Thursday, September 17, 2020

Quarantine Day 5

 Back in the late nineties, just after I had graduated from college, I was working my first "real" job and got waylaid by a bad case of pneumonia. I spent nearly two days straight just sleeping on the couch with A&E on in the background and didn't bother to get up unless it was to keep hydrated or hit the washroom. And that's about how I feel right now, like my body is tired from fighting this COVID thing off. I've got no desire to eat anything, but I'm making sure to drink a lot of water. And, in the background, I've got Classic Cold Case Files from Netflix, narrated by the legendary voice of A&E himself, Bill Kurtis. 

I don't mean for my current condition to sound bad. Aside from feeling wiped out, sore and congested, I'm actually improving. My fever is going down, I'm not coughing near as much as I had been over the past few days, and my headache and sore throat are both gone. I haven't ever lost my sense of taste, and, thanks to my doggo's gassy butt, I'm often reminded that I haven't lost my sense of smell. 

My girlfriend and I are still wondering how she could have possibly escaped infection. She wondered if she tested too early for the test to have enough viral load to indicate a positive. So, she and her kids went to get another test this afternoon. My brother, whom I had worried about infecting when he had visited, is still having no symptoms and is finally getting a test tomorrow. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Quarantine Day 4

The good news is that my daughter, my girlfriend and her two children have all tested negative for COVID-19. The bad news is that I continue to decline. My temperature is up to 100.8, I'm congested and am completely wiped out. I managed to teach class today via Zoom and that took everything I had.

I spent some time out on the patio working via my laptop. It's relaxing to sit in a zero gravity chair while looking at the nice landscaping in the middle of the divided street that borders my property. I got up at one point to let the dog out and she promptly ran out and took my chair. Typical. I thought dogs were supposed to be sensitive when their owners are sick. 

I managed to make dinner but it was simple with rice in the rice cooker and chicken in the Marsala simmer sauce. My sense of taste is still intact. So, as of right now, I'm on the sectional under two blankets with doggo at my feet. I'm hoping to get a lot of sleep tonight in the hopes that I can start to beat this whole COVID thing back. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Quarantine Day 3

Word has gotten around that I'm sick and quarantined, so, after a very rough night battling a cough and congestion, I woke up this morning to a number of friends offering to drop food on my doorstep. So far, I still feel well enough to get things done myself, but I can tell that things are getting a bit worse. My temperature has crept up from 99.7 this morning to 100 this afternoon. 

A theater friend of mine was on Facebook yesterday complaining about allergy symptoms. I urged her to get tested, as my own experience started out with allergy symptoms that temporarily subsided. She's just so busy, you know, and can't afford to take time off of work for a test. And she doesn't fell all that bad. So, she's chalking it up to allergies and isn't going to bother getting tested. This is why infection is so rampant in the United States. Meanwhile, my girlfriend has similar symptoms and  certainly didn't want to have to quarantine for 14 days and miss work, but, then again, she's got a conscience and doesn't want to end up inadvertently killing someone's grandma, so, she got tested and is quarantining. Her results still are not back yet. Neither are her kids' or my daughter's. 

I've been conducting classes online and have been doing live lectures via Zoom and Teams which has been going fine. I've had to dope myself up with generic Sudafed in order keep my congestion at by while I lecture. My headache is more pronounced, even with medication, and I've pulled my contacts out in the hopes that it might cut down on the eyestrain and lessen my headache. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Quarantine Day 2

 I had some very weird dreams last night that I can't remember much about. In between those, I felt congested and had a headache. I woke up a little later than usual to get ready to do some work from home. Throughout the day I felt tired, congested and had a runny nose with a sore throat. My temperature held steady all day at 99.5.  

I noticed around lunch time that we were running low on milk and soda. Normally, I'd just hike to the grocery store to pick those up, but, since I'm consigned to the hose for the rest of the week, I had to fight the urge to do that. Instead, I made an Instacart order and it was on my doorstep within two hours. 

The health department called in the afternoon, asked about my symptoms, and informed me that my daughter will have to quarantine until the 23rd whereas I only have to quarantine until the 19th. When you're exposed to someone with Coronavirus, you have to quarantine for 14 days from your last contact with that person. But when you actually have Coronavirus, you only have to quarantine for 10 days from your onset of symptoms. Exposed patients quarantine longer so that they can account for a potential positive test and onset of symptoms. 

We're still waiting on test results for my daughter, my girlfriend, and her kids. Meanwhile, I'm absolutely mortified that I may have passed it to them and hearing that my girlfriend has developed symptoms today makes me feel even worse. And I already feel like a pariah to begin because of being infected.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

I Tested Positive For COVID-19

Last Wednesday, in the middle of teaching class, I felt a little congested. I chalked it up to allergies and my mask forcing me to project my voice harder. On Thursday, I felt a little run down, but I didn't think much of it because I had been up a bit late. On Friday, I was notified that one of my students was ordered to quarantine, so, as a precaution, I decided to get myself tested. The health department called me today to notify me that the results came back positive. 

My most immediate concern was to get my daughter tested to see whether or not she was infected as well. I managed to get her to the drive-through testing facility just before it closed. My girlfriend and her children went off to get tested as well. Meanwhile, I'm quarantined for 10 days, backdated to Wednesday when I first developed symptoms. So, for now, I'm holed up in the house and working from home. My symptoms so far are minor: A slight runny nose, an occasional cough, a dull headache, minor breathing issues and general fatigue.  

Thankfully, I had already done my shopping for the week, and anything that I find I'm in need of can be ordered off of Instacart and left at my door. I called my close friends and relatives to let them know that I'm positive for COVID-19 and that they should make sure not to walk into the house. My main concern was my father. He's bedridden and, having seen my brother last weekend who then went on to visit my father, I was concerned that I could have infected my father through my brother. The health department did not seem concerned, but I advised my relatives to get tested anyway. I swear this is what it must be like to get an STD and have to notify your partners. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Credit Card Scammer Jumps In The Line

Clovis got yet another call from a debt consolidation scammer trying to get his credit card numbers. This particular scammer talked very fast, so Clovis asked him to slow down and reminded him that Meth is a hell of a drug. When told that they checked with Experian, Clovis mentioned that Experian was his favorite superhero. When the rep asked which credit card he used the most, Clovis responded that it was his Mastercard, rather, that's the card his WIFE used the most. A supervisor had to be called in when Clovis started listing the expiration dates of all of his credit cards rather than just his Mastercard. The supervisor said that he jumped in the line while monitoring the call. Clovis began to sing Jump In Line (Shake, Shake Senora) by Harry Belafonte. The rep then hung up.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Samuel Adams Jack-O Pumpkin Ale

 Fall is upon us and, as is the yearly tradition, pumpkin flavored beers are spilling out of the breweries and onto store shelves. Samuel Adams has a new offering this year in the form of its Jack-O pumpkin ale. At first, I thought it was an ill-advised tribute to the late Michael Jackson, but, no. Available via 6-pack and in its "Sweater Weather" seasonal box, Samuel Adams Jack-O pumpkin ale is an interesting entry into the pumpkin beer wars. 

I picked this up as part of the Samuel Adams "Sweater Weather" seasonal variety pack which also includes Boston Lager, Sam 76 and Oktoberfest. Of those four choices, Jack-O was the one that I was  trepidacious about. I had thought it would be a more Earthy, vegetable style beer and what I was met with was something more akin to pumpkin pie than straight pumpkin. And that's not a bad thing. Samuel Adams Pumpkin Ale is a very pleasant, drinkable beer that smells of nutmeg and cinnamon and tastes like a decent pumpkin pie. It's very good as a Fall dessert beer and I could see myself enjoying this alongside some turkey or some meatloaf. 

Samuel Adams Jack-O Beer
Enjoying A Samuel Adams Jack-O Pumpkin Ale. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

I Achieved Platinum On Ghost Of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima became my second PS4 Platinum Trophy game tonight (this first being Marvel's Spider-Man). It's very rare that I'll stick with a game long enough to obtain every single achievement trophy, but Ghost of Tsushima hit that spot both because the game is so engaging and because the achievement's aren't difficult to obtain.

Much of the story centers around Jin Sakai's need to dispatch the Mongol invaders from Tsushima using dishonerable tactics rather than the honorable fighting methods that his samurai training requires. The game forces you to use these dishonorable tactics, as it's part of the overall story. I really wish that the player had a choice of combat methods and that there was a karma system with actual consequences. The few story choices that the player is presented with have no game-changing consequences.

The other hindsight observation that I would like to add is that, if you do decide to play Ghost Of Tsushima, you should make sure to invest some of your action points early on into both deflection AND evasion. When I first started out, I went all-in on evasion thinking I would just be a damage sponge, and ignored deflection. As you can see in the first duel video below, my combat style suffered for it.  After finally pumping points into deflection, I found it easier to counter the intense attacks of the characters I was dueling against, as illustrated in the second video below.

All-In On Evasion

Incorporating Deflection