Toxic Tea and the Magic Potion

The clever scientists don’t get enough praise. Between them, the boffins have concocted a magic potion that is even more extraordinary than the one that bubbled away in a cauldron stirred by Getafix the Druid. The one that helped a little corner of ancient Gaul fight off the Roman invasion by bestowing super-human strength on those who drank it. Or in Obelix’s case, fell into it as a baby.

As a result of today’s brilliant minds, my ten days of self isolation with cold-like symptoms were really nothing to complain about. How different it could have been. The vaccines have saved countless lives and reduced human suffering in those parts of the world fortunate enough to have a ready supply.

Not that my very mild version of Covid stopped me from moping around in my dressing gown for the good part of a week and trying to garner sympathy. I guess I caught the wretched thing when the immunity from my second jab of five months ago was starting to wane. At the same time, we all began socialising again.

On day two of my confinement, one of my sons rang the doorbell and stepped back by three paces.  He had kindly left a bag of gifts on the doorstep. He’s now my current favourite. Inside the carrier bag I found boxes of paracetamol, Lemsip and two large bars of Cadbury milk chocolate, including the healthy one with nuts and raisins. Chocolate was prescribed after Harry Potter and his chums had a run in with the dementors on the Hogwarts Express and I can report that it also helped my speedy recovery.

Two symptoms stood out for me. The weirdest, but not the unexpected one, was the complete loss of smell and taste about a week after the positive PCR. I had a hot spicy curry and without any exaggeration it tasted of so much “nothing” that I could have been eating mashed potato. Another member of the family tested positive a few days earlier than I did. To have some fun, I swapped their ordinary mug of PG tips with a mug of strong peppermint tea with a dash of milk to see if they would notice. They didn’t. And it was!

The other one struck me before the start of any recognisable symptoms.  It was twenty-four hours before the two thick red lines appeared on the rapid test kit. I was sitting on the sofa watching an old episode of M*A*S*H, the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital comedy set in South Korea, and found everything in it incredibly funny. Even Alan Alder. For me, the comedy has not aged well after watching so may repeat episodes over the years. But that evening before my positive test, M*A*S*H lurched between side-splittingly hilarious and weepingly sad, as though my emotional sensors had fused.

If anyone needs another reason to get the jab, then there you have it. I’ve already booked myself in for the booster.

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