I Finally Got COVID, So I Might As Well Share The Lessons I Got Out Of It

Man in orange sweater and mask

It’s finally happened. No, I didn’t become a New York Times bestselling author. I have instead contracted COVID, after two years of dodging it like Neo in The Matrix.

But you know what I always say: when something bad happens to you, at least you’ll get a story out of it. And that’s what brings us to today’s post, my account with the virus, seven days in.

So sit back, put on your masks, and enjoy the lessons I’ve learned from this weird, weird week I’ve been having.

Perhaps my symptoms can comfort you

If you’re currently suffering from COVID and you’re just curious about what’s in store for you, perhaps this section will help alleviate your anxiety. Because as someone with compromised lungs (a hole and an infection when I was younger), boy can I relate to the unending what-ifs that inevitably follow the infection.

Does you coughing mean that the virus is taking over? Are you in the unlucky three percent? And how long will it be till you feel normal again?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers. And neither should you take medical advice from the internet. But, if you’re feeling fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, itchy, chills, brain fog, and general impending doom, then you’re not alone.

I’d felt all of that and more on day two alone. I never even knew I could feel so winded just lying down.

So yeah, I hope that you find solace in knowing how much things had sucked for me, because maybe that’s the exact thing you needed to hear so that you don’t catastrophise yourself into oblivion.

And maybe, by the time you’re done reading this piece, you’d find a lesson or two of your own as well. So let’s get on with it!

COVID Hug - Anastasia Sklyar

Hush there, you’re fine. Photo: Anastasia Sklyar

1. Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

Sure, we’l start this thing with a Mike Tyson quote, because if there’s one thing I’m currently feeling, it’s that I got punched in the face by life itself.

Just the day before my sore throat, I had built myself to be a personal paragon of productivity. My days were filled with positive tasks from working out to meditating. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

I was the fittest I’d ever been, happiest I’d ever been, and the most proud of myself I’d ever been. Then I got sick and every habit I ever had just flew right out the window.

Can’t run when I’m sick. Can’t write either. Journalling? Nah. Eat healthy? Please.

Even my hobbies took a hit. Reading wasn’t fun anymore, and neither was gaming. Watching YouTube became a chore, and even the word ‘relax’ ceased to exist.

Sure, it’s easy to be Mister Productive when everything’s going your way, when your days turn out exactly as they should, and the only thing that qualifies as an emergency is that you forgot to stock up for meal prep.

But I’ve quickly learned that who you are when shit hits the fan is what really matters, and I’ve very quickly learned that I’m a wimp. A whiny, frail wimp.

COVID Sad Face - Arash Payam

This was me the entire time. Photo: Arash Payam

2. All life is preparation

In relation to the above point, I’m also thankful to my past self for going on those runs when he didn’t feel like it, or pushing through those workouts when he was already winded, because boy did it help in dealing with the shortness of breath on COVID.

That separation between mind and body I’d practised during meditation? That came in real handy when the pain took over. Ditto all the good diet choices I’ve made that’s helped me nourish my body to date.

It’s not obvious when we’re in the thick of it, facing the mundanity of our days, but every decision we make plays a role in our future. Even the seemingly tiny decisions like practising gratitude can come in handy for the moments you least expect it.

Because heaven knows that gratitude was one of the driving forces that helped me get through the moments of gloom in quarantine.

Someone wise once said that life is pain, and once we accept that fact, we can then learn to weather ourselves to whatever life can throw at us. Maybe people—like David Goggins—who constantly put themselves through this rigour do have life figured out after all.

Of course, I still have much to learn in that regard.

3. Recreation isn’t all it’s jazzed up to be

I used to think that I’d enjoy having free time. Then I was given a week of nothing but time. I was free to pursue what I thought were recreational activities—sans leaving the house, and you know what I’ve learned?

Recreation means nothing if it’s not earned.

Sure, I can watch YouTube the entire day, binge on Netflix series, even play games till my fingers fuse with the mouse, but if my days weren’t spent bringing value in the world (and I mean this in a spiritual sense instead of the path of hustle culture), then I’d inevitably find myself restless and staring at the ceiling when it comes time to sleep.

It’s so weird how just one year ago, I’d treasure having the time to sip Mai Tais at the beach, but now, I see how it can be a fruitless pursuit if it’s not first preceded by valuable work.

You can put your pitchfork down, there. I see you, especially if you’re a sleep-deprived parent or if you work two jobs. But you see the difference here? You would have earned your right to relax. I haven’t.

Yet I have a sneaking suspicion that you’d quickly tire of all that free time once you get it.

COVID Relax - Anthony Tran

Never thought I’d say this, but I prefer industry over relaxation. Photo: Anthony Tran

4. You can’t compare yourself to others, sometimes not even to yourself

I’m sure you’ve heard that the only person you should compare yourself to is yourself.

That’s all fine and dandy when you want to measure progress, but what happens when life swoops in and hits the reset button with a disease or accident? Are you going to compare yourself to a healthier, younger you, then?

It’s been a week into COVID and I still can’t do ten push-ups in a row without seeing spots in my vision. I’ve worked so hard to consistently run ten kilometres per session, and now I can’t even walk to the bathroom without feeling winded.

I have to say that it’s a pretty discouraging feeling, especially seeing how fit I was just days ago.

And I might recover in the future, or I might end up getting long COVID, but whatever’s in the future should remain there, and so too does the past.

Since getting sick, I’ve learned to do the best I can with what I’ve been given for the day. Today I’m feeling much better than I did yesterday, so I might do twenty push-ups. Tomorrow I might do thirty. Or five.

What matters is that I do what I can for the day. The number of reps doesn’t matter, as long as I give it a hundred percent.

5. Remember what matters

Experiencing those brief moments of pain has certainly put things into perspective. Because once I’m back to normal, I’m definitely going to explore all the feelings I’ve yet to unpack, and that includes my disinterest in writing, as well as my newfound appreciation for family and friends.

And it’s not that I have a lot going on in my already-sparse life.

I guess that’s my biggest takeaway from this experience, that the things I thought were important could very well be a smokescreen, and that to me, very few things matter besides health and love.

Maybe the monks are onto something. Or maybe I’m still thinking weird from all this brain fog.

Either way, I hope the lessons you’ll have to learn this year remain COVID-free, because screw me if this is not the most annoying virus I’ve ever had to deal with.

But hey, at least I got a story out of it.


The newsletter will always be COVID-free though. Not only will you get exclusive content that you won’t find elsewhere on the blog, you’ll also get a guide on how to grow your blog. Do it. Click the button.

163 thoughts on “I Finally Got COVID, So I Might As Well Share The Lessons I Got Out Of It

  1. I’m so sorry you got covid. I hope you’re all better now (I’m almost a month late reading, I know. I’m trying to catch up on reading blogs which means I’m writing less). Great tips. Very wise of you to turn your sickness into a lesson.

    • Aww thanks so much. Definitely share your experience, as people can feel lost sometimes once they get it, just like I did. And reading someone else’s experience always makes things that much better.

  2. Pingback: Sharing: Finally Got COVID, So I Might As Well Share The Lessons I Got Out Of It : Black Tortoise Press

  3. Wow, these 2 lessons struck me the most:
    1. Recreational activities are meaningless if they are not earned.
    2. You can’t even compare to yourself.
    Recreation does hit different when you haven’t been hustling hard 😂As a teacher, the summer can roll by like this if I am not careful…
    I always tell my students, just compare to yourself, and then I read your blog post here. What you said made sense, depending on the situation I guess. Need to be reminded to give yourself grace.

    • Lol, to be sure, the only yardstick I measure against is myself. But like you said, sometimes we need to give ourselves grace for the things we can’t control.

      And heck yeah, I’ve learned to observe what I’m doing with my free time, because oftentimes, whatever the sloth in me wants to do isn’t what’s gonna make me happy.

      Love your insightful comment, so thank you for being part of the discussion!

      • Love how you phrase “whatever the sloth in me wants to do isn’t what’s gonna make me happy.” It hits home so much ‘😂

  4. My dear friend, don’t be worried. You will get better soon. I will pray you will get well soon and again share with us your beautiful experiences in your awesome writing style.
    Being famous is not the worth of a writer. A true writer writes for change, not for a change in it’s ownself.

  5. Found your post by accident amd since I read it felt like I at least could comment well done and best wishes.

    I don’t think I got COVID-19 but sure do feel like I might have the tiredness and brain fog.

    Anyway, should you have absolutely nothing better to do or to read whilst in the loo, feel free to look at my blog. On second thought, save your energy.

  6. First of all I’m sorry to hear that you contacted this deadly virus Stuart, secondly your lessons on how you were facing a weird week due to COVID-19 are educational and hilarious at the same time, especially when you said in the end “this newsletter will be COVID free” because it’s online and no one will catch the contagious spread.

    Good post as well! Hope you come out of this thing alive and well💯😷

    • Thankfully, the virus does seem to be MUCH less deadly than it was when it first started. Most of my friends have gotten it now, with little danger too.

      Always glad when people say my work’s hilarious, so I’m super thankful for your comment. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Welcome to the COVID club! Had it last year and mine was probably the Delta variant. I can’t smell, I can’t taste, and my muscles ache all over. Somtimes, I think the symptoms persist. Even without the virus, I occasionally can’t smell or taste anything. But I am still alive and I still have functioning limbs so I am good to go!

    • Oh dear. I too feel like it’s left lasting damage, as my resting heart rate is much higher post-COVID than it was before. But yeah, like you said, I still have what I have, so let’s make the best out of the hand we’re dealt. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • Thanks for the reminder. Definitely needed that when I was feeling worse, because I did want to rush recovery. But time was what I needed, and I’m feeling much better now. Thanks so much for your kind words!

  8. Stuart, just me again, that erotic writer from many, many miles away. Firstly, I’m sorry to hear that you got COVID. My Mum has had it twice since 2019 and both times it floored her. The last time she had a very weird symptom, like grittiness in the eye, but you know what? She’s okay now. Yes, it takes time, but you can recover.

    It sounds like you have the right attitude, be grateful and allow yourself only to do what you can do. I can remember back in 2013, I was on a train to go in honeymoon and a man sneezed, that night I developed the worst flu I know. I don’t know what it was, if it was a flu or cold or something else, but I was bedbound for twelve days, I struggled to breathe and I lost my voice, I spent my honeymoon confined to the bedroom. These things take time, you cannot rush yourself better so try to make peace with how you feel each day. Celebrate your successes, no matter how big or small they are. It sounds like you have the right attitude, but remember to be gentle on yourself when your illness frustrates you too. I hope you feel better soon.

    Helen

    • A ha, just the term ‘erotic writer’ triggers so many things and I instantly know who you are. You certainly have a way with words, Helen, and it was such a pleasant experience to wake up to your lovely comment.

      Sorry to hear that your mum got it twice! It makes me want to hermit away at home even more, because boy was that an experience. But it was already pretty mild compared to the average infection. Heck, it was super mild compared to your weird bug you got from the train.

      Thanks so much for your support, and I’m glad to report that I’ve been recovering well from the virus. Plus, with the kind words from people like you, it’s very hard NOT to recover :)

      Thanks for being you, Helen!

      • Thank you, Stuart, I’m glad that my way with words amuses you. Likewise so do you, relatable, warm and honest, you should be proud.

        Unfortunately, I don’t think hiding away is ever really an option, is it? I’ll tell you something, I broke my toe two years ago in my front garden. Would I have stepped outside if I knew that I was going to end up in the ER? No, probably not, but life is to be lived. I remember my therapist telling me about sitting on the sofa with a fire extinguisher. Sure, you can be prepared for the fire that might one day burn your house down, but what about the rest of life you could have lived?

        The train bug was definitely a doozie, but hey, it could have been worse right? There are things to be grateful for that we do now, like eating well and staying active, we don’t realise how much these things can help us later on. My Mum herself swears by aloe juice. Now, personally I can’t stand it, but if it helps her then it must do something.

        I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better Stuart, and thank you for brightening what was otherwise a stressful Monday :)

      • No, thank YOU for brightening my Monday (well I guess it’s Tuesday now).

        And yes, what you said totally makes sense. It’s much better to build ourselves into resilient beings, so that we can face life’s uncertainties, rather than to try to predict the bad things that are going to happen to us and going out of our way to avoid them.

        Something something don’t wish for an easy life but the strength to live a hard one.

        Anyway, great comment once more! You’re really good at this. I feel such great vibes just from having you around. Thanks again, Helen!

      • Stuart, technically it’s Wednesday now haha. Don’t you just love time differences?

        You are absolutely right. It makes me think of at night time here, there is drug dealing in my area and there have been guns too. Sometimes I am scared to step outside at night in case somebody points a gun at me, but it does not keep me, I just do it a bit quicker so that I can get back inside to safety. We can’t spend our lives hiding. If we don’t take risks and grow, we stagnate.

        Haha, I’m sure that will make for a great modern philosophical quote in some years to come.

        Thank you Stuart, honestly I’m just me. A social butterfly who happened to have seen a blog on the ‘discover’ tab that she knows she enjoyed before!

      • I hope you are feeling better now. As for covid – one of our doctors gave a statement the other day: “If you haven’t gotten covid by now, you don’t have any friends :D” So it’s better to have it I guess;).

      • Am definitely feeling better than when this was posted, fortunately. Oh yeah, I saw that statement too, which is a pretty weird one, because I’m pretty sure I don’t have any friends, lol. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I giggled through so much of your quips in here. I’m so sorry that you’re not feeling well and I’m so thankful that you’re coming to terms with your shortcomings for the time being. I’ve been sick a good portion of my life and some of this took a while for me to learn so good for you for learning it so quickly! You definitely get tired of all the free-time but it’s not normal free-time per say, it’s more about resting and recuperating than it is about enjoying yourself. You got this!! I’ll be thinking of you all week long!

    • Wow, I have to say that your comment is pleasant to read, and that it’s great to receive something like this in the morning. And now that you mention it, all my free time was indeed allocated to resting and recuperating, albeit involuntarily. I appreciate your lovely words, so do stop by again anytime. I’ll be thinking of your comment all week long too!

      • Stuart, I’ve been browsing and reading your blog a lot lately and I’m a subscriber. You’re very talented my friend! I’ll continue stopping by each time you write something new as it lets me know in my e-mail 🥰💪🏻 keep it up!

      • I should mention that I’m a little behind on reading but only because I’m sick too- I caught strep from my son and I’ve been laid up trying to recover all week. Don’t worry though! I’ll get caught up

  10. Stuart, this post is amazing! I also recently got COVID for the first time, but I like your shared lessons. If there’s one thing I regret about your blog growth, it’s that one distant day you might not be able to read and respond to every single comment, but I hope that day will not be near. Good luck and stay safe tho!

    • Oh no. Hope all is good? I totally didn’t have fun, and I wish that the symptoms aren’t as bad for you.

      Ha, no worries there. I don’t think I’ll ever reach a point where the comments get too much, and even if I do, those who visit and comment like you will always get priority!

      Get well soon and take care!

      • Thank you Stu! I should’ve mentioned that I thankfully made a full recovery (being a thirteen-year-old) so I’m much better. Take care, you too! :)

    • Thankfully, it was still a pretty mild experience compared to what some people have experienced with the virus before. Thanks so much for your kind words. I appreciate it!

  11. I’m sorry to hear that. COVIDis very rough thing to go through. My brother was one of the first in our area to get it and it knocked him out good. When we took him to the hospital, the doctors didn’t know what it was and was about ready to put him in quarantine. But after he was released, I bought those big 500 vitamin pill bottles (and gummy vitamins) and cleaning supplies for my friends and family and told everybody to chow down, eat their veggies and get cleaning. So far I’m the only one that hasn’t gotten it.

    That said, I’m confident that you’ll make a great recovery. And might I suggest some chicken soup and potato soup to hasten your recovery? Those two worked for me when I got sick, and while the sicknesses weren’t COVID, they *might* help you anyway. If nothing else, at least they taste good.

    • Ha, chicken soup—that reminds me. I think it’s time to break out the slow cooker. Great on you for avoiding this danged virus. You must have a strong immune system. And glad to hear that your brother is now out of the hospital and is done with it. Definitely one of the more unpleasant viruses I’ve had to date. Thanks for your well wishes, and for stopping by as always!

      • I don’t think he’s fully recovered, honestly. His immune system was already bad from being around fire pits, and he hasn’t been the same health wise since he got COVID. That said, my immune system is like the Mongolian army. They let the sickness think they’re winning, then they slaughter them. The first part kind of sucks for me, but I’m usually good within a couple of days.

  12. Aww! So sorry to hear that the vid caught you! We have the same attitude about shitty things that happen to us in life- at least we can blog about it! 😂I have been trying to dodge that thing just like most people for couple years now and honestly, somedays I feel like I already caught it because I still can’t do a push-up! LOL You’re so right about wishing for free time and then once we have it the likelihood of us using it with great purpose is very low lol… Or sometimes I find I have too much I want to do but then I end up doing nothing because I can’t CHOOSE!!! LOL

    • Oh wow, you brought up an amazing point. Sometimes when I have too much free time, I end up doing nothing exactly because I can’t pick something to do. Or I’d do something and wonder if that is the best use of my time. Maybe the secret to all this is to fill up my time to the brim, huh? Anyway, thanks so much for your kind words!

  13. Hi Stuart – I hope you are on the mend. Having said that I am very sorry to hear you (or anyone!!) has gotten COVID. Friends who have had it express your same sentiments. Take care!

    • I mean, in retrospect, it feels just like any other cold, except that this one took a kick out of my lungs and gave me weird allergies. Definitely not fun, but I have to admit, things could be worse, and for that I’m thankful. Am also thankful to you for stopping by!

    • A ha. That’s just my way of milking every event in my life for a blog post. That way, it’ll always be a win-win for me. Thank YOU for stopping by and showing your support!

  14. Hello, take care and speedy recovery! Wait it out and listen to your body, is all I can suggest….I guess it is a humbling experience to know that a tiny bug could wreak such havoc on its human host….that is the power of Nature….drink plenty of water and get more sleep!

    • Heck yeah. And here I was, thinking that I was going to be fine since I was fairly fit. Nope, a bug is a bug, and while I think my fitness may have helped me recover, I still won’t look at diseases the same again.

  15. I wish you speedy recovery! I can only imagine how hard it has to be to go through this. It’s like the clock decided to reset without regard of anything. Hope you feel better soon!! <33

  16. Great post, Stuart! Hope you feel better soon. I had COVID in the first year of the pandemic, not strong symptoms. This virus can be tough on many, take care!

    • Am definitely envious of you for getting light symptoms. But at the same time, I’m also grateful that it’s not worse than it was for me, so yeah, I guess I still have some control over my life and mind. Thanks so much for your support!

    • Gah, that sucks when the entire household gets it. I was lucky in that my partner managed to escape totally unscathed, so at least I had someone to take care of me. Thanks for your lovely wishes!

  17. So sorry about you getting Covid. Your first couple of points reminded me of a quote from James Clear about our habits – something like “We don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems.”

    But it was your point about comparing yourself to your previous self that stopped me in my tracks. Wow – that’s deep!

    Sending my best healing thoughts!

    • Omg yes, we definitely fall to the level of our systems, and I think our entire lives are spent building these systems exactly for the days we need it. So I’m going to keep that in mind the next time I’m complaining about early wake-up times or exercise. Thanks so much for your good vibes!

  18. I’m glad you are feeling a bit better and that you will soon have a full recovery. Lots of good insights here, I especially agree with recreation is much more enjoyable when you’ve earned it!

    • I never knew how much this mattered until I went through it, to be honest. Nowadays I can look at a bunch of tasks and at least comfort myself that they will make the rest so much more worth it. Thanks for stopping by, Jim!

  19. If only we didn’t need to learn lessons while in pain—alas, life is consistent in sending us curveballs, mainly aimed at our face. It’s definitely difficult to not compare ourselves to our past selves, but as you said, whatever is in the past or future should remain there. The version we are today is the self we should be working to improve, even if it’s just one tiny, little step at a time. Thanks for taking the time to write this Stuart, and I hope you recover and become healthy again soon.

    • Well, they say pain is the greatest teacher, so I guess it’s a great reminder to look inward and see what we’ve learned every time pain comes around. And yeah, not comparing the self to self is definitely one of the biggest things I’ve learned this time around. Thanks for stopping around as always!

  20. Why did I think you already had covid? I feel like I read something about what to do when your routine is screwed up. Maybe that was someone else. Anyways, I hope you feel better quickly. I had covid last year and milked it for all it was worth. Two paid weeks off away from work to lay in bed, read, and listen to music.

    • Lol I think you’re correct, but that was for a pulled back. And yeah, it’s not as if I have a day job to rest from now, but it was still a whole week of doing nothing when it came to my daily routine. Was the most uneasy week of learning that I actually didn’t enjoy downtime as much as I thought I would. Glad to see you here, Hetty!

  21. Great post Stuart and sorry to hear you have COVID! Oh yes, health, love and gratitude and it’s importance; certainly comes to mind when feeling crappy. Wishing you a quick recovery and plenty of rest. You’ll be flying out that door for a run before you know it 😉

    • Oh definitely. And if I can’t run, the very least I’ll do is walk. This body ain’t gonna get a break so easily, lol. Thanks for the well wishes. I really appreciate it!

  22. Rest Stuart, sleep in the afternoon and early evening. Sleep all day – at what other time can you sleep guilt free all day.
    I haven’t had Covid (yet) 🤞. I don’t have a good sense of taste or smell, never have. However, on the plus. No matter my wife’s cooking skills, I can honestly tell her it’s all delicious. 😀
    Get better Stuart.

    • Ha, that’s definitely a plus, since I do come up with some weird dishes when cooking myself. Too bad the senses have been left unscathed. And yeah, on day two, I had no choice but to sleep the entire day. It hit me that hard. Kinda had me envious of the asymptomatic, lol. Anyway, thanks for the well wishes!

  23. O man! This is so deja vu!! Remember last month you were commenting about the Covid in my household? I narrowly avoided it and wished now you had to. Please take care my dear blogger friend cos we need you to keep filling us up every week with your writing wisdom, just like how you could still pull the proverbial rabbit out of the proverbial hat with this week’s post and the wise insights, despite your Covid! Hang in there pal!!

    • Yeah, your brush with COVID did cross my mind when I was stretched out on the couch/bed, since it was my partner’s turn now to avoid it. Glad to say, it’s been ten days and she hasn’t contracted it yet, so she probably got lucky, just like you did in the same household! Anyway, glad you stopped by, Kelvin!

    • Oh yeah! I thought it’d be like any other virus and I’d be done, but wow did it affect my body in so many other ways I didn’t expect—normal breathing, for one. Am definitely feeling much better than when I was writing this though, so that’s something I’m grateful for. Thanks so much for your well wishes!

  24. I’m sorry to hear you’re sick and I’m hoping that by the time you read this you’re feeling just that much better than you were when you hit “publish.” You may have brain fog but your lessons and your ability to communicate them remain crystal clear. Enjoyable read.

    • A ha, you sure do understand me well, because I’m feeling much better today than when I wrote and scheduled this last week. I mean, you and your husband have had your brush with it too, right? And it didn’t seem fun at all, compared to my experience, so my run-in with the virus has been pretty tame compared to some others, and at least I have that going for me. Thanks for your kind words!

  25. I’m so sorry you got the dreaded C Stuart and although it wasn’t a best seller you were announcing, it might be after writing this post. So good as always and look at you not losing your sense of humor so there’s that. I haven’t gotten it but felt like i did from my boosters and before that who knows.. i literally couldn’t breath when i walked but wait this isn’t about me.. lol. 😂😂

    So my wimpy friend embrace it while it lasts and don’t push to hard or you might just land yourself in bed again. Or then you could be like some my fool kids and just get it a few times and think that’s a booster..and hit the next plane and round of drinks… don’t get me started..

    Take good care and feel better soon! 💖🌻🙏🙏

    • Oh wow, I had a bad experience with the first dose (AZ) of vaccinations too, but the subsequents one felt better and better. Then the virus hit me and it was way worse than my vaccinations. Thankfully, the worst symptoms only lasted a couple of days. Oh wow, your kids seem to be hardcore, because all I want to do now is to avoid any future run-ins with the danged virus, lol. Thanks so much for your lovely words and support, Cindy!

  26. I hope you have recovered and are back on your schedule soon. I got it 7 months after my second vax so, yes, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. When I’m sick, it’s all comfort food and bed. But the hype about this virus gives you that stomach dropping feeling of uh-oh. It’s a struggle not to panic but staying calm is key. You sound like you’ve embraced the curative path. Stay well.

    • Oh yes, I can definitely relate to feeling extra doubts because of all the talk about this virus. And if I was feeling this way with even the booster, then I wonder what would’ve happened had I not been vaccinated. Oh well, a day at a time now. Thanks for your lovely words!

  27. So sorry you’re going through it. I’m worried my luck is going to run out soon so this is a good perspective to have in my back pocket. I pray for your speedy recovery!

    • I constantly viewed things similarly too—that it was a luck thing that I was running out on. But hey, I had taken all precautions and still got it, and my partner at home didn’t, despite all that exposure, so there’s really not telling. Thanks for the kind words, and here’s to you never having to deal with it!

  28. “Very few things matter besides health and love.” That is absolutely the truth, Stuart. I’m grateful for the people who have replied to your post with words of encouragement because they, too, have been through COVID and have recovered successfully. I’m sure that’s helping you. I hope you are back to shipshape very soon!

  29. It sucks having to learn lessons this way, but I’d say you’re approaching this the best way. Your thought that resonated the most was the notion of not enjoying our downtime as much if it isn’t something we feel we earned. In the middle of the school year, I used to fantasize about having some time to relax and chill.

    My wife worked year-round, and after a week, I’d start to feel guilty and restless. I had a summer painting business that brought in some dollars for twenty years, but it’s surprising how physical painting can be. Going up and down on a ladder all day takes something out of you physically besides being on your feet all day.) In retirement, I have no guilt. I feel like I’ve totally earned my freedom.

    • Lovely thoughts, Pete. And yes, that feeling is the most important place to get to, especially when it comes to what we think of ourselves. Very few things matter other than being happy with our own decisions. And boy, I can think of very few things that provide that feeling than a physical endeavour like your painting business. Thanks so much for sharing your life here. I enjoyed reading this comment!

  30. I hope your recovery is 100%. We no longer have mask mandates here in Ontario as of yesterday and must say I am a little nervous so have taken your instruction seriously!

    • I seldom go out, so this was definitely a surprise. Was always fully masked and was fully vaccinated too, so if it hits, it hits. Still, here’s to staying COVID free, because it’s no fun indeed!

  31. Thank you for this Stuart. Probably more important than all the other inspirational words I’ve enjoyed from you. I really appreciate the way you chose to view the world and that you share that with all of us. It’s VERY helpful. I hope you are feeling better soon and can get back to pushups. I will do my pushups tomorrow with more gratitude than I did them today because I read this.

    • Aww, it’s a pleasant surprise when awesome people like you call this post inspiring, and here I was worrying that it was turning into a boring rant.

      Super appreciate your kind words, and yes, please do a couple more push-ups for me! Here’s to good health always!

    • Now that’s an encouraging post if I’ve ever seen one. Sticking to my blogging schedule was one of the toughest things to do, especially when I could opt to just not do anything, so I definitely appreciate the kind words, Matt!

    • Oh yeah, it’s day nine or something here, and I’m still dealing with a full-body rash that hurts whenever I sweat. That was unexpected. Glad to hear that you did get back to your former level, at least!

    • Oh yeah, and am I learning that lesson quick. I used to think that the most reliable yardstick was yourself, but even that has since changed. And that’s the only reliable thing in life, isn’t it? Change. Thanks for stopping by!

  32. Hope you regain your strength and recover steadily.

    I admire that even as you are going through this “Screw me if this is not the most annoying virus I’ve ever had to deal with” you are productive in publishing this well-thought-out and succinctly written post.
    Kudos, Stuart!

    I particularly like and agree with, “Recreation means nothing if it’s not earned.” It seems like we, the humans don’t know how to enjoy what we have. If we are working, we yearn to have time off and relax or to retire and travel. If we have too much free time on hand, we feel guilty for not being productive. Human nature?

    “What matters is that I do what I can for the day.” You have hit the nail on the head with this sentence. I am slowly learning this after many years of retirement and with aging!

    Best wishes.

    • Oh my, I’ve been thinking about that free time thing for the longest time. Didn’t I always look forward to an empty day to do anything I want? Didn’t I always dream of doing nothing but relaxing?

      Well, apparently not. Apparently I value hard work over lazing the days away. Me, a bum, thinking that, lol. Here’s to making the most out of our days regardless!

  33. I got covid in Jan 2022 itself, while I was dealing with a leg injury which had already made me bedridden. Dealing with two health issues at once, all I could do was rest and recover. What a terrible start it was! And yes, getting covid really sucks. It scared the shit out of me, not knowing when things will get better. It almost took me a month to fully recover from covid and its after effects.

    I totally agree about the recreation part. Past few months, even though I had all the time in the world, I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I would’ve when I actually “earned it”. Hell, I couldn’t even write much because I was mentally exhausted from dealing with the physical injuries.

    I hope you feel better soon! Stay hydrated, it REALLY helps. :)

    • Oh my, the not enjoying recreational activities because I haven’t earned it is so key. A lot of us think that a lazy life is what we’re looking for, but I think us humans are just somehow wired to only feel true contentment once we’ve put ourselves to good use.

      And that must suck, dealing with two health issues at once. Her I was dealing with just COVID and already hating life. The not knowing bit really is scary. Having your body change on you just like that, then not knowing if things are going to end or be permanent, has to be the biggest mindscrew ever.

      Thanks so much for your lovely support!

  34. Oof. Sorry to hear! Wishing you a speedy and full recovery! I can relate, as I got COVID even though I really did not expect to (https://jewishyoungprofessional.wordpress.com/2021/12/28/honestly-i-wasnt-expecting-to-write-this/). I have to say that you have a much more positive and reflective attitude than I did. I love all of these, especially #1, 3, and 4.

    If you need a laugh while you’re sick (pro-tip: wait a couple days; when I had COVID, laughing hurt my throat the first couple days), I did a post of my learnings post-COVID, which were a lot less profound: https://jewishyoungprofessional.wordpress.com/2022/01/11/5-tips-for-getting-through-covid-quarantine-that-you-havent-heard-yet-nsfw-tmi/

    Best wishes again for a complete recovery!

    • Lol, so awesome to hear that I’m not alone (even though it’s not awesome news to know that people have fallen sick). It really did feel pretty lonesome when I was down with the fever and having lost all interest in all my interests. Thanks for sharing your stories. I’m surprised to see my comments there. It’s so cool, seeing interactions from former me.

      Anyway, they’ll definitely come in handy to those who are going through the same thing and wish to feel less alone, so thanks again, JYP!

  35. Well, I do hope you’ll recover soon, and you regain your interest in writing.

    Also, it is fine to lose productivity when you’re sick, and do not let tell you anyone otherwise. Because when your body is heated, throat is sore, can’t breathe properly, being productive should be the last thing you should be concerned with.

    • Heck yeah. Letting go of daily habits doesn’t come easy though. It feels so ‘naggy’ to stop doing what you’ve been doing daily for a while. But yeah, I definitely needed healing time from the fever. Those heaty days really did change the way I think, I almost felt like a different person.

  36. Great article! Me too got covid around 2 weeks ago, so i can really resonate with what you went through, though my symptoms were not as bad as yours. I hope you’re doing much better now. And thanks for your content!

    Many of them have definitely inspired me and it’s not just your articles on writing, but the ones about your life experiences as well. It gives me a different perspective on things.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Oh wow. Your words really do mean a lot to me, especially now that I’m dealing with some lingering stuff like coughing and this weird rash. You really did make my day, and I thought you should know that.

      Also, glad to know that you’re doing well two weeks in! Gives me hope as I’m on day nine or thereabouts.

      • Hi Stuart, yes I’m sure your symptoms would get better soon considering how proactive you are.

        Btw, just wanted to share with you this which I think would help.

        Not sure if you know about it. It’s healing frequencies . For centuries, it’s been proven to give gradually have healing effects on a person physically, mentally and emotionally as it works on a deep subconscious level.

        Have been using this for quite a few days already to deal with my various long covid symptoms. And so today, am feeling much better.

        Though of course, i’ve also been doing many other things like getting enough sleep, taking wood’s peppermint cure cough mixture and of course vitamin C.

        And have also been doing some deep breathing cos i remember reading in an article it helps widen your diaphragm so you can breathe much more easily.

        Hope this helps

  37. I got the COVID, too. What still upsets me is that I got it from someone who insisted they weren’t that sick, so they should come to work. The person was gray-skinned when I said, “Look! You’re sick and you need to go home, NOW!” They finally relented, then took a home test, called me, and confirmed what we already knew – COVID. Granted, I was stupid because I wasn’t wearing a mask around this person. It’s just the two of us, and I wear a mask at other times. Luckily, I had just had a booster a few days before, so my symptoms were relatively mild, I was well in four days, and I don’t have any lingering effects.

    The 1918 flu, novel H1N1, became the seasonal flu we all know and love. COVID will probably go the same route. It’s okay – we know to wear masks, social distance, wash our hands, clean surfaces, etc. Who knows? Perhaps evolution will make masks part of the human body, much like some science fiction aliens.

    • Ha, that is a crappy way of getting COVID indeed. And four days is awesome indeed. You must have a strong immune system beyond just the vaccinations, because I was floored even with boosters.

      Lol, I doubt we’d develop masks as part of evolution, though we could end up with stronger lungs, due to all that breathing we have to do behind said masks.

      Thanks for sharing your ‘getting well’ story, because that does make me feel better :)

  38. Wishing you a fast recovery. Don’t worry my entire family came out of it. We still have some loss of smell and taste but other than that nothing lingers. My kids in their teens and twenties are really fine, so don’t worry your will start running again.

    • The loss of smell thing was kinda worrisome, since I do enjoy my coffee, and can’t see myself drinking it for any other reason than taste and smell. But thankfully, I didn’t get that symptom. Great to know that there are few lingering effects. Thanks for the comforting words :)

  39. Ugh – so very sorry to hear that you’re dealing with COVID and I hope you get well soon. After a major surgery last fall I thought I would be spending hours knitting and being productive while I healed. Nope. turns our our bodies are like our brains – unable to multi-task – particularly when the body is concerned with healing. Rest, rest, rest – I am convinced that when we are sleeping is when our bodies are healing. As for vacation . . . I confess that I LOVE not working. Early retirement has been awesome for me – but I worked very hard to be able to enjoy this time now ;-)

    • Omg I can totally relate. Here I was, thinking I’d make full use of my downtime, but nope. My body was more concerned with healing, and no amount of reading or video-gaming could interest me to leave the couch or bed.

      Oh yeah, and that’s the key point though. You HAVE worked hard to enjoy this well-deserved time. I now know that I need to do the same, lol. Thanks so much for your lovely words!

  40. Hi Stuart, Sorry to read that you have caught the virus. It certainly sucks to fall sick just as your rituals are going well. Hope you are up on your feet and running in no time at all. Get well soon!!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words! At least I’m back to full force when it comes to WordPress duties, but even that fell off the wayside on fever day. Quite scary how quickly I’d drop everything once things don’t go according to plan. A great learning lesson though. Anyway, always appreciate you stopping by :)

    • Definitely went easy on myself—body and mind didn’t give me many other options, lol. But I do hope that the next time these challenges appear, that I’d be more equipped to handle them. Thanks so much for your kind words!

  41. I appreciate how even one sentence you write can make me pause and think (the one about bringing value into the world spiritually vs hustling). I hope you are feeling better sooner, Stuart.

    • Wow, you have no idea how much that means to me, Ashley. It always gives me great pep to my day to know that people like you think this way about my work. I appreciate you!

  42. My friend I pray that you have a speedy recovery with nothing missing and nothing lacking in Jesus’ name. Thank you for the story—you should be working for the Times. Anyone who can get passed what you have and still get a story is not only a true journalist, but a real trooper! Have you tried ginger tea with lemon and honey? It’s a good remedy for many things. Take care my friend—Blessings and Peace!

    • Thankfully, I have lemon and honey from trying to learn to cook and bake, so I’ve definitely been trying this recipe. Nothing beats industrial grade cough syrup though, because the drowsy side effects definitely came in useful. Thanks so much for your lovely words!

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