Arthur Saginian | A COVID-19 Tale of Woe

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

What you are about to read is based on a true story. Actually, it is the story itself, which happens to be true. This is to announce I have tested positive for COVID-19. So why would I even bother to get tested for COVID in the first place, as I have been fully vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine? 

Well, it all started on Thursday, Dec. 30, when I was out in the cold rain for about three hours trying to clear my backyard drains using a manual snake I rented. I couldn’t use one of the big electric snakes because deep in my backyard the 3-inch drains have a lot of turns and I needed something small to get around them. It was wet and cold, and after I did all I could do I was exhausted, but otherwise I was fine, and that’s because I go to the gym three times a week and I would say I’m in pretty good shape. That was Thursday. Then came the next day, Friday.

On Friday morning my body was sore, but I figured it was due to the strenuous work the day before. Then on Friday night I also developed a stuffy nose and a sore throat. I must have really worn myself out, I thought. Then came Saturday. The body aches were worse and the stuffy nose and sore throat were still there. OK, time for some Tylenol with an added dose of Ibuprofen — doc said I could double up and that it would probably work better, too. Sunday, still feeling the same way. OK, this wasn’t the result of strenuous exercise, I had definitely come down with something.

Now, my wife and I were supposed to go out with some relatives on Sunday so my wife looks at me and says I better get tested for COVID just to rule it out. It’s funny, if I would have had the exact same symptoms back in pre-COVID days people would merely have felt sorry for me and wished me well, but now the moment I utter the word “COVID” it’s like I announced that I had contracted ebola, bubonic plague, or leprosy (and the “wet” kind, at that). 

Anyway, so off I go to the nearest Walgreens to get one of those at-home COVID test kits. They’re all out. I go to CVS. They’re all out. I go to two different Rite Aids… mmmm… I’m fuming. The lady at the counter tells me to go to Walmart because they usually have a larger stock. So, I drive to the Walmart at the corner of Copperhill and Newhall Ranch Road. Well, they have them all right, but they’re locked up in the manager’s vault (along with the gold and the jewelry). I’m not joking. The assistant told me people were buying them in bulk to sell them online for multiples of the original price, and that people were actually paying their ridiculous asking price, so they are limiting them to two per customer. 

OK, this is just plain nuts. What a paranoid and hysterical bunch we’ve been turned into. My personal thanks goes out to anyone and everyone who is responsible for transforming otherwise sane (or relatively sane) human beings into… what’s the word for this… is there a word for this? I’ll settle with “nuts.” 

Also, I don’t want to hear anything from the likes of Gary Horton or Thomas Oatway on this matter because as I see it it’s people like them who got so many of us into this neurotic mindset. I am, at this very moment, crafting “ACCOMPLISHED” medals for both of them, which I will personally “pin” to their foreheads for their remarkable achievement. Just kidding, but don’t I wish.

So I get two BinaxNOW COVID-19 test kits manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, one for me and one for my wife. Each kit contains two tests. I open the kit, read the instructions, take the test, wait 15 minutes (man, it’s quick!) and lo and behold, I test positive. Just to make sure, I use the second test. It’s also positive. OK, so I have contracted, been infected with, the COVID virus. The antigen was detected in my nasal mucous (yuck), that little protein that says, “You’ve got it, buster!” My wife is just staring at me — we’re definitely not going out with the relatives today. I tell her to take the test, so she does. Well, how about that, she tests negative… but for how long? I call the doc and he tells me to stay away from people for 10 to 14 days following the onset of symptoms and to wear a mask in the house, but that he expects my wife will also test positive in the next couple of days. Our son is also negative, but it’s just a matter of time because he’s definitely been exposed.

And here’s the funniest part, the irony of it all. I, in all likelihood, contracted the bloody thing at the gym because very few people using the gym wear masks and there’s sweat, mucous and saliva everywhere. So I probably got sick trying to keep myself fit. There’s just no winning, is there? Well, I give up. The good news is that I will now have natural immunity for a few months (maybe) and will also be able to scratch “Getting COVID” off my bucket list — a real two-for-one deal, right?  

Here’s something else that’s funny, at least to me, and that is that after reading several articles last night on how we’re finally going to get beyond this pandemic it became clear to me the only real way for that to happen is for everyone to come down with it one way or the other, vaccinated or not, until it becomes a mild “seasonal” event for everyone just like the flu. I give it about a year. I only hope the next pandemic hits way sooner than 100 years from now so we don’t forget about how we got out of this one — by getting vaccinated, but being prepared to get sick anyway. 

Just like the flu.

Arthur Saginian

Santa Clarita 

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