Day 574, part 2 – Once more…

…for the guys at the back?
…into the fray?
…with feeling?
…unto the breach?

Maybe all of them. Whatever.

Let’s run through this one more time:

  • Wearing a mask cannot completely stop Covid transmission, but it can reduce it.
  • Good ventilation cannot completely stop Covid transmission, but it can reduce it.
  • Social distancing cannot completely stop Covid transmission, but it can reduce it.
  • Handwashing cannot completely stop Covid transmission, but it can reduce it.
  • And vaccines cannot completely stop Covid transmission, but they can reduce it*.

But WHEN USED TOGETHER, these measures CAN effectively stop Covid transmission.

And limiting the spread of the virus is how we end this pandemic.

Incidentally, if you choose to merely pick one of the bullet points above and then throw it around without context in order to try and make a point, you’re either being deliberately obtuse or extremely stupid.

Don’t do that.

* drastically – and also reduce your risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death!

Day 574 – The hospital

As mentioned, yesterday’s appointment went well. But it would be remiss of me not to comment on the place where it occurred. It was my first visit to Rondebosch Medical Centre, and while it was a generally positive experience, the actual place was actually rather unsettling.

The ground floor is occupied by a petrol station. Bit weird.

The public parking was on the roof, and was a real adventure to get to. Tight turns and no set plan for any floor of the parking lot kept me guessing and (once) having to reverse and try again. And then, once arriving there, half of the roof was being used as a construction site.

The view was pretty good, though:

The car park set the tone for the building, which was poorly lit, full of narrow corridors and tight corners, and seemingly also all under construction. Like an 80s office block suffering from sick building syndrome that had been hastily and desperately converted for another use.
Like a private hospital.

But just because the building is awful, that’s not to say that the service wasn’t good. It was.
It was just that it was all housed in a really horrible place.

Day 573 – 5k, 30 minutes, next April

A somewhat surreal experience at the specialist this afternoon yielded some mostly good news.

Surreal because the whole place looked like a building site, there was no receptionist, the doc himself looked like he had just finished working in his garden on a weekend, and the entire episode was accompanied by some energetic jazz funk on the radio. Then the previous patient – still clutching his fresh urine sample in one hand – asked if I could spare him R5 for parking. He was wearing a Liverpool shirt, so I took pity on him and gave him the money. In his other hand.

But once I was in the practice room, thankfully things were a bit more normal. Nice guy.

Let’s get the not so good bit over with first: no magic pill, no quick fix, no guaranteed timeline of escaping these crappy symptoms. That “you really just need to be patient,” line again, which seems to be the (admittedly justified) mantra for this thing. And a few more blood tests (LFTs, Cortisol etc.), just to check that the Covid symptoms aren’t hiding any other nasties. We’re all pretty sure that they’re not.

But mostly good news because – having had an ultrasound of my heart, a resting ECG and done some treadmilling (I got up to 6kph on a slight upward slope, for a whole 150 seconds!!) – I have permission to begin exercising again.
My heart is good and strong, I have no blood clots and my lungs are almost repaired. It’s just the rest of me that is completely broken and needs some work. So not klapping the gym, boet quite yet (it’s an absolute haven for Covid infections anyway), but a walk a day, increasing my pace and increasing my distance each week.

He stressed that he seen a number of patients who simply don’t seem to understand quite what a blow Covid has dealt them. The idea that once the acute symptoms have gone, you can go back to normal, just isn’t true. One also needs to recognise the regression that the infection has caused.
“You’re running 100m, but you’re starting 50m behind the starting blocks,” was his analogy.

Longest 100m ever.

Anyway, without putting any firm timeline on it, there was mention of six months (from now) to maybe get back to where I was. I almost cried. Six months might seem like a long while, but honestly, there have been a lot of times when I didn’t think I would ever get back there. And maybe I won’t. Or maybe it will take 3 months.
But there’s hope, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and so I’ve set myself a goal: I’m going to run 5km in 30 minutes with my son on his birthday next year.

Possibly, anyway.

That will be more than 9 months to get myself back to normality after this “mild” infection, assuming this all goes to plan. So let me just drop the message in here once again that you can increase your chances of avoiding all this shit, simply by getting vaccinated. Incidentally, my doc thinks that the timing of my first vaccine dose might just have been the thing that kept me out of hospital. Thanks be to Pfizer.

I have already taken the beagle on a celebratory trip around the block, and so now I am ready for bed, but it doesn’t matter.

This has been a good day.

Day 572 – Floor

Bit of a frustrating day. We’re having some new flooring laid, dragging the house from the 1980s, kicking and screaming into at least the 2010s. (The 2020s are so damn expensive and pandemicky, we felt them best avoided in flooring terms. Sadly, we had very little option in actual chronological terms.) The guys came and did the prep work yesterday, and it took a couple of hours. We were hoping for the same again today, but it took six hours. That’s not to say that they didn’t do an excellent job, but I had plans for four of those six hours. But now they’ll have to wait for tomorrow.

I’m off to see a specialist tomorrow afternoon about this ongoing Covid nonsense. Part of me wants him to cure me completely. Well, I suppose all of me wants him to cure me completely, it’s just that all of me knows that that isn’t going to happen. So tomorrow will be a bit of a watershed moment. Either he has huge plans for my recovery (not ruling out a total cure, but, you know…), or he’s going to tell me to give it another six months and see how we’re doing then.

I’ve always been on of those “well, at least I know where I stand now” kind of people when it comes to medical diagnoses, but I’m not looking forward to the – let’s face it – more probable latter prognosis.

In the meantime, the floor does look much nicer. Next up, replacing the rotting wood of the cottage-paned patio doors, and dragging the house… ah, you know the story.

I’m off outside to enjoy the last of the sunshine and try and get a photo of one of our Cape Robin Chats.

Day 571 – Prep

Knackered (surprise, surprise) after a busy day of Robben Island prep. I assigned a couple of tasks, found a very friendly butcher, almost sorted a whole budget, listed some birds and animals, and purchased 200 plastic sacks and 6kg of chicken nuggets.

Amongst other things.

Listened to some music:
New Placebo is good.
New Einaudi is good.

But I’m not going to make it to kick off time for Arsenal v Palace tonight.

Sorry for the brevity. More tomorrow.