injection site. However, writing this Sunday morning I feel fine.

  22. The problem with autoimmunity is that it does not show up right away. It will show up about 6-12 months after the vaccine and will gradually worsen over a 3-4 year period until it get bad enough that you complain about it and go to clinics to deal with it. The problem is that there are current no cures for autoimmune conditions and most treatments involve suppression of the immune system, the last thing you want in a time of emerging zoonotic viruses.

  23. To all the "Scientist Here" types.

    If you have not taken a College level Genetics course in the last 10 years with Microbiology lab work… you need to shush about "scientist here" pronouncements.

    Because you in fact don't know what you are talking about.

    First off calling the Pfizer and Moderna compounds "vaccines" stretches the term. This is not a live virus, or denatured virus. This is in fact something new and unique.

    The Moderna/Pfizer platform was always meant for gene therapy. The Adendovirus insertion to cells the "similar" RNA molecules were all meant to trick the cell machinery to insert into our DNA. Yes the retro-viral mechanisms never worked reliably. BUT this whole research area was for GENE MODIFICATION.

    These Vaccine like molecules are an attempt to have our cells produce ACE2 so that our immune system will respond my making ACE2 bonding Antibodies. Ok great… what else is this "vaccine" doing?

    I know most "science types" will say… "er nothing" which would be false. The polite answer is "we really don't know" AND to put a finer point on this we really don't know reliably what that ACE2 protein complex is attaching to. Sure the Moderna people "say" it's nothing but it's unlikely that that protein complex just floats out of transcription and just helpfully goes out to be picked up by our B and T cells to present to our lymph nodes for antibody production.

    now this witches brew is going to millions of people and their billions of cells (some with immune compromised systems) and we will see what evolutionary response to this massive witch doctor type testing will foster into the world.

    I think Durban mutation will only be the begining

  24. Several months ago, we called our Obamacare doctor. After several re-directions we were to told that the med-corp we had to use under insurance does NOT (will not) prescribe Hydroxychloroquine, or Ivermectin, or the Budesonide treatments. We asked around, and found an independent Doctor that will. Insurance coverage or not, that is who we will be calling in the event we catch the 'rona.

  25. Hey Peter;

    I am glad that you are on the mend, you will be back to your "normal self" in a few more week, Just give it time. Your sense of taste and smell will take longer to recover. My sense of smell still hasn't come back.

  26. Glad y'all are doing better. I'm pretty sure we had Covid this time last year, and it put both of us down for about a week. The month getting back to something approaching normal wasn't much fun, so take it easy, put your feet up, and feel better.

  27. Quercetin is available on line and acts in a manner similar to HCQ, to be taken with Zinc. Acetylcysteine, also available on line, should help acutely as well as long-haulers. For horses, farm animals and pets, ivermectin is on eBay, Amazon, etc.

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