Well that was not fun. I highly recommend not catching COVID, in case you wondered.
To recap, I have had every vaccine known to mankind (although my last was in April; protection therefore waning), was in reasonably good health with no underlying conditions except my age, had never been infected, decided to fly to the UK for a quick trip, wore my mask except to eat (inside and on the airplane), and proceeded to get quite sick.
Not the respiratory miseries of early COVID days, but good golly miss molly I felt awful. Paxlovid helped. Soup helped. Sleep helped. Television didn’t help, but it did pass the days.
I want to talk about reserves.
As it happened, before I fell ill I had not watched The Mandalorian, Disney’s foray into the Star Wars world. What a pleasure! How lovely to have three seasons of heroism and puppet toddler creature available to lift my sagging spirits! What a celebration of myth and craft. One small reservation, a bit too heavy on the Pew! Pew! Pew! Kapow! Kapow! Kapow! KABLAM! for me, but due to the white plastic armor on most evil soldiers gore remained at a minimum., except from giant sand monsters.
So, story I had in reserve. On the other hand, I’ve now fallen behind on querying my novel, lost my Duolingo successive days of Spanish streak, and used up most if not all of the fitness I built up with the past year of hard work. Lack of reserves, there.
When I first started this blog, in my 50s, I wrote a post about what to do in your 20s and 30s to prepare for reaching my age. It was all about not hoarding your youth, about teetering about in heels, but also about protective behaviors like sunscreen. Blowing it all out, pedal to the metal, anatomy to the wall, have you ever noticed how many idioms recommend not holding back? For youth, that’s mostly appropriate.
But were I to write a similar post now, I might keep it to one line:
When I was young and got sick with flu, or urinary tract infections, or even mononucleosis I’d come out the other side healthy as always, without extra effort. At 66 going on 67, I’m going to have to work at recovery. And I’m highly likely to get sick again. When I’ll have to work at recovering again. So now, I am thinking I need to do more than get back to where I was, I need to try to get even healthier. Might fail. Very annoying.
One more thing to remember, or notice. Reserves are an artifact, even perhaps the primary hallmark, of privilege.
White men, for example, can screw up at work and be given another chance more easily than women. White people can fail financially and find loans, or family resources, more easily than people of color. Those with no serious health conditions can recover much more easily than those with what have traditionally been called disabilities. That’s privilege in essence.
I don’t find privilege to be innately evil, only highly susceptible to abuse, bringing out as it does human greed and deep-seated desire for agency.
So I’m grateful for being able, possibly, to rebuild after setbacks. As the Mandalorians say, “This is the way.”
I sincerely hope you all are well. Have a great weekend.