Battling The Virus

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…………………………………Battling The Virus

December 2, 2020
We recently received reports from two Silver Striders who contracted the Covid virus this year.  When the virus strikes your friends it really makes you aware of how important it is to remain vigilant and cautious during the days ahead.  Here is a first hand account from Brig Seidl and Karl Johnson about their battle with the virus. 

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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxBRIG SEIDL – Age 57
Back in March my company sent us home to work remotely, one of the very first companies to do so, and I moved to Spokane to live with Wendy. I brought a brand new electric lawn mower with me. So the day after arriving I went out to the garage to unbox and assemble the lawn mower, which is little more than attaching the handle, and I couldn’t seem to do it! I just found myself staring at it uncomprehendingly and feeling kind of dopey, like I was at great altitude or something. Eventually I gave up and came in and laid down.

That night a terrible fever came on that lasted for 5 days and for a full 2 weeks I was just so exhausted I could hardly roust myself from bed. And when I did it was almost impossible to focus on anything. If I went outside to get some fresh air I could only walk once around the house before I would have to come back in and lie down again. Just completely drained. As if someone had stuck me with a huge needle and drawn out 4 quarts of my blood.

Eventually Wendy became sufficiently concerned to take me to the Urgent Care clinic. This was in the early days of Covid so if you weren’t a celebrity you couldn’t get a test. The best they could do was run some other tests and inform me that I was negative for the flu and that what I had was an “upper respiratory viral infection”.

Some actual celebrities did contract Covid and get tested so I was able to follow what their symptoms were and mine were exactly the same as Tom Hanks’. There seemed little to doubt. I even lived and worked 2 miles from where the very first outbreak occurred in the United States, in that nursing home in Kirkland. It took a full two weeks, but once I got over it, I felt fine with no lasting repercussions.

But mark the sequel. I was concerned about my dad or other family members contracting it so wanted to get tested to assure I had the antibodies in case they could be used if a family member became infected. According to what I read the antibody test is widely available now and supposedly accurate. Whether the antibodies themselves are 100% effective in curtailing the disease is another story altogether.

I went to Fred Meyer and paid $25 for the test (Wendy took it too) and we both came back negative!  The clinician swore that a negative test result for the antibodies means that neither Wendy nor I ever had Covid in the first place. I’m not one to doubt science but I can’t help being a teensy bit skeptical.

I’ve never been laid out flat for 2 weeks for no obvious reason. The fever and extreme fatigue were exact calling cards for Covid sufferers like Tom Hanks and others I read about. I came from the Covid hotbed of Kirkland.  I was 99% certain I had it – not in a paranoid sort of way, just a fact of life. A very unpleasant two weeks. 

So little is known about it. Sometimes 90 year old folks recover and other times 20 year old people die. No one can say why.

We’re just sort of quarantining ourselves at Wendy’s house apart from masked trips to the grocery store and an occasional solo bike ride. Probably best to avoid other people as much as possible. We’ve gone to the track 4 or 5 times but it is all I can do to puff out a measly 5k at this point. Sitting in front of a laptop all day with no bike commute is not good training.

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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx KxxxxKARL JOHNSON – Age 62

I had been looking forward to the Tortoise & Hare 5k for a few months. My 5k times were improving and my training run times were frequently averaging less than 9 min/mile. I thought I could push it and maybe do 8 – 8:30 per mile for the race. Things were looking up for me.

Then my wife got sick at the beginning of the month and I got sick on November 10th. A couple days of high fever followed by a couple days of just not feeling good and I decided to go in for a Covid-19 test at the Federal Way Aquatic Center testing facility.  But I couldn’t have this vile disease! I wear a mask at work every day and keep my distance as much as possible!

And yet I tested positive on the 14th. Great! Time to hunker down with my wife and try to ride this out. I’d feel good for a day and then feel lousy for two.

My 10 day quarantine period was up on the 20th. I figured by then I would be well enough to run again. Wishful thinking! I went for a couple of walks with (my dog) Bailey and was able to manage a little over a mile before feeling wiped out. Things were not looking good for our hero.

By the 22nd, I was feeling the best I had in the past couple weeks. It was about a two mile round trip to the store. So I started my watch and headed out, abandoning all hope of placing in the top 10 or even the top 20 for that matter. I just wanted to complete the 5k. I got back from the store still feeling okay so I picked up Bailey and walked another mile around the block with him. Success! And under an hour even!Not my finest hour but, considering the circumstances, I’ll take it.

I’ve got a few more days off from work. We are also changing apartments the middle of next month so I’ve got packing to do. This couldn’t have come at a worse time. Not that there really is an ideal time for this kind of illness. It’s looking like I’ll be putting any other races on hold until after the new year.

 Keep safe everyone! Wear a mask and keep that social distancing going!  This disease isn’t fooling around.