Staying Apart, Together: A sore throat made me grateful for my health in the time of COVID

Normally I would have popped an ibuprofen, drank tea instead of coffee, and gone about my day. But we are not in normal times, and now we are desperately wary of any symptom of an upper respiratory infection that might have previously been chalked up to a common cold. It’s one more exhausting task in a world full of them.


My sore throat disappeared after one day, so I’ll never know exactly what it was. But like so many of you, I felt a societal responsibility to act as if I was infectious. We ordered groceries instead of going to the store. I wore a mask to walk my dog, even though I rarely come within six feet of anyone in our sprawling apartment complex. I’m still doing it, because this is how I’d want one of my neighbors to act, if they had the same fear.


This experience, my second COVID-19 “scare” (I had a cough at the start of the pandemic that I have confidently been told by my doctor was allergy-related) reminds me how privileged and lucky I have been so far to be healthy. Quarantine has been hard, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been fighting my bouts of depression, boredom, loneliness without the burden of being ill. There are no guarantees that will stay the same in this coronavirus world, but it has filled me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and relief. I’m carrying that with me as long as it gives me strength and energy.

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