If you’ve ever been to my yoga class, you have heard me say, “Baby steps. Remember, change takes time.” Nothing reminds you of the universal truth of this statement, like injury or illness. I had the Novel coronavirus. Covid-19. The Rona.
I went to bed on March 8th, 2020, and didn’t get up until April 10th, mostly. I say mostly because I got up on March 23rd (well, I was sitting ON the bed rather than IN it) and then went back to bed on March 24th. I am not exaggerating when I say I spent more than a few nights wondering if I would ever wake up. If I fell asleep, that is.
Listening to your lungs rattle with fluid like a snorkel with a tablespoon of water in it isn’t what I call a good time.
If you don’t know me, I am fifty-ish, extremely healthy with zero comorbidities. I used to work out eighteen hours a week. And by work out, I mean I taught six hours of yoga, four hours of cycle, a strength class, a Pilates class, and walked three dogs a minimum of an hour a day (One dog, one hour per day).
That doesn’t include all of the other shit I did on the daily.
April 13th, 2020, saw me teach my first fitness class since being free of Rona symptoms. Pilates. I thought I might die. I walked a mile on April 14th. A very slow mile. Maybe shuffled is a better word. Up until then, I’d been walking around the block. I thought I was going to die.
It is essential to note those were only half days. By three p.m., I was in bed. And some of those days, I didn’t even get up out of bed. I haven’t mentioned the breathlessness, the coughing, or the tremors. Rona recovery has been an up and down process. Baby steps.
Last week, I jogged (for the first time in four years) 1.2 miles. I thought I was going to die. I walked another two for a total of almost three miles. I jogged the next day, 1.3 miles in only twenty-six minutes. And walked an additional two miles. I took a walking only day and then repeated the jog/walk routine for the next two days. Taking my time, little baby steps.
Yesterday, Monday, May 4th (May The Force Be with You), I set out to jog at least 1.3 miles but wanted to stretch it to 1.5. Not only did I barely make a mile in twenty-five minutes, but I almost didn’t make the next half mile home. THAT IS NOT HOW THIS SHIT IS SUPPOSED TO WORK.
I keep seeing people protesting the stay at home orders. Or they are railing against wearing masks. Hell, I went to the grocery yesterday (the first Safer at Home day) and it felt like the world decided to go shopping. Tons of people. No one maintaining six feet. No fucking masks, except mine. (Okay, a handful of us were wearing masks.)
Today, I couldn’t even take Oona for a walk. And despite appearances, she does love her walks. I could hardly get out of bed this morning after nine hours of sleep. Many of you (I adore you all) have expressed your concern about me overdoing it. Baby steps, you’ve spouted back at me.
Believe me, as I noted to a dear client’s concern, “I couldn’t overdo it if I wanted. My body simply quits with a fuck all y’all.”
This isn’t baby steps. This is “what the absolute fuck, how am I supposed to do anything.” So if you aren’t wearing a mask because “this is basically the flu” or you aren’t staying safer at home because “this is a free country” or you aren’t practicing social distancing because “it hasn’t been as bad as reported,” wake the fuck up.
I’m going to be in your face. I’m going to challenge your bullshit on Facebook. I’m going to keep reminding you that this isn’t two weeks. People who have had it aren’t immune to it, as is the case for most viruses. The mortality rate is already TEN TIMES higher than the 1918 Flu Epidemic. This isn’t dangerous for the young or the old alone.
People in their mid-twenties to thirties are getting mild cases that LEAD TO STROKE DEATHS.
When people express sympathy for my experience, I say, “I ain’t dead.” And that isn’t hyperbole. Tonight I am teaching Ooey Gooey, Evening Yoga. Tomorrow, I’m going to aim for a walk (and maybe that jog). Another bright side, I am drinking wine again!
Hey, it’s the little things. Baby steps.