clark newell

COVID-19 Experience

by Clark Newell

February 22nd 2022

Myself dancing with the Coronavirus by Lindsie Anderton

Myself dancing with the Coronavirus by Lindsie Anderton

TLDR: In case you haven't noticed we have been in the midst of a global pandemic since early 2020 and there is a nasty coronavirus on the loose called COVID-19. Since I currently hold a very public job, and serve hundreds of people in-person on a daily basis, I can't believe that I managed to outrun this sucker for almost two years. But then, it got me and it got me good.

My heart goes out to anyone who has wrangled with this illness to any degree. COVID-19 is definitely no joke. Some people get light cases, some people have horrible cases, and some others have long-term cases. Either way, it's inconvenient and defeating.

My heart goes out to anyone who has wrangled with this illness to any degree. COVID-19 is definitely no joke. Some people get light cases, some people have horrible cases, and some others have long-term cases. Either way, it's inconvenient and defeating.

While I adamantly believe that vaccinations and mask wearing should be personal, voluntary decisions, I did choose to get double vaccinated, and I was required to wear a mask all day, everyday, at work. I thought I was going to be protected by these precautions but sadly I was not.

Fast forward to December 2021, I was on top of the world. I was applying and interviewing for jobs, I was dating, I was working overtime, it was the Holidays and all that entails, and I was working out like a beast. I was running, going to CrossFit, going to Hot Yoga, and was fitting in individualized, self-guided workouts at the local big box gym. I *thought* I was in the best shape of my life in spite of the pandemic. To this end I opted to not get a COVID vaccination booster. During the Holiday season, my superstore was busier than ever of course, and I also found myself frequently touching my itchy mask and pulling it down in order to make myself heard over the bustling crowds.

Little did I know, I was definitely "burning the candle at both ends" and putting myself at risk. All my success and productivity were about to come to a screeching halt. I contracted COVID-19 just before Christmas, so my Holiday was spent in quarantine, alone with the cat and dog, and very little energy to do anything.

My case turned out to be relatively severe, which was surprising and very humbling given how fit I thought I had become. It's hard to say why it hit me so hard, except that I was working extremely hard on every aspect of my life at the time. All the stress must have created the perfect storm in my body in order for COVID to take hold. I had all the typical symptoms, fever, chills, loss of taste and smell, body aches, fatigue and an unshakeable depression.

I have heard numerous people tell a similar tale. COVID really does have a weird way of finding the "chink" in your armor and immediately exploiting it.

I returned to work after 10 days, and tried desperately to shake the disease. I tried working out, running, and working on side hustles, but some days all I had energy for was my full time job, which itself can be physically demanding. COVID lingered and also revealed an underlying and serious medical issue that I didn't even realize was happening under the surface and which required hospitalization. I have heard numerous people tell a similar tale. It would appear as though COVID has a bizarre way of finding the "chink" in your armor and immediately exploiting it.

Being seriously ill for weeks was a major downer, but at least three positive outcomes did come of having some required downtime. A serious issue was discovered and luckily resolved. Secondly, with extra time on my hands, I was able to complete an online course and study for the project management certification exam. The third and best outcome is that I'm emerging from this not only where I was before, but even stronger, mentally and physically. A strange thing happens to you when you unexpectedly come close to losing your life. After this very humbling experience, my empathy for others has grown by leaps and bounds as did my deep appreciation for my overall good health when I have it.

A strange thing happens to you when you unexpectedly come close to losing your life. After this very humbling experience, my empathy for others has grown by leaps and bounds as did my deep appreciation for my overall good health when I have it.

I hope you have been able to avoid COVID completely, but if not, I hope you found a way to get through it, whether light, severe, or long-term, and you are well on your way to recovery. One thing I can say, literally no one has lived through the last two years and remained unscathed by this global pandemic. I hope we are kind, patient and understanding with one another as we work together to eventually move on from this life-altering-for-all world event.