Reader Contribution: ‘I Have COVID, and I Am Fine’

Photograph by Alison Davis Curry.

By Alison Davis Curry

I had not planned to spend the ten days between Christmas and New Year’s isolating in my apartment on West 85th Street. I also had not planned to spend them in a hotel room. I had passed on notions of traveling. Low and behold – I got sick right at home.

I am not dwelling on what I am not doing, although I have been remembering other Christmas/New Year holidays, and some of the places I am not this year.

I am not with my family in Arizona, with their gingerbread house, larger-than-life Christmas presents in the yard, and fresh orange juice waiting to be squeezed from the citrus trees outside the patio door.

I am not in the Dominican Republic, waking at sunrise to go horseback riding through citrus groves and cattle ranches.

I am not in Islamorada, Florida, where my older daughter and her boyfriend are having breakfast in their swimsuits with his mother and sister.

I am in my bed. In my room. With my phone, computer, jigsaw puzzles, books, and yarn to be knitted.

It is fitting that the end of 2021 is a bout of COVID and a 10-day isolation period to ring in the New Year. [This was written before the isolation period was shortened to five days.] As tough as 2020 was – it was the warm-up band for a really sucky 2021.

I imagine I am a larva, wrapping myself in the silks of memory.

In the beginning of the pandemic, sheltering in place felt warm and cozy. My 17-year-old daughter, a high-school junior, and I traveled the storm together. We made our days happy with music, laughter, and conversation. But the promised finish line of this COVID marathon was ever and ever further. The time did not arrive when we could put COVID behind us and come and go freely in the world, with a sense of security, as we once had.

But maybe we were never truly free to roam the world without fear. Maybe being vaccinated enables us to place the fear of COVID back into manageable levels of risk.

Risk and fear are not the same. Risk is intellectual. We discuss and debate risk. Fear is primal. Fear can debilitate us.

For me, the big threat of getting sick has now come and gone.

I have COVID, and I am fine.

Alison Davis Curry runs a boutique marketing firm for clients around the world from the Upper West Side.

COLUMNS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. LivableCity says:

      Lovely reflection, thank you. Feel better soon and hope it is the last time around for you!

      For the New Year:
      Here’s to mild cases, and no sequelae.
      Here’s to better protections for the most vulnerable, especially students, teachers, and those living and working in congregate care settings – nursing homes, prisons, residential care of all kinds, dialysis centers.
      Especially for those immune compromised and with other risk factors (like diabetes, or cancer treatment).
      Here’s to clearer rules and regulations that support all those folks so they can work and live safely too. Without losing jobs, or risking income, or health.

      I’ll stop there. A safer and healthier and happier year to all!

    2. Nelson says:

      Beautiful, Alison. Thanks for writing this and thank you WSR for posting.
      Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2022.

    3. Alexandra says:

      beautifully said, Alison!

      • JC says:

        Best wishes to you, Alison. Very moving and insightful piece. Thank you. Much happiness and health in the New Year.

    4. NYYgirl says:

      Glad you are fine in your apartment. If only all others will be as fortunate. Please remember that the fear of not knowing how one’s body will react to this virus is real, and the fact that some people become extremely sick while others just sneeze is also real. The fear of just sneezing while living in close quarters with someone who may become extremely sick is real, And yes, it is scary. Really.

    5. End Fossil Fuels Now says:

      Let’s remember how numbers work. If a virus variant is half as deadly but 10 times as contagious, the risk of it killing is still 5x higher. That is why we all need to do our part – mask up with N95 (not cloth) masks, get triple boosted, work from home, school from home, shop from home and stay away from restaurants, airplanes, public transportation, family gatherings or anywhere where un-boosted or unmasked people may lurk.

      • West 79th says:

        And do all these things until what magically low level of risk has been achieved? In the mean time, you would have us accept dramatically higher social isolation, reduced education for our children, more deaths from drug addiction, suicide and foregone health screenings, and increasing inequality between the laptop class and everyone else.

        Meanwhile, in the brave new world you propose, may we assume that the (disproportionately brown-skinned) people who grow, package and distribute the food you need to survive continue their work in packing plants, abattoirs, warehouses, and grocery stores, while you work from home?

        • West 79th says:

          By the way, another “way numbers work” is that any number multiplied by zero equals zero. And that is pretty much your chance of dying of Omicron unless you have one or more known risk factors. Even South Africa, where Omicron was first identified, with its low vaccination rates, has very few deaths. Zero deaths is not achievable and even if it were the costs would be far too high.

    6. Ian Alterman says:

      You are apparently one of the lucky ones if you can speak so calmly about your illness. I came down with Covid on 12/21, and it was an absolute nightmare for 8 days; by far the worst, most fearsome illness in my 63 years on this planet. (And I was double-vaxxed and always wore my mask.) I could never speak so cavalierly about it.

      • lynn says:

        I’m so sorry to hear that you had Covid. I hope you didn’t have to be hospitalized and were able to isolate at home. I know several people who were double vaxed and masked, kids at school, teachers, and entire families who were exposed, and a handful of them tested positive, and everyone was very panicked, even more so this time around than at the height of Covid. I hope you are doing better now and that you won’t experience any long term side effects. 🙁