Did I have COVID-19?

This week


I picked my daughter up from preschool on Sunday afternoon for a playdate with a friend. When I picked her up, I sensed that something was wrong by her mood and behavior; she was being overly emotional about trivial matters (e.g., she was upset because a ribbon had come off her balloon).

That afternoon did not go well. My daughter complained of aches and pains and cried a lot; ultimately she became inconsolable and we had to cut our date short (I barely managed to finish my pizza, and she refused to eat anything at all).

It took her a while to calm down even when we returned home, and she continued complaining of aches.


On Monday morning, she had a bit of a fever and was still complaining of aches. It was clear that she wouldn’t be going to her kindergarten program that day.

At some point in the late morning, I started coughing more often than I usually do. Most of the time, I don’t worry about coughs and sneezes because I have allergies and mild asthma, but I could tell that these coughs were coming more frequently than usual. At that point, I was already at home because I needed to be there for my family, but my coughing let me know that I’d made the right decision.


My daughter was feeling mostly better (I’d put it at 90%), but I had a very heavy, dry cough and felt generally terrible. We both stayed home that day, and I took an official sick day, rather than working from home.


I felt well enough to take my daughter to her kindergarten program, and I was considering going to the office, but my wife recommended against it because I was still coughing, albeit less so than the day before. Taking her advice, I returned home after dropping my daughter off and worked from home again.

By the afternoon, I was already feeling even better than I had been when I had that morning. The coughing was fading. I even had lunch with a friend of mine outdoors at a local falafel stand.


I went to work after taking my daughter to her program. I would say that I was feeling 95% well. However, during the day, I received a message from my wife, informing me that she was congested and had probably caught whatever virus I’d had. She was sneezing a lot this evening, and her symptoms do resemble mine.

It’s now late on Thursday night, and I feel better still. Perhaps not quite 100%, but getting there.

This new world

The crazy thing is that before COVID-19, none of this would have seemed strange or even given me pause. It’s perfectly normal to get a cold, fight it for a few days, and return back to normal. Probably… probably… we didn’t have COVID-19… probably.

In fact, I read an article some months ago indicating that many of the seasonal winter ailments that tend to circulate through Israel every year were almost entirely absent last year… Because Israelis were all at home and commercial establishments were shut down during that time. Apparently, in the spring, when we were released from lockdown and the country began to reopen, many of those “winter” viruses (like the flu) came back in force.

As many of you know, Israel was ahead of the curve in getting most of its citizens vaccinated, and my wife and I both received two shots of the Pfizer vaccine. Also, my wife travels abroad for work sometimes and has been tested for antibodies and for COVID-19 on multiple occasions – and her antibody county is high. All of this suggests that we probably didn’t catch COVID-19 this week.

But… but… the question hangs over my head. Was it COVID-19? Was it the flu? What was it?

One of my coworkers said to me that some COVID-19 patients suffer from heavy congestion, which is something that I hadn’t known. I’d been under the impression that the virus primarily affects the lungs. A bit of research indicated that he was right – my symptoms could very well have been COVID-19 symptoms…

Also, as a news junky, I’m acutely aware that there have been nearly 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day in Israel for the past couple days. There haven’t been many pandemic-related deaths recently, but the populace and the government are spooked. Masks are increasingly making a comeback, and the Prime Minister himself is strongly speaking out against people who refuse to get vaccinated (assuming that they’re otherwise healthy).

Getting sick against this backdrop is scary, and not only because we are concerned with our own health. On Wednesday, I didn’t go to work because I was worried that somebody else could get sick – it wasn’t my own health that I was thinking of.

The really sad thing is that we had wanted to visit my aunt in Modi’in this week, but she’s immunocompromised, and there was no way that we would ever take such a risk. Our visit will simply have to wait, and that’s not the end of the world, but I am left feeling angry and frustrated at the entire situation… Perhaps it’s melodramatic, but it feels to me like a cloud of death could be settling over us at any moment. Things will never be the same again.

78 thoughts on “Did I have COVID-19?”

  1. Located in the US, in a state with an idiot of a governor, I worry that we are again going to find ourselves locked down. That being said, as any who have read any of my own posts- I likely don’t take all the precautions I should. I walk a thin line, to be honest.
    This damned virus is a large part of the reason I spent as little time as I did with my mother the last year of her life (not that any of us knew it would be the last year of her life). Both she and my father were at higher risk than many and regardless of my relationship with either of them, I was not about to put them at risk.
    Anger…frustration… soo damned many tears… at times just this utter sense of hopelessness that this will NEVER end.
    In short- I feel your pain, my friend.
    ~ Tina

  2. My husband is on day 14 of covid and since he doesn’t have the privilege of working from home he went back to work at noon immediately after testing negative today. His lungs are still roughing it but like you said .in the past he wouldn’t have even missed a day of work let alone 13. . he wouldn’t go to the hospital because me being a nurse know that cdc protocol is to place any every covid test in ICU if their oxygen is at a certain number. eVEN if they can be managed on regular unit with IV vit C and ivermectin which has 1000′ a of success stories BEFORE the cdcs “protocol” came out ….. They are not allowed to do it….. Even if it works….. It’s unfortunate that even some mild cases have to show that they were on the ventilator to achieve the numbers needed…, ……i know 2 people. This last month who had to just leave & go home because they just wasn’t sick enough to lie in bed all day with a breathing tube yet needed the IV support., ….
    It’s crazy backwards….. Before covid, we always managed illnesses conservatively first…..to save money obviously and preserve the patients natural stores to kick in……now it’s opposite….

  3. I think most of us have gone through the same. We’ve had colds and sniffing, even fevers at times. Just the normal annual stuff we go through. There are more questions than answers. I’m in the US in TN and mask wearing coming back due to the variants. ::sigh:::

    1. *heavy sigh*
      the whole situation is SO discouraging…
      I could feel a bit better about it if any sort of end seemed to be in sight…

      Thank you ❀

  4. I agree, things will never be the same. What upsets me most is the people I know who have NO sense of a feeling of responsibility towards anyone else. If they aren’t going to die, it’s all OK. They will never wear a mask again no matter what, nor do they care if people they spend time with are vaccinated or not, and if they happen to make me or someone else sick, that’s just the breaks. Even when I have a cold, I’m always careful about who I might be exposing to it. That’s just courtesy. (K)

  5. I doubt things will ever be “normal” again. Living in LA County, our numbers are off the chart. I stay away from everyone. I shop at the early senior hours when I need to go out. I am personally glad we are back to the mask mandate as I never stopped wearing mine. My family, sans the youngest, are all vaccinated. I still feel terribly vulnerable with my autoimmune diseases. I’ve lost a family member to Covid. I have numerous friends tested, and thankfully those closest to me have all tested negative. I am tired of living in fear, but more fear of not making it through this.

      1. It is very awful with so many refusing to get the vaccine who can without danger. This allows the virus to mutate more and more. I stay home as much as possible, stay masked whenever I leave my house, and still live with fear.

      1. awwwww I imagine so!!!!😒
        Sending flowers and love

  6. I think your last line hits the spot – things will never be the same again. The world will have to adjust to a new ‘normal’.

  7. I know a number of persons showing symptoms of covid for 3 to 4 days, but got well thereafter. It might or might not be covid. As they were not tested, it would never be known. But the best thing now is to isolate oneself immediately after getting such symptoms.

  8. nothing may spur as much as the risk to life? and of course action to influence the systems we live in is not limited to signing petitions either, it may be a more general taking responsibility – as 12-steps say, an awakening…

  9. … I have been out all day yesterday, using public transport and the like, putting on mask and using handgel. I am wondering whether this insecure feeling is a chance to learn that our life is indeed not ours alone but an imperative to be as responsible for whatever as long as we can? Including signing a petition against someone’s unfair death sentence or whatever…?

    1. a chance to learn that our life is indeed not ours alone but an imperative to be as responsible for whatever as long as we can?

      I would agree, but I wouldn’t limit potential sources of newfound wisdom to deadly pandemics – I think they’re everywhere around us…

        1. on a very personal note: I had a very serious flu during the epidemic in 1995… and a moment then seems to have distinguished fear of death…

  10. My husband and I had COVID in December, both just a ‘mild’ case. A bit of a cough and we felt tired and very fatigue for a few days. It wasn’t a big deal, but I lost my sense of smell and taste and now eight months later, I still can’t smell much.

    I am a bit scared of winter and the new mutations.

    1. wow… that’s nuts. well, at least you’re okay… but if you can’t smell much, does that mean that you can’t taste much either? (since taste is largely a function of smell?)


      1. I can taste, but not too much. Mostly ‘unami’ I know I am eating meat, but can’t pinpoint what. Salty and sweet, not much in between.
        I will have to reprogram my brain for smell in a few weeks, if it doesn’t come back by itself.

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