In 2022, here’s the thing about covid–it strips away all of your inner resources. Nothing is fun–not reading, not watching movies, not listening to music. Painting? Ha! Writing? Forget it. It even takes away your appetite, which is probably a good thing because you can’t go out into the world and buy something delicious to eat anyway. And even if you could, the Mucinex you take every four hours makes everything taste rather vile. Since you don’t have any booze in the house, there’s only one thing to do that’s remotely satisfying–kvetching.

Covid is such a sneaky little devil. One night you go to bed feeling as though a cold is coming on. The next day you go out to pick up a few things to tide you over until the sneezing stops and on the following day an at-home test immediately sports a hefty T-line. Within the next 24 hours you completely decimate the box of Kleenex that you bought the day before, which is impressive because for most of those hours you were asleep. 

Once your narcolepsy wears off, you begin to wish you were the sort of person who stockpiled dark chocolate, ice cream, and Mama noodles–or even better, had a liquor cabinet. Suddenly the aisles of Target seem like the gates of heaven and are equally impossible for you to enter. Welcome to confinement.

Grouchy isn’t the word for what you’re feeling right now. You retroactively hate everyone you saw on your light-rail trips who went unmasked–and there were a lot of them. Odd how bus passengers almost all covered their faces while riding conveyances with windows that opened–just another one of life’s little mysteries. You try to replace these ugly thoughts with Pollyanna truths–vaccinated people rarely are hospitalized with covid anymore and at least you still have the ability to taste and smell. But your grouchy side asserts itself immediately. The odor that predominates in your household comes from a miasma of Tiger Balm and your taste buds are bludgeoned every four hours by Mucinex. Yippee.

You know you’re getting better because you’re such a complete bitch. Today’s the first time you have enough energy to go beyond feeling miserable. Your cough has stopped being a dry and constant hacking and is actually beginning to clear your chest. Suddenly you want to order a pizza and get a manicure, two things you never long for in real life. 

Best of all, you’re typing again and you’re trying desperately to be funny in your own inept fashion. Maybe tomorrow you’ll feel well enough to maintain a coherent thought or two. Perhaps you’ll even rediscover your powers of concentration. Meanwhile you grumble and gretz and grouch and grump and gripe because feeling gloomy reassures you that you’re still alive.