Like everyone else, I’m positive I already had COVID. I’m also pretty sure I still have it, despite the fact that I have no symptoms and have been quarantined since March 12th. If, by some chance, I didn’t and don’t have it, I’m sure, again, just like everyone else, that I will get it any day. In the meantime, we all find ways to cope.
While my friends and family have been keeping busy by doing puzzles, playing cards online and cleaning out their closets, I’ve been pulling weeds out of the driveway to stop myself from googling rare COVID symptoms. But that doesn’t mean I’m not still out there looking for them. While I’m pulling out hundreds of tiny weeds from in between the pebbles, I’m also searching my body for things that look a little off. And then I run inside and yell to Dan to Google them.
“Google wrinkly elbows,” I’ll suddenly yell from the front door, or,
“Can you look up, ‘COVID freckle,’ please?”
He always says the same thing.
“Ok, Steph, but you haven’t left the house,” which is not entirely true.
Recently I heard about an unusual symptom called, COVID toes, that causes the toes to become red and inflamed. Since then I’ve been spending a lot of time pretending to polish my toe nails and secretly looking for red spots.
And then, just as I knew it would happen, I woke up this morning with two bright red knees. I turned to my husband, who was reading the news on his iPad.
“Look up COVID knees,” I said.
“I have COVID of the knee. Look it up. Quick!”
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
“For God’s sake, look at me!” I yelled, and showed him the two pink circles. One on each knee.
“I obviously have COVID toe of the knee.”
“Steph, you haven’t left the house.”
I reminded him that we did take one drive to the beach a month prior. But then he made the point that I only got out of the car for five minutes, and that I was wearing a mask, gloves, shoes, and a jacket over my face, and we were the only people there.
We also had to meet the movers at the storage unit a few days ago, but then Dan reminded me I never got out of the car and I kept yelling out the window for him to stay 20 feet away from the men at all times.
Also, there was “the walk,” as I now refer to it. The day we broke down and met our friends outside for a quick stroll. We were all wearing masks but I never said a word the whole time in fear something would fly into my mouth from the side of my mask.
I got dressed and went outside to pull some more weeds out of the driveway. It was the only way I could clear my head.
For a brief moment, I wondered if I’d picked up the virus from the driveway itself somehow. Maybe a delivery person had it on the bottom of his shoe and I sat directly on it, and it somehow got pushed up and into my knee. Anything’s possible, I thought, as I sat cross-legged and hunched over in the middle of the driveway.
Could it be everywhere? I wondered. In the air, in the pebbles, in the dirt, on the very weeds themselves. . .
An hour went by. And then another.
The sun began to get hot.
I went inside to put on the shorts I wore the day before when I was weeding in the hot sun for hours and hours. And then I went back outside to sit in the driveway, in the same position: Hunched over and cross-legged.
It was then that I noticed how my upper body was completely blocking my thighs from getting a tan. In fact the only part of me that was exposed was my knees.
There it was.
The mystery was solved.
I ran inside and grabbed my laptop. Dan was quietly sitting at his desk. He looked up and asked me,
“What happened? Did you see a worm?”
“No, much worse. I finally figured out what I have.”
“Oh good. What is it?” he asked.