Saturday, February 18, 2023

A Few Reflections on COVID


1/22/23 Dusk

Whenever I blogged about the daily sketches of my hand during the Before Vax Times (my term for that era, which was distinctly different from the current Not-Yet-After Times), I often used the opportunity to express my anxiety, grief, outrage and insights about the pandemic. Now that I’m fully recovered from COVID-19 and have had some time to process, I thought I’d use my blog to reflect again, this time from the other side.

First, I can’t help but begin with anything but gratitude for all the science and sacrifice that went into development of the vaccines that kept my symptoms light and tolerable. Although I had some anxiety about potential long-term consequences, I never feared that COVID would kill me. I had full faith that all those boosters (each one of which caused me inconvenient side effects at the time) would do their job, and they did.

1/23/23 Dusk

During the course of the pandemic, I have felt a moral and social obligation to help protect others, but let’s be honest: My first priority has always been protecting myself. Sure, I knew my mask would help keep my potential cooties away from others, but I wore it to keep their cooties off me. 

Once I learned of my definite exposure, however, everything changed. Because I felt confident that the vaccines would help me recover relatively easily, my primary concern shifted to others – specifically the spouse guy I was trying to protect (our caution paid off, and he dodged the bullet completely). I also suddenly felt a much greater responsibility for protecting random strangers who might not recover as easily as I hoped to. The meme from the first pandemic year, “Don’t kill someone inadvertently,” took on greater meaning. Suddenly I had become the person that I had feared and avoided for three years.

1/26/23 Sunrise

My perspective also shifted in another way. For three years, I have been vigilant about avoiding large crowds and generally cautious about being around others. Even post-vax when I started venturing out more, I never stopped being cautious, especially indoors, but the face of COVID was always an anonymous stranger (or more like crowds of anonymous strangers). That’s why I find it deeply ironic that when COVID finally caught me, I was enjoying lunch with a dear, trusted friend.

Other than short masked walks around the neighborhood, I stayed home for 11 days, including six full days in isolation. When I finally tested negative and started running errands again, I felt oddly invincible. Oh, I’m fully aware that it’s still possible to get it again (many people have been through it multiple times by now), but I figure that during the days and weeks following my infection, my body has as much natural protection against these damn cooties as it will ever have. At least for a short while, I am among the least likely people to get COVID. Walking into a grocery store the other day (yes, still masked, of course), I felt safe for the first time since March 2020. It was a bit exhilarating! At least for a moment. (Edited 2/18/23: This article says I might be good for as long as 10 months.)

1/30/23 Sunset

During my solitary confinement, the only window in my sequestering room has a view of a scrappy corner of our backyard that is mostly blocked by a tree. I could barely see the sky. One of many things I missed was the luxury of running to any window of my choice to make quick, small skyscapito sketches like these. 

If there’s one thing the pandemic teaches me over and over, it’s that I must never take anything for granted.

2/11/23 Sunset

2/12/23 Sunset

2/13/23 Sunset


  1. Thank you, Tina, for bringing us along with you on your daily sketching adventures and voyages of discovery. Thank you especially for sharing insight into the journey through your Covid infection. Your posts never fail to enhance and enrich my day.
    ~ David Miller

    1. Thank you, David! I'm really happy to know that my blog offers some value! I appreciate your readership!


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