It happened, I got it

It finally happened! No, I’m not talking about my impending graduation or actually managing to get back to Ireland for the Christmas holidays. Don’t get me wrong, all of that’s great, but that’s not the big event I’m referring to. What I’m talking about is the fact that after two years of artfully dodging the inevitable, I have finally managed to catch the dreaded coronavirus.

So, while I didn’t have to cook Christmas dinner this year, I did still have to eat it on my own in my room. Not exactly the triumphant return to the family home I had been planning. By the time my PCR test result came back four days later I was well and truly in the sweaty, confused, fatigued, and uncontrollable coughing of the global superbug.

Gladly, I’m double vaccinated so while I didn’t get the worst symptoms imaginable, what I did experience was terrible enough to make me glad I got the double-jab. I’m almost back to full health now too, aside from a lingering cough. Still, I wouldn’t like to have faced into the ordeal without the enhanced protection.

Now, after having the disease I’m not feeling so selfish

Still my experience has brought me to a realisation. Before Christmas I really was beginning to get angry with the repeated lockdowns. The lack of places to go for a good night out and the loss of my late 20s generally to this pandemic was really beginning to seem pretty senseless. Now, after having the disease I’m not feeling so selfish.

That’s not to say that I don’t sympathise with all of the businesses out there who are struggling or all of the people, like myself, who are missing out on so much thanks to these lockdowns. I’m deeply upset by it all, but I have to say that I can think of a huge number of people who, if they were as sick as I was over Christmas, probably wouldn’t survive.

And that’s not just my friends and family who are vulnerable, it’s the old person I see walking in the street, or the student sitting beside me with a vulnerability I may not be able to see. Sure, I’m annoyed that I can’t rock up for a pint and stay out all night anymore, and I’m definitely upset with losing so much… but we need to protect each other.

Still though, I would love a pint.

NIALL TORRIS

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