630 days of plague, and COVID 20 days on

Well, I’m basically better. I woke up on Saturday feeling a lot more like myself, had a normal weekend (writiing blog posts, cooking the family dinner twice) and worked the whole day yesterday and today, mainly catching up on a thousand emails but with a fair number of meetings too. Still working from home, and not being very adventurous as yet. On Thursday I will go and work in the office in Brussels, and we have our work Christmas dinner downtown in the evening. Everyone will be tested before dinner; my system must be swarming with antibodies right now, so I am not apprehensive.

Thanks to everyone who commented for their sympathy and support. It does help one’s morale.

B is fine, and had a much milder case. We finally got U tested and she turned out negative (she may well have had it asymptomatically at the same time as me and Anne, and recovered), and she will go back to school and then to the care home in Tienen tomorrow. A bit farther afield, my friend R in Antwerp got out of intensive care and is convalescing at home. More widely, the Belgian numbers are finally turning around – the weekly average rate of infection registered a decrease this morning for the first time since 9 October. Then it was 1898; now it’s 17146, almost exactly nine times higher.

I had a nasty dose of the bug, basically lasting fifteen and a half days from midday Thursday 18th, when I realised I could no longer ignore the symptoms that I’d had since the previous day and went to bed for two weeks, until waking up feeling better on Saturday 3rd. But it could have been a lot worse, and likely would have been a lot worse if I had not been doubly vaccinated. More importantly, perhaps, because I was vaccinated I was much less infectious, and despite close contact with a number of colleagues on the 15th and 16th in London, I don’t appear to have passed it on to anyone apart from Anne. (So our household R number is 0.5, 0.3 if you count F having had it in October without anyone else catching it from him.)

I will continue to be careful – I know enough people who have had COVID twice to make me very cautious, and my blood oxidation level remains lower than I’d like it to be. (Having said which, I wasn’t measuring it before I got COVID, so possibly I’m normally a bit onn the low side.) We only get booster shots here six months after our original second shot, which for me would be Christmas Day; but I’ll be in the queue as soon as it’s available.

It’s weird to look at the subject line of this post – 630 days, 90 weeks. Certainly when I first started this sequence of ten-day posts in March 2020, it seemed unlikely that I’d still be writiing them in the summer (and indeed there was a gap of a couple of months during that first deceptive lull). I dare not predict now when I’ll feel that I can stop updating, except that it certainly won’t be before next year.

See you soon. Get vaccinated, if you haven’t been; get boosted as soon as you can; and try not to get the damn bug.

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