“Who’da Thunk It?”
I don’t know why, but that vintage quip, sometimes attributed to Mortimer Snerd, the dummy for the 1940s ventriloquist and radio host Edgar Bergen, popped into my head last week when I was told that I had tested positive for Covid.
My wife, Lynn, and I, who are pushing 90 and 91, had followed all the rules—vaccinated, boosted twice, masked for large portions of the past two years, keeping our distance at the post office and supermarket, Zooming church services, skipping the movies, vigilant about washing hands—you know the drill.
But, truth be told, we had throttled back a bit in the past few months. Seemed to us everyone was doing that. We were shaking hands, forgetting about masks, dining out (what a joy that was). Sure, we heard the news. A new Covid variant was beginning to appear and it was highly transmissible. We did not pay much attention to the news.
Last week, when Lynn woke up with “a scratchy throat” accompanied by a cough, and a runny nose, I thought we should take her temperature. 101+ degrees. Not good.
We have the good fortune of living in a retirement community with excellent in-house medical assistance. We called the clinic. Chad, a tell-it-like-it-is, indefatigable nurse practitioner, came to our cottage door. “I don’t want to come in,” he said. So, while standing just outside our door, he reached out to test us with nasal swabs. Lynn was positive. I was negative. “You’re next. Positive tomorrow,” he said to me. And I was, just as he predicted.
Just as Covid invaded our lives that morning we learned that on the same day it had worked its way into the White House and captured President Biden. It turns out that our progress toward recovery seems to be moving at about the same pace as his own journey back to good health. We chuckled when newscasters reported that his sore throat had healed. “Mine, too,” I said to Lynn.
We don’t know what cutting edge medicines and therapies the President has been receiving—only the very best, we presume. But, for us, the new drug, Paxlovid, Acetaminophen, lots of liquids, rest and the elixir of the ages, chicken soup, seem to have stopped this weird illness in about five days.
All in all, a good outcome for a trio of old timers–the President and us. “Who’da Thunk It?”
Ross Jones is a former vice president and secretary emeritus of The Johns Hopkins University. He joined the University in 1961 as assistant to President Milton S. Eisenhower. A 1953 Johns Hopkins graduate, he later earned a Master’s Degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.