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I may have survived the virus! — Parallax Forums

I may have survived the virus!

Hey everyone. Chip asked me to describe what happened. Settle in for your PAL Spud's latest tale:


  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 10,188
    edited 2020-04-06 04:04
    So, I have been travelling a lot working on the startup, and in Feb, I started seeing people in masks, and caught wind of CoV19.

    Took one last trip late Feb, and figured I would discontinue. One trip too many. Edit: In hindsight, I was exposed repeatedly over that month, and some of Jan. Just didn't get the memo. My last two trips were through high traffic, known case airports. Ugh...

    Got home, and later the next week, I experienced a profound lack of energy, followed by fevers, swollen glands, and a dry cough.

    By the time this had happened, I had been around my family, so we all knew we were going to get it. And we all did.

    Over the next few days, I developed serious body aches. Like, the max Tylonol dose allowed by humans isn't enough type aches. I sipped Gin and Schweppes Yellow Lable Tonic water. The small dose of anti-malarial in that has always been my kick the bug go to over the years. Just a splash to take the edge off a sore throat. This time I used a bit more.

    It was ugly. Moving was just a bear. Joints hurt. In fact, they still hurt, and I still have squat for energy.

    It progressed into a serious head cold, ears plugged up, and a fairly unproductive cough, while I could still tell stuff was in my lungs. Down this way for about 5 days.

    Checked in with the doc and got told I am extremely likely to have CoV19, and to stay home, rest, and follow the basics for a bad flu. This was way beyond a bad flu, and I was told if I experienced breathing problems to come in, otherwise, I'm likely better off where I am.

    Hot flashes, cold flashes, aches, everything in my head sore, even my eyes. Moving them around was painful.

    When both ears plugged, I hated it the most. Sound and me have a good relationship. It was messed up for days. No infection though. Small wonders.

    The fam tracked along with me, just 5 to 7 days behind. Our youngest, my granddaughter who is 4, didn't have such bad symptoms, but she did get the aches, and she did sleep an awful lot.

    It took two full weeks to improve. Mornings were the worst. Took hours to get going, even moderately functional.

    We had one week where everyone was sick, with no improvement and after learning what I did, realized it was best we just power through. So we did. My wife didn't have serious lung attacks, but I did. We both recovered more or less fully, but I had a scary few days where I had to manage breathing carefully. Didn't sleep through one of them. Just found the best position, and in.... out, in.... out. Full range each time, and that helped.

    I did not get a flu shot this year, because I was just too busy and missed it. My wife did. We could tell no real difference. That shot had no impact on this at all that we can tell.

    After the worst for me, I played nurse for another week and half, which puts us into just past the mid-march time frame.

    Once I got this, I began isolation that day. We've been at home since the beginning of march, actually a couple days sooner.

    We are now OK. The worst passed in March, and I felt real improvement second week of March, my wife third week. Granddaughter showed hers earlier. Pooky is what I will sometimes call her online. We are raising her, both parents way too deep into meth, and on the streets. We can't let them near the house!

    Might get sick from us, and they might get us sick.

    I hate that we aren't testing well in the US yet. My friends in Italy have been telling me their experiences. We are roughly 20 days behind them, in our worst areas, a bit farther than that in more rural ones. It's going to get bad.

    We've been doing full hazmat for weeks now. The whole deal, away clothes, gloves, masks, clean, clean, clean. Did I mention clean? I pretty much am inured to the smell of IPA now. I kind of like it.

    Still, symptom free today, I can stay joints are still achy at times, and energy is there, but so far below normal STILL. Never had this kind of thing happen to me. When I'm sick, sometimes I get really sick, but usually, I will rest, do all the standard sick things, and when I'm done, I'm done.

    Not this time.

    Just now getting back online. Right when this hit, I was working with sound on the P2. It's all still sitting there... I opened up some code, ran it, and said, "well OK, that's just great" and boom. Not there yet. Maybe next week.

    Hope you all are staying safe, taking this seriously, and are healthy.

    Because we don't have tests, I can't know. Doc says what we experienced is in line with what they are seeing. Many people struggle with breathing, but do not develop the fibrosis and fluids. We got some fluids, but nothing else. When we started to cough real stuff up, it was painful and ugly. Stank.

    So maybe I had it, maybe I didn't. It's the worst. Either I have some basic immunity now, or I'm in a weakened state should it happen. I don't like anything about any of it, to be frank.

    Maybe when the antibody tests happen, I can get those and confirm. Would be nice to know.

    Nobody in my circle is sick yet. Except for us getting sick, and being fortunate enough to have not left home during the initial stealth infection period, and being able to just stay home, whatever I got stayed here, ended here.

    And guys, I look at the massive number of people out of work, the hospitals running at full tilt now, and the tide still coming up? Be careful. Now is not the time to need a doctor.

    Oh, and here's the worst. I look like a total bum right now! It's hilarious! Was getting dentures, having fought with crappy teeth and not much care as a young kid.

    Digression mode = 1

    I've said before, my family was in poverty for a bunch of my childhood. For me, teeth aside, it was not a bad thing. It's why I'm geeky and into this stuff, frankly. Had nothing else to do, and lots of friendly people out in the sticks willing to mentor, bring me stuff, and I did all kinds of work to get things I and my family wanted or needed. But, I put it here to explain the dental...

    Digression mode = 0

    So, I've got a bunch of teeth pulled, and was just a week from the final deal, and boom! We had to shut the project down. The woman working on my case took all my models home, and it's mothballed until we can do it reasonably. Could be months!

    Remote work is a gift right now! LOL

    Anyway, that's my tale. I think I survived this thing, and I'm improving every day. The good news is all the Parallax time I'm gonna have once I have energy to take advantage of it. The other good news is travel is off the table. Man, I've had enough. And I've done that a few times in my life. Good at it, no worries. But this last round was A. LOT. And when this all improves, I got enough points to take my wife somewhere cool too.


  • cgraceycgracey Posts: 13,610
    Thanks, Potatohead. That's quite a story. I would write more, but all my time went to reading.
  • LOL, that's how it goes with my stuff sometimes. No worries. I'm just glad we are gonna be fine. Lots of people never fully recover. It's taking a while, but I feel very lucky compared to so many.

  • cgraceycgracey Posts: 13,610
    Yes, I am glad you all got through it. If it comes to our house, I'll know what to expect.
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 10,188
    edited 2020-04-06 04:50
    Yeah. Maybe it won't. From what I can tell, we had a middle of the road, maybe upper middle case. Rough, but not deadly, unless one were to be foolish. And it was the worst sickness event in my life by a wide margin.

    If I were you, I would get a clean protocol going right now. Your place is nice, big, and you aren't in proximity. It's a good scenario Chip.

    Your big threats are:

    Grocery Store

    If possible, just don't have visitors. The insidious thing about this virus is we can transmit it for 5 to 10 days before showing symptoms! Total mess. So there really is no way to know who is carrying what. That is what got me, and my family. No real alert, or way to know, until way too late.

    Deliveries are best handled outside. Remove things from the box, and packaging and do a wipe down. It's a simple virus, so all you need is IPA, or soap and water. And wipe down, let dry, then bring in. For a wipe down or spray, 70 percent IPA or better works well. Thankfully, we don't need anything special to battle this on the clean down front.

    For the store, have away clothes, mask, wipes, gloves. Basically, if you can, leave the house and change into away clothes. Otherwise, just change into away clothes and leave the house. Don your gloves, etc... and you are set.

    Only take the minimum. Your money, keys.

    Get a box, or bin, and wipe it down, put in your vehicle.

    At the store, wipe cart, get your stuff. If you use cash, have them give you change in your bags, or bin. Don't handle it.

    Put stuff in car.

    Get home.

    Then, pull bin out of car, spray down where you were in the car, keys, wallet, and give each item a wipe down before entering your home with it.

    When all done, remove away clothes, launder and prep for next time.

    This stuff can live on many surfaces for days!

    And you may know all that, but I'm putting it here for passers by.

    Also, masks work on probabilities. So, we may not be able to get N95 masks. But, say we can make or get N60. That's still respectable incoming protection, and it's good outgoing containment, on the chance we are carriers.

    A cotton shirt, double folded is roughly N50 or better. It's still useful. The primary vector of infection is our faces basically. Eyes, nose, mouth. So, when out, gloved up, and such, we just need to avoid face touching.

    Finally, when out and about, in the store, the concept of a clean hand is kind of useful. One hand handles everything, the other one you keep as clean as you can.

    Where I live, I can see the tide coming up. Things are getting quiet, and people are starting to report being sick. It's made life outside the house a LOT of work.
  • cgraceycgracey Posts: 13,610
    Thanks, Potatohead. I just read all that to my wife, since she does the shopping here. She and our girls have been sewing lots of face masks.
  • Cool. We are doing it together when we can. Mostly it's me going out as I'm the stronger one right now.

    We have only made a few trips. I made some masks, and we ended up with two N something masks. Better than good cloth, but not excellent. I am not sure that matters when one does all the other good stuff and just avoids obvious scenarios.

    On one of my brief trips, I entered the building and heard coughing. Just didn't go for a couple days. Whatever it is, we don't need it. Not really.

    This all puts a kabash on our P2 gathering! Not happy about any of that.
  • cgraceycgracey Posts: 13,610
    I just read your LONG story to my wife.
  • Thats a really interesting post thanks Potatohead

  • Thanks for the details potatohead! It seems it is difficult to get details about people who survived it. I am currently working from home, but still have to go in 1 or 2 times a week so I have started a new "clean" regimen as a I come and go. Store trips are now at a minimum and trying to schedule where minimal others would be there. Doing all the recommended actions to keep away from it. To a degree, I envy you in that people that have went through it have a sense of security that us without it don't have. From everything we know, you can't get it twice, so that's some assurance for you. This is the first time I have experienced something like this and I am way past ready for it to be over. The massive amount of life disruption is crazy and the fear of getting the virus has me worried with every trip I make outside. Knowing that normalcy won't be around for quite some time and the fact that normalcy won't ever be what it used to be makes all of this a little more disheartening. Thanks for giving me some hope with your growing wellness. Wish you the best!
  • Well that's the thing! I can't get a confirmation now, until we can test for antibodies and mere mortals can get the tests.

    I either have some defenses now, or am weakened should it happen. Totally sucks, and I'm probably no less fearful than anyone else.

    You are right though. It's still sinking in, but I've thought a lot about this. Normal as we knew it last year is gone for a significant amount of time. How long? Nobody knows.

    Really normal? Vaccine + 1 year.

    Buckle up. It's a new world out there for a while.

    Do have some hope though. Be cautious, detailed and thorough. Rigorous clean routines are a pretty effective defense. A lot of us are gonna get through on that alone.

  • cgracey wrote: »
    I just read your LONG story to my wife.

    Well? What did she say? Also, tell her "Hello", I remember our pizza day, you, me Roy, others... fondly.

    I want another one!
  • potatohead,
    Sounds the exact same as what some friends of mine in Washington went through, same descriptions of it, same length of time, and also unable to get tested.

    Really glad you and your family got through it okay.
  • That's the first similar data I've received. Did they end up OK?

    Yeah, we are too. It just came on fast. Makes a person think. Hard.

  • Yes, they ended up okay. He and his wife had it at the same time (maybe one day apart for onset of heavy symptoms), their kid had it much milder and shorter (but still was miserable for a couple days in the middle).
    They had contact with a friend that did eventually test positive, so they are pretty certain they had it even though they could not get tested themselves.
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 10,188
    edited 2020-04-06 06:40
    Yeah, I traveled through LAX in high case concentration area, was laid over for a long time too, just stuck in there, lots of people wearing masks. Exposure was extremely likely. That, and the fact of it being worse by something like an order more than anything any of us have ever experienced, strongly suggests we had it.

    I'm operating on that assumption, and your friends info strengthens that a little, but no testing is maddening.

    Had I known, I would have just road tripped it and would have been better off, well maybe. If this all goes bad, maybe I will be happy to have had it happen early.

    Who knows? I don't.

  • Glad you are ok @potatohead. This sounds like 7734, happy to know you were not bad off enough to be admitted. That and emergencies are about all that is coming in now. No one wants anything to do with the ED these days if it can be helped. Thank you for the details of what you went through, others may be able to identify it and if they do will have an idea of what they may be dealing with. As to the road trip, well, we have found many hotels to be uhm, somewhat sketchy on the road. Not sure I would want to stay in any reasonably priced places or even maybe unreasonably priced places these days. To think up until January, our biggest concern was running into bedbugs..... What is IPA? A Clorox solution may do the same thing.

    For what its worth when shopping, I can make a $20 last a month or more for the last couple years by using my Note8 and Samsung pay. It actually emulates a credit card. Very, very few store POSs fail to work with it. (I get grief from some Lowes because they all think it won't work). If you don't have an S8/Note8 or better, consider Apple Pay where available. I touch as little as possible and typically flip everything so that they can point the bar code reader at what I am getting so cashiers rarely touch anything if self checkout is not possible. Even then most stores now have a wiper doing all contact surfaces between shoppers checking out.

    Best wishes/prayers......
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,766
    Wow and ouch :(
    Pleased you’re coming out the other side of this.

    What is very troublesome is that you’re not even part of the stats and there is so little testing over there!

    Take Care everyone!

  • ColeyColey Posts: 1,049
    edited 2020-04-06 10:39
    Glad you're OK Potatohead!

    Stay safe everyone!
  • Good on ya Potatohead. I think I may be a member of the club too. Back in mid-FEB one of my coworkers flew to Las Vegas for a horse race handicapping convention, and came back sick. He tested negative for the flu and timing is perfect for him to have had COVID. Just before Louisiana issued the stay at home order on March 17, two other coworkers tested positive for COVID. Mardi Gras also happened in late FEB, and several other coworkers ride in parades or attended other crowded functions.

    So on my first day working from home I nearly hit the floor after trying to get out of bed. My hips hurt so bad I couldn't bend over to tie my shoes. Forced me to find the Ibuprofen for the first time in years. So I looked it up and yeah, joint pain is a major symptom in about 15% of COVID cases. Ain't that special. No respiratory problems fortunately but also no testing to verify anything. By the time they get the antibody test up we're probably gonna find out all of us have been exposed.
  • What is IPA? A Clorox solution may do the same thing.

    ...isopropyl alcohol...

  • davejames wrote: »
    What is IPA? A Clorox solution may do the same thing.

    ...isopropyl alcohol...

    And I thought it was India Pale Ale. :smile:

  • David Betz wrote: »
    davejames wrote: »
    What is IPA? A Clorox solution may do the same thing.

    ...isopropyl alcohol...

    And I thought it was India Pale Ale. :smile:

    ...well, maybe that would work in large quantities! *8)
  • Glad you are ok @potatohead. Again where did you travel and what airports besides LAX. I am taking LOTS of notes, thank you.
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 10,188
    edited 2020-04-06 15:07
    IPA is isopropyl alcohol

    Well, now we are super clear on that! Let me see what can I put in this useless post...

    Chemically, IPA is a more effective general solvent due to the IPA being polar, and water being non polar. 100 percent IPA is generally less effective in most scenarios.
  • kwinnkwinn Posts: 8,692
    Happy to read you are ok @potatohead. I can sympathize with what you went through. I had symptoms similar to yours starting in early March. Not quite as intense as what you described, but at least as bad as anything I have ever had before. Made for a really miserable couple of weeks.
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 10,188
    edited 2020-04-06 15:50

    My last two trips were back to back.

    PDX to SLC, car to cache valley, Quality Inn hotel.
    SLC to PDX, my car, home.

    That was United, mid Feb

    PDX to LAX, car to Compton (I know), forget Hotel.
    LAX to PDX, my car, home.

    Delta, late Feb.

    I got sick last week of Feb.

    Could have been either, but I super suspect LAX. Both airlines were carrying passengers from high impact areas at the time. Could have been the airplane on the LAX hop. Was a big jet. The other one was your usual domestic sized jet.

    Did not see anyone wearing masks in SLC.

    There were lots of people wearing them in Terminal 6 LAX. Because it was delta, I am pretty sure that was a mix of domestic and International travellers. You will need to double check the Terminal. Pretty sure it was 6.

    In SLC, in and out. In airport for an hour or so. (I live SLC for that reason) Was in LAX for over 4 hours.

    The trips were single target engagements. So just do the work, hotel, etc.

    So there you go.

  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 10,188
    edited 2020-04-06 16:03
    I just checked. Delta has just moved to Terminals 2, and 3. That was not true when I was through there.

    @PropGuy2 lol, you got me thinking. Check this out.

  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 10,188
    edited 2020-04-06 15:57

    Yeah, seems familiar. Oh, those mornings! You starting to improve now? Still low energy?

    Glad you made it too. Sheesh. You are likely to prove right. What a mess!
  • ErNaErNa Posts: 1,582
    As I'm still awaiting an infection I watch all of this as an experiment with open ending. In the meantime I try to separate the wheat from the chaff looking for some information. I'm doing this by watching tweets and then google to look behind the scenes. This is an example: When will this nightmare be over?

    In the meantime: all the best wishes to all! Maybe the forth with you. Take care: it is true that blood plasma may contain antibodys but don't fall for the vampires!
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