Over winter break, I tested positive for COVID-19. I isolated myself in a basement, watched a bunch of movies, played video games, and finally got around to rewatching the show “Comic Book Men.” Those parts of having COVID-19 were nice. Coughing incessantly, fervent, full-body chills, fatigue, and vomiting from nausea… Those parts of having COVID-19 were not so nice.
Another thing: I completely lost my sense of taste and smell. Eating mac and cheese and realizing that I couldn’t taste it was one of the weirdest parts of the whole thing.
Every morning, I would smell a bag of coffee to see if my sense of smell had returned. Most mornings, I was greeted with nothing in return, until one morning, I finally caught a whiff of the sweet, dark aroma.
Aside from that, my isolation was mostly spent sleeping in a dark basement. I slept a lot during the ordeal; one of the benefits of sleeping in a basement with no windows is that it’s easy to fall asleep at four in the afternoon.
When I wasn’t sleeping, I watched movies. Some highlights: Shinsuke Sato’s 2015 Japanese zombie movie “I Am a Hero,” Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Yoshifumi Kondou’s 1995 Studio Ghibli anime “Whisper of the Heart,” and Kevin Smith’s 1995 coming-of-age comedy “Mallrats,” which is my favorite movie ever made. Some low points: the live-action “Bleach” adaptation, the live-action Netflix “Death Note,” and the live-action “Dragonball” adaptation. You may notice that all of those are all notoriously bad live-action anime adaptations. For some reason, one day, I really wanted to watch notoriously bad live-action anime adaptations. In retrospect, it was a dumb idea.
If you’d like to see the full list and rankings of everything I watched, you can find it on my Letterboxd; my username is ImJake. Yes, I’m aware that this is a shameless plug for my social media and could be viewed as a violation of journalistic ethics, to which I say, “it’s just Letterboxd.”
So yeah, I had COVID-19. And it sucked. It wasn’t all bad, but for the most part, I was just passing the time between naps with movies of varying degrees of quality.
The thing people have always said to me is, “you’re young; if you get it, you’ll be fine.” I’ve heard people say that to me to justify their own inability to follow COVID guidelines. For example, when I was driving for DoorDash over the summer, people would always say that to me, along with the accompanying “take off your mask, you don’t have to wear it.”
And they’re right. You don’t have to wear your mask. (Well, actually, now you do because there’s a federal mask mandate, but that’s beside the point.) No one is putting a gun to your head saying, “wear this mask or we will shoot you,” despite what some people claim online. You should, however, wear a mask, because it saves lives.
COVID-19 is not a hoax. It is very, very real. And ultimately, even if you say “it’s not that deadly,” getting it still sucks. Since having it, I’ve felt lethargic and have noticed my resting heart rate has been elevated. And I’m relatively healthy and young, so I can’t imagine the lasting effects on someone older or more vulnerable. The bottom line: wear a mask.