Emma headshot

After months and months (and months) of battening down the hatches in defense of COVID-19, it finally happened.

I got it.

Thankfully, my symptoms were as mild as they could be: a stuffy nose, occasional headache and loss of smell and taste.

(Depending on which of my friends you ask, it’s debatable as to whether or not I ever had any taste, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Boy, was it weird to not be able to smell my coffee in the morning. It was bizarre to not be able to taste anything, but I took full advantage of it and ate salad for most of the days I was holed up in my apartment.

And I’m fortunate those symptoms weren’t more severe. I never had a fever and I never had a cough. I never had shortness of breath (except when I decided to scrub my kitchen floor during my quarantine period because I spilled coffee grounds all over the floor, and that’s only because I’m out of shape, so it doesn’t count).

If I’m being honest, because my symptoms were so mild, the worst part about my positive COVID test result was the worry.

I was worried I gave it to my friends. I was worried about how I was going to get any work done without being able to be in the Review office.

I was worried that once I was OK’d to release myself from captivity, people would still avoid me like I had the plague, even though I was no longer contagious.

That anxiety, stress and concern did take a toll. So much so that it was tough to determine if my headache was virus-related or stress-related.

But, in the grand scheme of things, I was very, very lucky. Many people aren’t as lucky as I am.

During my daily phone calls with the health department, I was advised to rest up and drink a lot of fluids.

This probably won’t come as a shock to anyone, but I don’t really care for resting up.

I read a little, did my nails a few times (looking back, this may have been a waste of nail polish, as it’s not like anyone was seeing my hands), watched some Netflix and called my mom a bajillion times.

What? You didn't really think I was going to be basking in my alone-ness in my apartment without harassing my mom numerous times, did you?

She’s a trouper, and while I’m not thankful for COVID-19 in any sense of the word this year, I am thankful for my mom. I’m thankful for all of my friends who reached out to me while I was stuck at home, asking what they could do to help.

That kindness and goodwill is what makes my life here in Hampshire County a happy one, and I’m thankful for it every day.

Maybe there are some silver linings to our pandemic lifestyles these days, but as far as the Emma June Saga goes, I can’t say I’m thankful for it in my own life. I know I’m usually the happy-go-lucky, bright, sunshiney columnist and I leave the realism to my equally stressed, buck-huntin’ sporty counterpart, but it’s been tough to be positive lately, if I’m being honest.

Which is a bad pun regarding my test results. Jokes like that are truly in poor taste these days.

“Poor taste”…OK, I’ll stop with the jokes, because I think we can agree that our situation isn’t funny.

It’s fine to look on the bright side and be optimistic, but our reality is increasing case numbers. Our reality is tightened gathering restrictions.

Our reality, my reality, is Review office COVID-19 outbreaks.

Look: it can happen to you. I’m blessed to have only experienced mild illness and be fully recovered from the virus, and trust me, I’m counting my other blessings as well.

Because while I don’t think COVID is one of them, the list is long, indeed.

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