It’s been almost two years since COVID-19 hit our shores, and it finally caught up with me.

Last Friday I picked up my wife at the San Antonio airport after she spent a few days at our daughter and son-in-law’s house in Frisco.

We then spent New Year’s Eve with my sister and brother-in-law in New Braunfels, along with two other couples, and managed to stay up long enough to ring in the New Year.

The next morning, we went over to my parents’ houses to make one last walk-through before a future estate sale.

At noon we picked my parents up from the nursing home and brought them to Rudy’s BBQ for lunch.

After a nice visit, during which my dad tried to steal my pork ribs to make a sandwich, we brought my parents back to Eden Hill.

We took a bag of my mother’s dirty clothes, and headed back to my sister and brother-in-law’s home to drop off my mother’s laundry, pick up our luggage, and head back to Rockport.

On the way to my sister’s house, our daughter called from Frisco and said she had tested positive for COVID.

(Note: a couple of days later, Good Morning America had a segment about how Frisco was one of the hardest hit areas in terms of the Omicron variant.)

I immediately thought about my 91-year-old parents, as well as my sister. She had spent more than a week in the hospital last year due to COVID.

I called Eden Hill and let them know what we had just learned.

That evening, my wife tested positive, and a short time later I did, as well.

That Sunday and most of Monday we didn’t show any symptoms, other than a cough, but by Monday night, the symptoms began to pick up.

It’s been a long time since I slept 14 hours in one setting (fatigue), but that’s exactly what I did, not seeing the light of day Tuesday.

By Thursday I was symptom-free, but for 48-72 hours I had been real achy, tired, ran a low fever, had a minor sore throat, was coughing, and even had a slight headache for the first time since I was a child.

Never did I have shortness of breath.

Thursday evening I was back to normal.

We did experience our first telemedicine call with Dr. Alsop. He prescribed a mix of medicines that he and other local doctors found successful.

Our first negative tests finally came Sunday morning.

For the rest of this week, per CDC guidelines, I will be wearing a mask around other people.

I shared this just in case any of you see me wearing a mask and wonder, “Why is Mike wearing a mask. He hasn’t worn one for many months.”

Our weeklong unplanned vacation was filled with Netflix, sleeping, and eating a lot of homemade soup, stew, and even some turkey dumplings. We ordered some groceries for the first time in our life, and even had a pizza delivered.

Needless to say, our mutt, that has been lonely since Tucker (our other dog) was put to sleep during Thanksgiving week, enjoyed the time spent with us hunkered down in quarantine central (i.e. – living room in front of the TV).

I don’t make light of our COVID experience, knowing many of you have experienced death among family or friends at some point during the past two years. However, I thought some of you might want to know what many are people are presumably experiencing with (I’m assuming) the Omicron variant.

I count my blessings that our experience was what it was, and not worse.

I’m also abundantly thankful my parents, and my sister, were not infected.

For the record, our Frisco clan, including all three grandchildren, got it at roughly the same time.

Also for the record, my wife and I are fully vaccinated.

I encourage everyone to listen/watch the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, #1757. It is a three-hour interview with Dr. Robert Malone, MD. I promise you, it will make you think about our federal government’s handling of the pandemic.

Corona vs. colds vs. flu

I receive almost daily emails from WebMD. As I’ve shared before, some are interesting, while others don’t catch my attention.

Since I addressed my COVID experience this week, I thought I’d share information from a WebMD email I recently received. The headline for this email was “Signs it could be more than a cold.”

I realize this isn’t exactly COVID information as we’ve come to understand it, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless. It’s the differences between the common cold (a coronavirus, believe it or not), and the flu.

Here are the signs that what you have may be more than a cold:

• Symptoms Come On Fast - When you have a cold, symptoms like a stuffy nose or sneezing start slowly and gradually get worse. Flu symptoms typically hit your body all of a sudden, and they’ll probably feel a lot stronger.

• Chills - This is when you shiver because your body temperature changes. Chills aren’t typical signs of a cold - they’re an early sign of infection and high fever. They’re more common with flu or pneumonia.

• Fever - This is a sign that your body is trying to fight an illness or infection, but it’s rarely caused by a cold. Flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia are more common causes of fevers.

• Body aches - You may have some slight body aches with a cold, but stronger ones are usually a sign that you have the flu. This is because short-term achy muscles often happen along with a fever.

• Wheezing - This is when your breathing sounds like a whistle. If you wheeze, it’s a sign of a more serious infection like pneumonia or bronchitis, especially if it happens when you lie down. Wheezing also can be a sign of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction to something you ate or an insect bite.

• Cough with mucus - You may have a mild, pesky cough from a cold, but if you cough up mucus - slimy stuff from deep down in your chest - it’s usually a sign of bronchitis or pneumonia, especially if there’s any blood in it.

• Fatigue - Feeling like you have no energy or appetite is a typical symptom of the flu - it’s less often caused by a cold. It can also be a sign of pneumonia or a sinus infection, which is common, but more serious than a cold.

• Sore throat - A mild one is a typical symptom of a cold and sometimes the flu. It should clear up once your cold or flu does. But a very painful sore throat that comes on quickly can be a sign of strep throat. That’s a bacterial infection that should be treated with antibiotics.

• Headache - Many things can cause this, but a cold isn’t usually one of them. It’s a common flu symptom and can be a sign of a sinus infection. But painful sinuses, the spaces above and around your nose, can also be caused by hay fever, or rhinitis.

• Chest tightness or pain - This is a telltale symptom of a more serious respiratory infection, like bronchitis, that can also make your chest feel tight, and you may have a hard time taking a deep breath. Sharp chest pain that feels worse when you cough can be a sign of pneumonia, and chest tightness is also a common symptom of asthma. Get medical help right away for any chest pain or pressure. It can also be the sign of life threatening conditions such as a heart attack or a blood clot in the lung.

• Shortness of breath - Colds can cause a very stuffy nose, which make breathing a little harder, but real shortness of breath is a sign of something more serious. It’s a common symptom of asthma or a flare-up of COPD, and it also can be from a serious infection, like bronchitis or pneumonia.

• Ear, face, or eye pressure - If you feel pressure in your ears, it may mean you have a sinus infection. That also causes pain and pressure around your eyes, cheeks, or forehead that gets worse when you bend over. And if you feel fullness in one ear, it may be a symptom of an ear infection.

• Symptoms that don’t go away - Flu symptoms may be bad, but they usually get better within a few days. A cold can last up to 10 days. But pneumonia symptoms can stick around up to a month or longer. And bronchitis can last several months in some cases. Call your doctor right away for any new or worsening symptom so that the right diagnosis can be made and you can get the right treatment.

Until next week, have a good week!

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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