May 28, 2021

Reflections on getting COVID in April 2020

I'm going to do a bit more COVID posting, but have decided to break it up into a more digestible series. And what better place to start than looking back on and learning from when I myself got coronavirus during the spring wave of last year?

To begin with, I find it strange how few people on the internet appear to have gotten it. It's rare to hear people share their stories, whether they're a large account on social media, or a lowbie in their replies. I understand why, say, Aimee Terese did not get it — she's in Australia, and their country smartly closed its international borders early and consistently, as did their Kiwi neighbors. See, even a libtard-run government like New Zealand can protect its people from pandemics, and all without the insane protocols that we have had to endure for over a year in America.

Really the only case I remember was @HeatherHabsburg from Twitter, fellow founding member of the lads-and-lesbians affinity group. She also got it during the spring wave.

Perhaps the cerebral types who are terminally online simply avoided contact with the outside world better than the corporeal types? Sorry, but one lesson I learned was that this thing was not nasty enough to turn yourself into a hermetically sealed nerd in order to avoid, or to keep others from catching — unless they were old and vulnerable.

It also makes me wonder whether lesbians like Heather were more likely to get it than gays. Gays are more cerebral, nerdy, and snobby, whereas lesbians are more corporeal, jockish / craftsy, and down-to-earth. I've read through the Red Scare podcast subreddit occasionally, and the girls-and-gays crowd there has mostly avoided it. I don't know about the lads-and-lesbians crowd — if someone has a better feeling for Tumblr, witch tok, or other lesbian online spaces, feel free to chime in.

If so, it would be yet another example of the horseshoe theory linking cottagecore lesbians who were on Tumblr in 2012 and groyper super-straight lads who were on 4chan back then. Every time I see @that_groyper (now just @groyper on Gab) posting a picture of home-baked bread, reporting on his moka pot brew du jour, and posting about nature hikes and interest in bugs and other ugly creatures, I have to check to make sure I haven't wandered into a cottagecore YouTuber's videos.

At any rate, by far the most widespread reaction to Heather Habsburg getting COVID was the deranged moralizing about how she had no one to blame but herself, since she sat in a restaurant where no one was wearing masks. She also commented on how pleasing it was to see such a sight. So in the minds of the deranged, the epidemic gods were meting out punishment on her not only for flouting the protocols, but praising the rule-breaking for its humanizing effects.

Even those who were sympathetic to her still concern-trolled her over masking, saying you're too good to succumb to COVID just because you don't want to wear a mask.

However, for the moralists keeping puritanical score, I happened to get COVID when everyone including me was the MOST restrictive in our behaviors. Everything was shut down except supermarkets and drug stores, which I only made a trip to once every 2-3 weeks. I held my breath and covered my nose & mouth when I went outside to take the trash / recycle bins to the curb. I had no one over, and visited no one. I didn't even go for a leisure ride in the car!

I wore a surgical, not cloth, mask on the rare trip outside, and I disposed of it after a single use, not just after every 8 hours. I wore latex gloves inside the supermarket, and disinfected my eyeglasses with rubbing alcohol after getting back home. In the supermarket, not only did I keep 6 feet away — we kept out of the entire aisle when someone else was already there.

The only extreme measure I didn't take was the disinfecting of grocery packaging, quarantining them, etc., since it was already known to not spread that way.

And despite all of that, it still got me. I didn't blog about it at the time because I wasn't fully sure that it was COVID — I did not suffer the supposedly telltale fever, but I had all the other symptoms, including the strange ones like the freezing feeling in my fingertips and toes for a bit before the debilitating ones struck. And it was during the spring wave that was hitting the rest of the country, so it wouldn't have been unusual for me to have gotten it too.

It wasn't a cold because there was no typical stuffy / runny nose, or other sinus problems. No productive cough either. It wasn't the flu. It had severe dehydration, though.

After 2-3 days of not even being able to drink a cup of water, let alone eat food, at last I could eat and drink again. I made a nice hearty steak and vegetable stew, loaded with animal protein, fat, and electrolytes. The first dish of that instantly brought me back to 70% of normal functioning. When you're low on electrolytes, which the nervous system uses to communicate, your brain can't send signals to itself or to the rest of the body, so it adds to the bodily fatigue and the mental cloudiness.

Recovery went well from there. I felt pretty normal after a week, and fully normal after about two weeks. I have no remaining problems taking a full breath. The only thing I'm not sure about is impairment of the sense of smell. I've always had a really strong sense of taste and smell, and it seems to still be that way, although there could be some minor loss that would show up on a lab test.

Naturally I didn't go anywhere or interact with anyone once the bad symptoms hit, or during my recovery. And again, I was maximally protective — at least, according to the official protocols — when I may have been infective early on before the major symptoms.

But it's possible, perhaps even likely, that I did spread it to someone else because those protocols were clearly wrong. They had a totally incorrect model of how it was being transmitted — as though it were a person-to-person contagion. And objectively in hindsight, they did nothing to slow / stop the spread.

I'll be posting more on the correct model for COVID's spread — where infecteds pollute a common public resource — but even if you didn't have any mathematical modeling under your belt, or knowledge of history, or awareness of diseases in other parts of the world, you could still figure out that the experts had gotten it totally wrong.

Somehow someone spread it to me, despite the fact that everyone in my neck of the woods (not just me) was taking the most extreme measures in April 2020. So I could have just as easily spread it to someone else, in the same way that I picked it up. Both links in that chain of transmission took place because the technocracy had no clue what was going on, and instantly fixated on an incorrect model of transmission, as well as a set of protocols that were therefore destined to fail.

Luckily for me, I was "only" 39 years old at the time, and it felt like a bad cold or bad flu, albeit with its own distinctive mix of symptoms.

On the silver lining side, I had immunity during the much more widespread wave during the fall / winter. And it convinced me that for most people (under 60 or 70 or whatever), it was not severe enough of a threat to justify the extreme protocols — even if they did work, which they observably did not. And it got me thinking about what the epidemic's dynamics actually were, if the flu-like standard SIR model was wrong. And after that, what types of measures might actually be able to slow or stop the spread — purifying, or at least neutralizing, the public resource from its pollution.


  1. "It also makes me wonder whether lesbians like Heather were more likely to get it than gays"
    Gays are notorious for spreading disease around in a way lesbians aren't. I know some of that is related to a specific act associated with one rather than the other, but it was part of a broader reckless disregard for hygiene & health in gay culture which remained for a surprisingly long time in the face of its terrible consequences. And even after AIDS has become treatable, my understanding is that their lifespan is still significantly shorter (possibly related to their higher rates of drug use) and a number of STDs are vastly more common among them (particularly now that many use PrEP as an excuse not to use condoms).

    "After 2-3 days of not even being able to drink a cup of water, let alone eat food"
    I don't think I'd heard of that symptom. It does make sense that we hear less about the less extreme cases where breathing isn't the big problem.

  2. COVID is not an STD, so gays spreading STDs more than lesbians is irrelevant.

    Gays being less puritanical about hygiene is also irrelevant, since it's not bad hygiene practices that spread COVID.

    The only gay online I've heard of getting it is Jack the Perfume Nationalist, who is pretty outside the norm of gays in other ways. Whereas Heather Habsburg is a fairly representative lesbian.

    Again, if it were a gay or gay-adjacent thing, 90% of the Red Scare podcast subreddit would have war stories and battle scars about having gotten COVID -- or at least having several members of their social circle getting it -- especially considering how many of them live in the two epicenters of NYC and LA.

    I don't have hard data on it, and you'd need to control for other factors. It's just a hunch from how absent it seems to be from the very girls-and-gays sectors of online world, aside from my lads-and-lesbians comrade Heather Habsburg.

    Severe dehydration did eventually get listed on the symptoms of COVID, but I think it's more common in "young" people (under 60/70), so was not emphasized early on.

  3. This was also the first time in 10 years that I had gotten sick. I normally don't even get colds or flus (not since high school, anyway). Or if I did get exposed, I didn't come down with symptoms.

    All of a sudden, WHAMMO. Bed-ridden for days. Definitely something new and out of the ordinary, hence more reason to assume it was COVID.

    But then, this thing is twice as contagious as the flu (R0 of 4 vs. 2), so even if your health and immune system is good enough to avoid colds and flus, it won't necessarily stand up to COVID.

    That cuts the other way, for the failed protocols -- something that might reduce flu transmission might fail pathetically against COVID (like masks).

  4. Haha, it’s hard to imagine you (as you come across on this blog) going all Howard Hughes like that! At least you’ve learned from your mistakes, which is more than most people have managed.

  5. It wasn't a mistake to act that way in March / April 2020, when little was known -- at least, among us peons in the general public.

    Novel pathogen to humans, respiratory, kicking people's ass, mode of transmission unclear (again, to us). Made sense to take extra precaution until matters became clearer, as a short-term thing (not an indefinite state).

    I was out of the house by May or June, whenever things opened up again. Did wear the mask, like everyone else, not necessarily because I thought it was working but because it was the condition for getting to go back to public places again.

    But after that explosion in the fall/winter, it was clear they weren't doing anything, so I started to wear it less, then stopped altogether in April.


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