After 18 months of dread and scrupulous avoidance, COVID has finally arrived at my home this month.
When the symptoms started it was like when your sketchy cousin shows up and no one knows if he’s just going to eat a bunch of food, get your dad’s money and leave, or if he’s going to murder. everyone in the night.
Long story short: four of us are gone for a weekend. My husband, who suffers from severe heart disease, had just received a booster. The other three of us had groundbreaking COVID infections. To keep him safe, we dispatched him to the shore, away from the sick. It was very Jane Austen-via-South Jersey.
In the good times, I focused on the fact that we knew revolutionary infections could happen and that our vaccines would keep us alive and out of the hospital. It was just our turn to take care of it.
Other days COVID hit me with Big Feelings: Anger at myself for doing everything “right” for so long and still being infected. Short moments of relief, like the humidity that breaks when a summer thunderstorm finally hits. And the hours of feverish terror that one of us could still die.
The fear was not unfounded. In the 12 days between my positive and negative tests, COVID has killed at least 168 people in New Jersey. It’s too many families who thought it might be an almost normal Thanksgiving who will now be missing a loved one.
The range of physical symptoms we experienced all came from the standard COVID buffet menu: coughs, fevers, sore throats, stomach issues. Most were mild, but some looked like the worst flu you’ve ever had. Migraines and nausea for me, cough and wheezing for my mother – a pressing concern given her COPD.
The loss of taste and smell was the most disturbing to me, and I cried for joy the day I got to taste a tangerine in the basket my lovely coworkers sent me. Even now, I recheck the gas stove to make sure all the burners are off.
Because we had all received the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine last winter, we were mostly confident to avoid the hospital and stay alive, and we did. And if the booster can keep us from getting infected next time, even better. Hope you get yours.
Also this week the smoking at the casino must go, The boss is unhappy your breakfast sandwich needs this bike thieves and public transport in South Jersey:
IT’S TIME TO STOP THE SMOKE AT THE CASINO: The last time we found out about the smoking situation in Atlantic City casinos, almost everyone agreed it was disgusting and unhealthy, but no one in Trenton seems motivated to address it. As nothing has changed since, smoldering opponents have gathered outside Harrah’s, seeking some long-awaited action.
WHERE IS ROY? This week Bruce Springsteen Bulletin himself is unhappy with the cover of his latest album. A key member of the E Street Band is missing from the new recording of a 1979 “No Nukes” show. Where’s Roy Bittan?
YOU ARE JELLY ONLY: In which our Jeremy Schneider discovers the sweet-salty seduction of the bacon, egg, cheese and grape jelly sandwich, and in general defends the non-traditional condiments of the breakfast sandwich. I suggest dipping in pancake syrup instead.
THE COPS BEHAVIOR: Who stole bikes in Cape May one night earlier this month? Let’s move on to the video tape! According to city police, the video shows that they were two police officers from neighboring Lower Township. Come on man.
IMPOSSIBLE TO GET THERE FROM HERE: When it comes to public transport options – especially trains – South Jersey is always overlooked. Does he need his own public transport agency? A report suggests so.
Finally, is there anything cuter and more heartwarming than dogs with a job? From adorable puppies learning to be support dogs, farm dogs raising sheep, even nice bomb-sniffing boys, you know the drill. Well get ready for poo sniffer dogs! Meet Remi, Logan, and Sable as they patrol the banks of the Toms River in search of human excrement.
I want to make the obvious joke “it’s better than poo-eating dogs”, but it’s serious business: like Steve strunsky explains, the work of dogs is needed to prevent these beach closure bacterial epidemics that are damaging Ocean County’s waterways.
PS: Here are your Halloween predictions. Save me a Twix!
Amy Z. Quinn is NJ.comAudience editor, newsletters and briefings. To get a Letter from your editor Every Saturday, add your email here.