Just Recovering from COVID.

Edited: December 17, 2022, 7:09 AM ·
I hesitated, but in the end decided to post this note. Hopefully, some aspects of it will be informative.

My wife and I very likely picked up our first COVID infection on our return flight from Phoenix to Oregon. We were being very careful; we wore masks constantly when around people, except to have the snacks provided on the flight.

Fortunately, we had mild cases. At best, mild fevers under 100.4 deg. Symptoms lasted about 2.5 days, and then we began to recover. I felt good enough to practice a little. No known after-affects like loss of taste, smell, etc. So, very likely, no long COVID. Lucky us!

Giving up on the internet's lack of clarity, I had a COVID physician, virtual appointment Friday evening to get my questions answered. Likely, we were contagious between 2 to 7 days pryer to first showing symptoms. For a proper recovery, I will stay home for five days after my symptoms first displayed. Counting that day as my zero day, I can leave the house on Sunday (the sixth day). However, I will need to wear a mask through the next five days thereafter, just in case. (Help protect others, and to help avoid a secondary COVID infection.) I'll be able to take my mask off next Friday. Though, we always wear masks, when around people.

Key learning for me on this experience becomes, beware of airports and flying! As I indicated, were were really being careful. Next flight though, both my wife and I will wear respirators.

Replies (25)

December 17, 2022, 7:54 AM · Thank you for your informative post Neil, and I’m glad to hear that you both are getting better after relatively light-touch infection. I am just a week into similar COVID having had a few days of aches and fever at the start, and currently I am trying to throw off what seems to be a persistent cold and cough, but still testing positive. I had to back out of two choir concerts, an orchestra performance and the last rehearsal of the year, so it has fairly massacred the term, but that can’t be helped. V.com is a great help, offering comparisons between participants’ favourite Mendelssohn op.64, and concertos that deserve to be played more often!

Wishing you and all the V.com community a safe, peaceful and melodious new year,


Edited: December 17, 2022, 8:17 AM · Thanks for letting us know about your experience. To both you and your wife, speedy recovery and happy holidays. May the New Year bring you good music!
December 17, 2022, 10:36 AM · Not so much respirators as N95 masks. They may help a bit.
December 17, 2022, 10:48 AM · I'm sure closed spaces with re-cyled air will keep Covid going...
Edited: December 17, 2022, 12:17 PM ·
QUOTE: Mark Klukowski · 12/17/22, 10:36 AM:
"Not so much respirators as N95 masks. They may help a bit."
Actually, it was KN95's that we were wearing.

The nice thing about respirators, they completely seal the area around breathing passages, the nose and mouth. ALL incoming air is filtered through N99 hepafilters. When wearing these, the primary vulnerability that remains is around the eyes. (One can wear glasses.). While better than alternatives, N95's are a bit leaky compared to respirators.

My wife and I wore respirators throughout the pre-vaccination period (1920-21), when catching COVID as we did recently could result in death. (We had our fifth COVID vaccination during mid-September.)

The one thing to bear in mind about respirators, they protect you, but they do not protect others from you. Exhale air vents through a one-way valve that easily lets exhale out, but which shuts to prevent outside air from entering. Thereby to enter, outside air must pass through the hepafilters.

To correct for this deficiency, I taped a piece of cloth over the valve to filter exhale.

December 18, 2022, 11:58 AM · I have had the virus twice, the first time was before I had all the vaccinations. I had a bad cough, loss of sense of smell.

Second time earlier this year, my wife came down with a cough, I tested negative for five days on the run, then came up positive, this time I only lost my sense of smell, but it went for a couple of weeks and when it came back, it came and went for about two months, that was my one and only symptom.

Edited: December 18, 2022, 12:43 PM · I got relatively lucky with my COVID in May (UK, don't know which variant). Only the slightest hint of a ticklish cough, the sort of thing that might precede a mild hay fever episode. Certainly nothing an emergency room would have any interest in, beyond telling me to drink water or something.

The big problem was bone-crushing fatigue. About a week of sleeping 12 hours every night then spending most of the day napping on the couch. Then unpredictable jabs of fatigue for a month or two on. Maybe waking up at noon every other day for a while. Finally, it was just brain fog. It was really hard to do anything involving grey cells for most of the summer.

I did perform the "Trout" quintet only five weeks after infection, but while I was playing pretty well through rehearsals, I made the mistake of doing a dress run-through the afternoon of the concert. Between the sticky heat and just generally being tired, I found myself quite at sea.

December 18, 2022, 12:56 PM · Stay safe and rest up, y'all! The boosters have been a blessing for me so far, but you never know.
December 18, 2022, 3:23 PM · @Stephen - sounds as if you have or have had had a bout of long Covid. I hope you totally recover.
December 18, 2022, 5:45 PM · Who knows? I am doing better than before, and hopefully well enough to meet my deadline!
Edited: December 18, 2022, 9:32 PM · I managed to dodge COVID for two and a half years, before finally testing positive on August 1. I'm about 99% sure I caught it playing at an outdoor event, because I wasn't the only one on the orchestra who tested positive in the days afterward, and I consistently wore a KF94 mask indoors. (It was outdoors but the orchestra was rather closely packed because it was mainly a dance show, and there were big crowds going in and out of the venue.)

The acute infection was mild. I was miserable with a high fever for about half a day, but only had a low-grade fever, moderate fatigue, and a bit of a cough for about four days after that. However, I started to get brain fog and orthostatic tachycardia about the same time the acute symptoms disappeared and I started testing negative again, and the fatigue never went away. I also noticed, when returning to orchestra rehearsals, that I've become much more sensitive to bright lights and loud sounds, so I'm wearing earplugs for the first time in my life. I'm able to keep up in my orchestra by writing in extensive fingerings and reminder accidentals, but a single community orchestra, by itself, is all the work I can handle at the moment. I can do very little the day after a rehearsal, or for several days after a concert. I just finished a graduate degree this summer, but because of long COVID have not been able to even start looking for employment.

There seems to be a little improvement lately, at least. This month I've regained the ability to cook a meal without advance planning, which is a step forward in executive function.

Edited: December 19, 2022, 9:34 AM · My daughter brought home COVID from school the very first week this fall. We are vigilant KF94 wearers indoors (and vaccinated/boosted), but she got it from hugging a friend outside when she had taken her mask off. We all ended up getting it. My daughter was tired for one day, my son had a runny nose for one day, and my husband had a cough for about three days. I, on the other, had a fever and could barely even stand up for about 4 days. I then had six weeks of slowly working through fatigue, balancing rest and activity, before I finally was able to fully return to my usual activities. I never had any respiratory symptoms, but now I have a bit of a chronic asthma cough.

COVID is just really weird in how it hits different people. For those struggling with longer-term symptoms, the only thing that helped me get through it was rest. Lots and lots of rest.

December 19, 2022, 9:32 PM · My daughter had COVID at Kinhaven. She missed about six days of the activities but she was able to practice and make some music with some of the other quarantined children. So far my wife and I have avoided getting it.
December 20, 2022, 12:40 PM · I hope you feel better soon!
Edited: December 22, 2022, 9:24 AM ·
Thank you!

My wife and I are very fortunate to have had only mild cases. We're pretty much over the disease with no apparent long term effects.

December 21, 2022, 1:36 PM · The cases histories are all over the place, which is what we would expect. Public health statistics do not predict what will happen to any specific individual, and individual cases have only a little statistical value.
My version is that I have had it twice, winters of 2020 and 2022, confirmed by lab tests. Both times were very mild, easier than the colds and flu that I usually get. I was suspicious of the mechanism of the new mRNA vaccine, so I waited. Then I waited for the single dose version to be available. Then I waited for the conventional Novavax version to be approved in the USA. Still waiting. After two episodes, presumably two variants, I should have at least partial immunity, so I do not anticipate getting the vaccine. In the meantime, I took the legal non-prescription preventative supplements that some MDs were recommending: Vit. D, C, Zinc. Quercetin. I also have not had any colds or flu these past 3 years.
One of the many unfortunate developments from these last 3 years is that final medical care decisions are not being made by the patient and their private physician, but rather by government public health doctors, who don't see patients.
jq--retired med. lab. tech.
December 21, 2022, 3:44 PM · was wondering how long it would take the anti vaxxers to raise their ugly head!
Edited: January 2, 2023, 6:37 AM ·
While I'm tempted to jump into the ethical frey of whether or not to get vaccinated, I think instead, that's a topic for a different forum.

I began this thread to be informational. Can we please keep our discussion to that somewhat narrow frame of reference?

January 2, 2023, 6:37 AM · Well said.
January 2, 2023, 6:44 AM · the most informative thing you can do is get vaccinated!!
Edited: January 2, 2023, 7:59 AM · My husband and I both had very mild cases a few weeks before Christmas. I came down with it first; there is no way to be sure where I got it but it was most likely from Sunday morning church or from a Messiah performance the same afternoon - in both cases, I was unmasked (as were most people in both settings) because I find it much harder to play well with a mask on, and in both cases I was sitting very near singers. My husband got it from me a couple of days later.

I’ve had colds that made me feel much worse. Pre-pandemic, I would never have missed work for the kind of symptoms that I experienced. We both isolated for five days, masked for five days. My doctor prescribed paxlovid; his did not. No long-term symptoms for either of us. We were each 100% after at most a week.

About half my students opted to miss their lessons during that time and the other half took them via zoom. The most painful part of the entire experience was that I tested positive just a few days before the biggest gig weekend of the year, so my loss of income was quite significant.

Both of us are fully vaccinated and boosted, five shots including the most recent bivalent booster. This was the first Covid infection for either of us.

January 2, 2023, 8:15 AM · Gigs are likely to transmit more than the average venue. I think I caught mine in a chamber orchestra concert (followed by a reception).

I don't remember how careful I was with masks around then, but it was just a few days later that I felt as if I was getting a really annoying case of hay fever. Just for grins, I tested, and I was slightly positive. The next day, very firmly positive.

There is a new variant going around that may be not so big a deal for those vaccinated/boosted, but more contagious. And I'll be hopping on a jet to the UK soon where people's habits are very different. That could be a good thing, actually, as even the conscientious in this blue state have more or less given up masks unless they are profoundly worried about their own condition.

Edited: January 2, 2023, 8:18 AM · The last box of "respirators" we bought were BAD! The valves opened when exhaling but also leaked when inhaling, so put "Gorilla" duct tape over the opening on the inside so they now function more like regular N95 masks - but we are still using the N95 masks instead.

Our niece (who was formerly a volunteer EMT) gave us 2 "respirators" at the very beginning of the COVID pandemic that worked perfectly and carried my wife and me through most of the first COVID year.

My chamber orchestra that has met only rarely since early March 2020 rehearsed with the "strings" at one end of the 40-ft long rehearsal room and the "winds" at the other. Some of the strings played with masks on. We finally resumed weekly rehearsals this past autumn, with a few occasional dropouts for COVID exposure (honorable people).

In our own family, all 3 grandchildren have caught COVID (one of them twice, in April 2020 and again in November 2022, where they live and work, 3 to 9 time zones away from us - one with a pretty severe case) and one of our daughters and her husband, mild cases, just across the bay. My wife and I still carry our KN95 masks and don them as we did at the worst of COVID times. We have both had the 5 available shots.

I think it pays to be mindful and careful and take medical advice from public health experts and not from politicians.

January 2, 2023, 10:40 AM · Dont know how good the Vaccinations are but I have had them all as I stated above. What I do know is that three people I work with, none of whom were vaccinated ended up in hospital, for one of them it was really touch and go, he actually managed at the time to send a text message to his two young kids and his wife who were not allowed to visit him, telling them basically he loved them and goodbye. He did survive thankfully, one of the others was an anti vaxxer, he also survived but it slightly changed his outlook, not just on vaccines but on life in general, he now struggLes to breathe, but is grateful for being alive. I know lots of other people as well who had no more than a mild cough right up tO severe flu, which if you have ever really had flu and not just a heavy cold, you will realise how bad that is, its the luck of the draw how it affects you. One of my friends, a bus driver and keen competative runner was ill for months and now has long covid, his wife who lived in the same house as him all through never even had a sniffle, its a very strange illness, just because it may have been mild once doesnt mean it will be again.
January 2, 2023, 11:09 AM · Salient warnings from Ron’s message. My experience started with flu-like symptoms, temperature, tiredness and aches etc, which went after three days, leaving me generally low on energy and with heavy catarrh and a horrible cough. The whole thing took about a fortnight, through the cough is still in a long coda fade-away. This after four vaccines (which is standard here) and the flu shot. I may well have picked it up from rehearsal, though everything I attend is in well spaced and ventilated venues.

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