i got covid.

If it seems like I’ve been quiet for the last week or so, it’s because I got covid. Yes, I almost made it a full year and even had an appointment set up for my first dose of the vaccine! But my plans were destroyed because I got covid.

Covid: destroyer of plans forever and ever and the pain will never end.

I’m pretty sure I got covid at the Barge Inn in Jersey City. I’m actually 99.9% sure that I got covid at the Barge Inn in Jersey City. It’s fair to say it’s my fault for going there and removing my mask to drink inside, but it’s also fair to say there were no covid restrictions in place.

Just a friendly neighborhood warning: if you don’t want covid, don’t go to the Barge Inn. Or go after you get vaccinated. Or wear a hazmat suit. Either way, a ton of people told me it was a covid fest over there and I still went. So I got covid.

There’s a certain kind of shame you feel when you get covid, and also a feeling that you lost some kind of game. Like how could you be SO IRRESPONSIBLE as to expose yourself?! What is wrong with you?! There’s a lot of guilt, which kind of pisses me off because it’s socially constructed. A judgement comes down: you failed at protecting your own health, and you are trash.

Take your trash life and hide inside and don’t show your face until you won’t infect the rest of us.

About 2 weeks ago I started to feel a little weird. I went for a run in the morning and I felt extra sweaty and dizzy. It didn’t seem right. I went about my regular business and started work. A few hours into the day, my head was POUNDING and I couldn’t even look at my computer screen. I actually couldn’t even look at my phone screen either, which has never happened.

It seemed like something serious was afoot.

I took the rest of the day off work and tried to sleep it all away, but it didn’t go away. Oh no, it did not. The next day I had the pounding headache again and I also had a fever. The fever made me nervous because I haven’t had a fever for over a decade. I always get the flu shot so I haven’t had the flu in a long time, and I guess I just haven’t had a fever for any other reason. I STAY FEVER FREE.

Except for 2 weeks ago, because I had a fever. I went to get a covid test and I felt awful and I was PISSED because I had JUST MADE my vaccine appointment and I felt pretty sure I got covid and was going to have to cancel it.

I did have to cancel it.

I was pissed.

Once I had the positive test result I had to accept my fate and start the process of hydration, sleeping, and taking the various medicines that this type of illness demands. It was exhausting. Just taking care of myself was a lot of work.

Ugh.

I ended up having a fever for about 3 days and I know this because I obsessively took my temperature until it was normal again. It got up to 100.3 and that was hot enough for me.

I slept and slept and slept, and got very, very sweaty. The sweatiness I really wasn’t expecting, but it was better than having to throw up.

The one good thing about covid is that it does not involve barfing. No barfing at all! At least not for me…but “vomiting” isn’t really on the list of symptoms so I don’t think barfing is involved for anyone sick with covid. Which is good because barfing is completely unbearable and I simply won’t stand for it.

I took two days off work, then it was the weekend and I slept my life away, then I also had to take off Monday. I didn’t have to use any of my vacay days though, BECAUSE THE MAN HAS GRANTED US SPECIAL PAID DAYS OFF FOR COVID. Make sure you look into it! I wasn’t aware and the HR gal at my work came through and let me know, a true heroine of the times.

Once I started to feel better, I promptly lost my taste. I couldn’t taste or smell anything for about a week. It was annoying but helped me not to binge eat since a big part of my binge eating is taste-based. So I didn’t even feel like eating which I NEVER FEEL and it was SO WEIRD and I COULDN’T EVEN STAND IT.

Now that I’ve spent my time convalescing and I’m no longer contagious I have returned to the outdoors and also the gym. The outdoors felt overwhelming at first but I comfortably settled in to enjoy sunshine and flowers and other natural charms we are offered this time of year.

The gym is another story. IT IS SO INCREDIBLY HARD TO WORK OUT. I usually love working out because I’m good at it or at least I FEEL good at it and I love to feel strong and like I can kick anyone’s ass that gives me any kind of problem. Right now I feel so incredibly weak. I can’t lift as much, and I get out of breath easily.

AND I’M PISSED.

It’s a real struggle to make it through the day when I don’t feel like myself. A REAL, TERRIBLE STRUGGLE.

As far as not feeling like myself, covid can also make you depressed or have like, “blues” for a while after. I’m not making this up. Although I will take any and every opportunity to feel depressed and diagnose myself with some kind of mental health crisis, this is science, I swear. So I’ve been dealing with that too, just feeling kind of slow and foggy and not interested in anything.

The other day I told my boyfriend I felt sad because I haven’t been getting excited about anything and that’s not like me, and he said “YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET EXCITED ABOUT EVERYTHING,” and I was like…”I DO.” Like I don’t feel like myself if I’m not excited. If I’m not excited, something is wrong.

And I’m dealing with that.

So, I got covid. It sucked and I’m still depressed and I don’t fully have my taste back. I need to make a vaccine appointment and currently can’t find one so if you have any leads please let me know.

what to wear during your holiday break vol. 2.

One of my favorite posts to put together last year was “what to wear during your holiday break” and now I’m back for more.

As you may know this year was a completely different year from last year and we all spent a ton of time sitting around our houses on our asses. We’ve been wearing lazy clothes while hiding in our houses this entire year and we’re not going to stop anytime soon.

Overall I’m not really a proponent of lazy clothes. I like to “look cute” and “get dressed up.” I really, REALLY miss wearing black tights and dresses and makeup and real shoes. This is really, really hard for me.

But I thought it would still be fun to celebrate some lazy clothes because I got quite a few new lazy clothes this year and they’re kinda fun!

So here we go.

what to wear during your holiday break while you’re reading a book.

Yes I’m reading Home Body. Every single one of a certain kind of gal is currently reading it as we speak. I guess I’m just that kind of gal.

The kind of gal that likes amazing poetry without really knowing that much about poetry. But it’s amazing.

My outfit is from ACTA and it’s my favorite new lazy outfit. It’s really soft but not TOO soft. I love the material. I have a code for ACTA if you have any interest. Click here to go to their site and use code SHANIMAL15 for 15% off.

If not, move along.

what to wear during your holiday break when you want to fret over the impeding apocalypse but in a onesie.

This is a leopard onesie.

I guess it’s kind of intense and I think it’s a size too small because it’s not as comfy as I hoped.

It’s from Old Navy. The small size isn’t their fault, it’s just my assumption that I can still wear the same size I could wear back in March.

Which is an untrue assumption.

what to wear during your holiday break while protecting your bird from certain death.

Here’s a sports bra option for when you have to turn up the heat all the way for your bird and it’s too hot to live with a shirt on.

My tropical budgie pal Elvis needs to be protected from a draft at all costs. If he feels the slightest chill you can see in his face that he is terrified of his swift imminent death.

He needs to stay warm so we keep him warm. That’s what we do in this family. Even if human family members have to take our shirts off in the middle of winter. Bra top is from Free People.

what to wear during your holiday break to look out the window and feel sad because you miss your friends and family.

When it’s cold and I don’t want to deal with being outside but it’s still sunny and I need sunlight, I love to sit by the window.

I love to sit by the window and stare at the street and think about all the fun I’ve missed, Santa baby.

This year has been shitty. We all know it. A lot of us won’t see our families. I’ve been quarantining to see my parents and sister for Xmas but I won’t be able to see my brother and his family. It’s a tough pill to swallow. I’m choking on it. So is my mom.

So I’ll just sulk here by the window in my cropped “Jersey City” sweatshirt from JaneDO and tie dyed pants from Old Navy because like what else to I have to do?

what to wear during your holiday break while you adult color and/or reenact a preschool school photo.

I need to get back into adult coloring. It is fun, soothing, passes the time…all good things.

Adult coloring really relaxes the mind. For a long time I thought it was a hoax and a trap but my sister got me this adult coloring book a couple of years ago and it just feels good to do.

This also looks like a photo of me that I have from preschool that I’m going to try to find when I go home this week. STAY TUNED.

Oh PS the whole outfit is from Old Navy. I love the thermal top because it has moons and stars on it. A VIBE.

what to wear during your holiday break while wrapping presents but only a couple at a time because it really hurts your back.

I got this sweatsuit in the fall and I do love that it’s a like a MATCHING SUIT.

It’s also nice that it’s red so it’s festive and if I put on a green headband it’s red AND green and THAT is a beautiful thing.

Sweatsuit is Old Navy again. 85% of this stuff is Old Navy. As I said, I’m not usually a fan of lazy clothes but now that I pretty much wear them every day I like to have a lot of options and Old Navy has cheap but quality options. It may be cheap but it’s also soft and comfortable and I AM INSIDE OF MY HOUSE.

Also, wrapping presents really, REALLY makes my back hurt and I’m not sure why but if you have any tips plz share.

what to wear during your holiday break while you get in bed and wait for santa.

Oh shit did that sound sexual? It’s not, I just meant wait until it’s time to open your presents.

The time goes slow when you’re stuck inside, so it’s nice to be comfortable while you wait.

This is another full matching sweatsuit but it’s not very flattering so I’ll just reveal the top half. Some things remain sacred.

Best wishes for cozy holiday outfits for every single one of you, my friends.

thanksgiving at home.

Just a quick little recap of a Thanksgiving at home.

Or, a Thanksgiving without really going anywhere.

I was really stressed about deciding what to do for Thanksgiving. But in the end I decided not to risk it and to stay home at my own house.

Unfortunately I am far from having the culinary skills to prepare an entire Thanksgiving at home.

Luckily my mom was nice enough to prepare send all of the food to me! Via socially distanced delivery boy, which is my dad. I don’t think he likes to be called “delivery boy” even though he was one in this case. Sorry Lexx.

Delivery!

We woke up on Thanksgiving morning and had a leisurely biscuits and gravy breakfast.

After breakfast I insisted that we dress up because I always dress up on Thanksgiving even though it is mostly inside and I wear slippers the entire time.

Dressed up. Slippers out of frame.

Slippers were certainly worn for Thanksgiving at home.

At the last minute I decided to set the coffee table up like a real “table” and I felt really proud of it. I mostly didn’t think I had enough “home items” to make a cute little table but I DID.

We drank Irish coffees and mimosas and got pretty drunk before the meal, a time honored family tradition.

When we were ready I warmed up the food my mom sent and it was TIME TO EAT.

Before warming.

Cheesy bread, turkey, stuffing, 3 kinds of potatoes, green beans, etc. ALL THE HITS.

After we ate I demanded we go to Lincoln Park for a “hike” because at my parents’ we usually go into the woods behind their house for a “hike.”

“Hike”

It was a successful “hike” because we spotted a hawk!

“Hawk”

When we returned home I ate some cookies I made and pumpkin pie from Edible Underground and then it was time for bed.

The end.

the thanksgiving dilemma.

In April when all of this COVID stuff started and people were sad about not being able to get together for Easter, I was like “HAHA TOO BAD, EASTER SUX ANYWAY!” But now that it’s November and one of my favorite (although admittedly problematic) holidays is here, my mind and heart are consumed by the Thanksgiving dilemma.

The Thanksgiving dilemma is this: do I or don’t I go home for Thanksgiving?

A simple decision, of course.

JUST KIDDING IT’S NOT SIMPLE AT ALL.

I spent the better part of last week in a complete and utter frenzy. I only referred to it as a “frenzy” so it sounded fun and quirky to my boyfriend. It was actually a full on, days long panic attack.

It was incredibly difficult to decide what to do, as there were many factors and considerations and sources of information.

I was lucky enough to go home a ton of times over the summer and into the fall, when the “numbers” we’ve all grown to obsess over were down and things were a little calmer. I’m so happy I had the opportunity to do this, you don’t even know. Okay I’ll tell you: it was heaven on earth to go home all those times. I love home!

Yes I still refer to my parents’ house in Milford, NJ as “home.” Sue me.

So in considering if I should go home for Thanksgiving, one of my thoughts was, “I’ve already been home so much and it’s fine!”

But like…is it fine?

Then I decided I was going to get some COVID tests. We have them for free in Jersey City and I think it’s a great thing! And they should be free everywhere! MAKE THEM FREE NOW.

On Thursday last week I got a test, and I was planning on getting one on Tuesday 11/24. That seemed like enough time! Everyone I know that has gone back to work in person, mostly people who work in TV, get COVID tests weekly and then they are cleared to work. In my mind if a negative test was good enough for them and a green light to work, then it was good enough for me and a green light to go home.

BUT IT WAS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. As the days went by I saw more info graphics and articles shared and more memes about killing one’s grandma and I started to panic. I’m going to spare you and not share them here, but you can find them quickly if you look. Apparently even if you get a negative test it is NOT an “all clear” to go party with high risk people, like my grandma and uncle and my parents and my pregnant sister.

A few weeks ago it was my birthday, and I invited some friends to have outside drinks. One friend replied with, “We’re laying low until Thanksgiving so we can see my grandparents.” Of course I respected and honored their choice and would never mock it, but I did feel like it was unnecessarily cautious. The get together was on November 14th and Thanksgiving was so far away!

Narrator: Thanksgiving was NOT far away. Here comes the Thanksgiving dilemma!

In order for you to not catch COVID and not give it to other people, it’s recommended that you stay in your house and self quarantine for at least 14 days before getting together with people indoors. I think you can probably go for walks but you definitely can’t go out and have drinks, even if it’s outside. And you probably shouldn’t be going to workout classes, as I’ve been doing.

My friend was wise, and I totally blew it. Mostly because I’m bad at math.

The CDC actually says you should quarantine if you’ve been “in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.” But like, if you’re out in the world, HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW?!

So this realization coupled with the realization that a negative test isn’t a green light and compounded by all of the “you’re gonna kill your grandma” memes really set me over the edge. Like, pushed me to the brink of my very sanity. I was not well. In my mind. But like who is?

My main concern, as always, is NOT being sick myself, but in making someone else sick. OR, finding out I’m sick after I’ve been around people and then having to TELL THEM and have like a “SERIOUS CONVERSATION” about it. I want to avoid that at all costs. That sounds like my worst nightmare.

The fear of me getting it myself is far less than the fear of infecting someone else. THAT is the shit that keeps me up at night. And always has.

Maybe I shouldn’t bring this up but I guess I will for what I think is a valuable comparison: I say “always has” because when I was single and dating and out in the world or whatever there was always the specter of STDs lurking in the background. And you had to have “the conversation.” And it was sickening and annoying.

(Side note: Don’t even get me started on how STDs are stigmatized and pretty much social suicide in our society for no good reason other than Puritanism and sex shaming and THE PATRIARCHY and if you get a cold or something and give it to someone there isn’t ANY social stigma and that doesn’t seem right. Like in both versions you got sick and someone else got sick from you. Either be okay with it or don’t be okay with it but please choose to give people a hard time about both illnesses equally if that’s what you’re gonna do. But that’s for another time.)

And if we didn’t have “the conversation” it would still be hanging over me, stressing me out, making me feel weird, causing me many sleepless nights. I really let the rumination get to that level. It added to my obsession with going to the doctor. I got so many tests and so frequently that my insurance company had to ask WTF was wrong with me. It was in a letter, I threw it out.

What I’m saying is, if you don’t have sex you won’t get STDs. It’s that simple. Of course there are ways to protect yourself AND YOU SHOULD but the risk is always there. But with COVID, there’s no way to truly get away from it if you’re just trying to live your life at a very basic level. There’s not a specific activity you can identify that’s going to give it to you. You know what is a higher risk and a lower risk, but it’s still everywhere and you don’t even have to touch anyone to be exposed to it.

Like, I just want to go outside, go to workout class, drink a beer with pals. I’ll wear the mask, I’ll do the sanitizer, I’ll stay away from people. AND I DO. But it’s still not 100% safe unless you hide in your house for the ordained amount of time and that’s just the way it is.

Now that COVID is a part of life it’s often necessary to have “the conversation” with the people around you. Like, “Have you been outside? Have you been inside? Have you taken off your mask? Did you go to an indoor party? Have you been tested? WHEN WAS YOUR LAST TEST?“

I find “the conversation” just as terrifying and annoying in a COVID context as an STD context. I will DO IT but I will not LIKE IT. Beyond just collecting the facts, in subtext it calls into question so many abstract, subjective things. Gray area things, like your “morality.”

Who is to say what is actually “moral”?! Perception is reality! I hope I’ve made it clear that I don’t care what anyone thinks and I never have and never will. No one can tell me what to do or judge/shame me into doing or not doing something. I cannot be stopped. But in this case, I was a little worried. Maybe not so much because I cared about people’s opinions, but more because it was important to me to be seen as a good example and someone who believes in science and is responsible. I was concerned about the COMMUNITY OVERALL AND MY CONTRIBUTION TO IT.

Also there’s no way I could have happily shared a Thanksgiving with my family on social media and avoided SOME type of persecution. And if it’s not on Instagram it didn’t happen so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

And so it went, for days on end, back and forth in my mind. Agonizing and struggling over the decision. Afraid to talk to any of my friends about it because if they had an opinion one way or another I felt it would stress me out more.

In the end, my mom made the call and ended the Thanksgiving dilemma. She was also going back and forth, but I think she felt like someone needed to make a decision, so she did. AND I AM SO GRATEFUL.

I REALLY COULD NOT HANDLE IT ANOTHER SECOND.

My mom graciously volunteered that she would still make the food and my dad would come drop it off. If that is not the most mom thing ever, I don’t know what is. But I DO know that I am super excited to eat the food!

Of course it won’t be the same, eating the food alone in my apartment with my boyfriend. But I guess it’s the best I can ask for this year. I think it’s okay to say that I’m still disappointed. Because I am. I’m not going to pretend that it was easy and I’m also not going to pretend that I feel 100% okay about this choice.

But a choice was made and I’m going with it. And I’ll just drink a ton of Irish coffees and mimosas tomorrow AS IS TRADITION and won’t let it make me too sad.

AND I won’t have to watch football because my dad won’t be in charge of MY TV. Yesssssss.

Please know that I support any of your Thanksgiving choices…I think. I know it was a really hard decision for me and it took days to really make peace with it. The Thanksgiving dilemma was easy for no one. So my heart goes out to you, whatever you and your family have decided.

Happy Thanksgiving, stay happy and healthy. I’ll delve into the issue of whether or not I want to eat turkey next year. Because it’s a big one.

ghost of uncle joe’s 2020.

I went to Ghost of Uncle Joe’s 2020 on Saturday evening and it…was fun. That’s all I really have to say about it as I 100% dropped the ball on taking notes. I didn’t even get any acceptable photos.

What a nightmare.

The event itself wasn’t a nightmare. Just my handling of it as a classically trained journalist. Even thought blogs aren’t journalism and no one should ever believe they are.

UNLESS YOU MEAN LIKE A SPOOKY HALLOWEEEEEN NIGHTMAREEE?!

Because it WAS that.

If you would like more in-depth, researched, and professional coverage of Ghost of Uncle Joe’s as a whole please see my post from last year.

As for this year I will say: I loved the Jimmy Eat World cover band. Like give me Jimmy Eat World in any capacity and I will be fully satisfied.

I also loved the cool backdrops to take photos in front of. I should have tried harder to get good photos but I didn’t and that’s on me. The backdrops provided were fantastic and I could have probably gotten some fun stuff.

The event was BYOB which I also loved but maybe that contributed to me not taking good notes or photos. I did drink like three homemade iced Irish coffees and no less than 26 Michelob Ultras.

Finally, they had a fun little cartoon ghost mascot wearing a leather jacket this year and OBVIOUSLY I’m obsessed with his cute little cartoon ass so I got a tote bag with him on it. And that was a victory.

That’s all I got. Sorry.

ghost of uncle joe’s dress rehearsal.

Last night we attended the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s “dress rehearsal” at Corgi Spirits and we had a grand evening.

In 2020 we have lost a lot of the good things left in this sick sad world and I was scared that the annual Ghost of Uncle Joe’s event would be one of the fallen. But lucky for us the ol ghost is back in a big way this year, despite COVID and social distancing and the overall downfall of our society.

Ghost of Uncle Joe’s is going to happen over two weekends this year! There’s a Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tonight! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tomorrow! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Friday! And a cherry on top Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Saturday on actual Halloween!

I’m obviously going on Halloween.

Here’s the schedule for your informaish:

But in addition to these future Ghosts they did a little warm up Ghost last night.

The cover bands were Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Janis Joplin, and Green Day. There were also “special guests”advertised but I didn’t stay the whole time so I don’t know who that ended up being.

And I’m sorry.

I mostly went for Janis Joplin because I LOVE singing Janis for karaoke and I was pumped to see another group of folks be excited about pretending to be Janis and her band.

And I wasn’t disappointed! The Janis cover band was great! I made a ton of Instagram story videos and tagged my mom in them. Just because.

Corgi was set up safely and comfortably with tables spread out and Adirondack chairs. I haven’t been spending enough time sitting in Adirondack chairs these days and that’s a real problem.

They make gin at Corgi and that’s pretty much all they serve so that’s what we were drinking!

I enjoyed a couple of Raspberry Beret cocktails (gin, raspberry syrup, lemon juice, egg white) but then switched over to Cafe Arancia cocktails (gin, espresso, coffee liqueur) and those were AMAZING. Super into coffee in cocktails these days.

It was a really fun Thursday night and it made me very happy that we could hang out and drink and watch live music safely and responsibly.

Check out the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s, by Dancing Tony, this weekend and next weekend at The Historic Jersey City Harsimus Cemetary! You can get tickets here.

blankets OUTSIDE.

It’s important that we discuss a phenomenon only just revealed to me and that is blankets OUTSIDE. IN THE OUTDOORS. NOT IN A BED OR ON A COUCH. YOU ARE JUST OUT IN THE WORLD, BUT WITH A BLANKET.

Never in my life have I thought of a blanket as an outdoor accessory. But the time has come for me to learn and accept that blankets work outside, too.

They work really well, and my life is forever changed.

COVID-19 is a proven and obvious dumpster fire that also made it essentially a requirement that we stay outside when we gather together and hang out. According to science it’s safer that way I guess. I also feel safer in the outside and ENJOY the outside a great deal so it works out.

Over the summer it was hot so it was comfortable to be outside. Until it wasn’t, because it got too hot. BUT, I feel that most of us adapted to being hot and didn’t feel as hot as we would have felt if we had had the option to lurk inside a place like Pet Shop with the most delightfully icy AC you’ve ever felt. That just wasn’t an option. They didn’t even make their AC that cold this year. I think because they didn’t want us to feel sad. I still felt sad but I didn’t crave AC in the desperate way I thought I would.

We adapted! It wasn’t too hot because hot was our only option. Our other option was stay home. Like, “be a little hot or be a god damn hermit and hate yourself and your life” were our only options.

I chose to be a little hot. It was fine.

But now, it’s cold. For some reason cold seems a little harder to adapt to. Maybe because it feels like you could die. Unlike being hot, where you’re able to hydrate to ward off death by dehydration, simply drinking more water cannot protect you from death by getting too cold/hypothermia.

So we must find other ways to adapt. And one of those ways is blankets outside.

I started noticing blankets outside as the weather got colder.

My parents like to hang out and drink on their front porch on Friday nights and I had been doing that with them all summer. Once it got cold – BLANKETS OUTSIDE.

A couple of weekends ago I went on a trip upstate and guess what – BLANKETS OUTSIDE. AROUND THE FIRE. THE BLANKETS SMELL LIKE FIRE AND THAT ADDS TO THE CHARM.

Maybe there have always been blankets outside and I just haven’t noticed. I guess they have them on like…cruise ships. And speaking of ships yes I do think they were on the Titanic. I saw them in the movie.

I could see them also being a staple at like…ski resorts?

Anyway I’m not saying I INVENTED blankets outside, I’m just saying I’ve NOTICED blankets outside. And maybe we should all be using them. They seem like a great idea. I have two really cute Buffalo plaid ones that I think really work for the outside. I’m going to start bringing them to Pet Shop.

You’re welcome.

the american medical association family medical guide: the original dr. google.

During one of my recent visits to my parents’ house I came across The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide, also known (to me) as The Original Dr. Google.

Originally published in 1982, the book has all kinds of helpful info about anything you can think of that might be slowly killing you and/or people around you.

This book started it all. My paranoia that there could always be something wrong with me, even if I feel fine. And if I don’t feel fine, I’m definitely going to die. It’s all rooted in what I read in this book.

And it’s not the book’s fault. I would have found SOMETHING to be anxious about. The options and possibilities are endless! There will always be something in my immediate environment for me to obsess over and drive myself insane thinking about. But the book was there and facilitated and enabled this level of obsession with health so my anxiety became a health-focused anxiety.

This man’s face continues to haunt me.

I used to pore over this book for hours. When I was too young and couldn’t read I would look at the pictures. When I could read I would still mostly look at the pictures because they really gave me the most alarming level of information and I think that’s what I was looking for, in some twisted way.

Children wearing pink bodysuits OF ILLNESS.

Like, “show me the really messed up stuff because it helps convince me something is really wrong.” And it’s an endless cycle of thinking something is wrong and looking it up, then momentarily feeling better because you feel like you have some kind of control over the situation if you have more knowledge about it.

And then feeling more anxious and way worse and needing to look for more information to feed your terror. And so it goes. Hour after hour, day after day.

DEATH.

During particularly anxious times in my life I have stayed up all night long looking at the internet, mentally digging a deeper and deeper hole into a sickness I don’t even have.

Or maybe I do. Who even knows?

As soon as I finally got my own health insurance when I got a “real job” at 29, I felt relieved that I could go to the doctor for a reasonable price whenever I needed to.

I always need to.

I’ve spoken to most women I know about the gynecologist – if they like theirs, if I like mine, if I can recommend one. It’s a big thing with most women that they feel comfortable with the person performing their gynecological exams. Some women even prefer to not have a male doctor.

Hey look, a dick.

For the record I DO like my gynecologist and I like her so much that she’s also my primary care doctor and I’ve been going to her for over 10 years (DR. TULLY WHAT UPPP). But sometimes I’ve been convinced something is wrong but I’m away or can’t get an appointment or need to go down the street from my office to the urgent care place during lunch and that will just take less time and effort than going to my main doctor.

Where I’m going with this is that I’m so concerned for my health at all times that I don’t even care who is going in there as long as they’re qualified to examine me and give me some kind of a diagnosis. It could be a Times Square Elmo, I do not care as long as they’re wearing gloves and have a degree.

Ugh.

I live in complete and constant terror and the terror will not subside until I have some kind of definitive answer.

During the COVID times of now, this terror has started to involve the fear of infecting others. Actually, the fear of infecting others with whatever I diagnose myself with is always there, but now I feel an added social pressure and responsibility. Getting sick with COVID suddenly creates a negative perception of your character.

You were IRRESPONSIBLE.

You are putting people around you IN DANGER.

Maybe you even DIDN’T WASH YOUR HANDS.

WHAT WILL YOUR FRIENDS AND COMMUNITY THINK OF YOU?! HOW HARSHLY WILL YOU BE JUDGED?! MAYBE YOU’LL BE A LEGIT OUTCAST UNTIL LIKE 2025. OR FOREVER.

The truth is, no one is trying to get COVID, and it’s sometimes unavoidable. We can’t judge people’s character on their ability to fight off an invisible, microscopic foe. Most people are doing their best. I don’t know why it turned into such a social crime to get sick.

I mean I guess I do know. It’s because people are insane.

Not thriving.

And maybe everyone else grew up reading The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide too. And maybe everyone lives inside their own personal mental prison of health-related stress and anxiety.

So maybe I shouldn’t feel so lonely and isolated and insane. I guess everyone is turning to Dr. Google these days. It’s a lifestyle.

covid test up the nose.

I haven’t been writing here much because I’ve been busy with something else in my free time and maybe I’ll tell you what it is someday but maybe you don’t even care. Today I WILL tell you about getting a covid test up the nose.

It’s actually called a…ugh whatever I can’t find what it’s actually called right now. So it’s called covid test up the nose.

“Goes up your nose”

I had heard that this test was “uncomfortable” so of course I was scared. I was also told IUD insertion was “uncomfortable” and it was a searing pain that radiated from my cervix out into my entire body. So no I don’t really trust the medical claim of “uncomfortable.”

There is a testing center on Marin Blvd in Jersey City that I’ve walked by and seen out the window of an Via on my way to Target so I knew it was there. The internet said it was open 8am-3pm so we decided to head over during my lunch break.

The line is usually very long and goes out the gate and around the block so in my mind I was like “the line will show us where to go.” But when we got there, there was no line and we did not know where to go. There weren’t even clear signs. It was like they were trying to hide it. Maybe they were.

In a hidden back corner of the parking lot we saw a woman emerge from a nondescript white trailer holding an official looking paper and we were like “there!”

No line!

We entered the trailer and there was no wait. We gave our IDs to the gals taking the IDs and got ready to get a covid test up the nose.

My boyfriend went first and the test caused him to sneeze everywhere. This was unfortunate because he had his bandana pulled down to uncover his nose for the covid test up the nose so it seemed like he was sneezing all over the whole trailer. And in a way he was.

The calm before the sneeze.

The ID gals were shocked and terrified and yelled, “Ah! Put on your mask!” And as he ran out of the trailer they generously sprayed Lysol everywhere.

That was a tough act to follow but I gathered my courage and obediently sat in the chair for the doctor gal to give me a covid test up the nose.

She said she was going to “take a sample while counting to 5,” and I was like “okay.”

The moment of truth had arrived and she shoved the swab up my nose. And honestly it wasn’t that bad. I took a big dramatic breath and closed my eyes to steel myself and she was probably like <eye roll> because it just felt like falling into water and getting water up your nose because you were surprised and unprepared to blow air out your nose.

My own personal test

Like it was just a water up your nose burning feeling. And she counted to 5 and I think that helped me get through. Bedside manner is v important my friends. Chair side manner?

This shit is free so go get it! I mean why not? I love free shit and we never, EVER get free health shit in this land of the free home of the Brave so why not take advantage. My phone insisted on capitalizing “Brave” there so I left it. Have some respect.

Here’s where you can find places to get tested in NJ: Covid Test NJ

Please don’t sneeze all over the trailer and scare the ID gals.

this is the most i have ever thought about germs.

I was thinking the other day and I think this, the time we are living in, is the most I have ever thought about germs. Like in my entire life. I simply was 100% not thinking about germs before, and I’m only realizing that now.

I won’t say that I’m proud or not proud of this, I feel pretty neutral about it. I’m just saying that I never thought about germs before and now I do. Due to COVID-19, if you’re aware of what that is.

First of all, I never carried around hand santizer in my bag. There isn’t enough room and it dries out my hands. Also someone once told me it gives people a “false sense of security” and that made me fully eschew it all togetrher. I didn’t have time for it. I didn’t need it and I didn’t care.

I would take a squirt of the san if someone else offered, but mostly to save face in a social situation. People that DO think about germs a lot are VERY AWARE of others around them that are germ-oblivious. I was in tune with that and obviously tried to play it cool.

The need to use hand sanitizer only arose only after petting zoos. You may think I’m saying that like petting zoos are a regular occurrence in my life and you would be right. I’m proud and lucky to report that I enjoy and regularly frequent petting zoos. Maybe you should look into it, they’re great for the soul.

Petting zoo.

As far as washing my hands before I ate at a restaurant? No that never happened. I got right off the subway, right into the restaurant, and right to stuffing food in my face. Not a single drop of soap or warm water ever intervened. Until I took a shower. The next morning.

Speaking of subways yes I am one of those people who eats on the subway. Always have. Maybe always will? Once things settle down…I hope.

I have eaten pizza and burritos and straight up tuna salad sandwiches on the subway/PATH train. It’s like, I’m hungry and I want to eat. This food isn’t hurting anyone, even if it smells weird. Either way I’m over it, and I’m eating it.

Even more intense is that I often sat on the subway floor and ate food. These were wild times and I wouldn’t do it now because I don’t want anyone to bother me and ask me what the hell I’m doing but I won’t say I regret it. Sometimes the subway floor is the only place to sit, and you’ll straight up fall if you try to stand AND hold on to the pole AND eat a tuna salad sandwich.

You thought the floor thing couldn’t get any worse but I also eat on the airport floor. That’s something I’ve done within the last 8 months. I’ve also taken a nap on an airport floor in Las Vegas, Augusta, Fayetteville, Corpus Christi, and Austin. Maybe other places too.

Sometimes the floor is all we have. I’m a floor person and it’s my favorite place to be. Nice and flat. I’m more comfortable on the floor. I’m laying on the floor right now.

Anyway there were germs all over these floors! Right? There were germs then and there are still germs now. And the difference now is that I am thinking about them. I am thinking about the germs every second of the day.

Personally I’m very malleable when it comes to any kind of social propaganda. Like tell me something is “the right thing to do” enough times and I’ll definitely start to believe it and learn it and live it and LOVE IT. This is what has happened to me with the whole, “COVID-19 is everywhere you’re gonna die if you don’t wash and sanitize your hands all day long and you’re a bad citizen if you even THINK about touching your face. PS you’re def gonna die.”

So now I think about germs all day every day. This is the most I have ever thought about germs. I wasn’t thinking about them at all before. I just wanted you to know that.

You’re welcome.