Self-portrait in red bathrobe among dirty dishes

I’ve been sick the past week and a half with what I assume is Omicron, despite being double-vaxxed, boosted, and perpetually masked. Drugstores have been sold out of Covid tests, and lines at drive-up test sites are several blocks long. Police had to shut down a testing site near our house, in fact, because traffic was so snarled. After trying and failing to get a Covid test early on, I gave up. Because really, knowing exactly what virus I have doesn’t even matter. It’s not like I’m going out and spreading my germs around town. Plus I’m not sick enough to go to the hospital, so regardless of whatever the specific virus, the treatment is basically the same: drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest until I recover.

Which brings me to today’s photo. I’ve been wearing my bathrobe a lot this week. The dirty dish situation is not horrible, but there are always plenty of them lying around the kitchen counters. Earlier today I was standing next to the sink and noticed my long, stretched-out reflection in the handle of a metal travel mug. (No one is traveling, but the lid keeps coffee nice and hot.) It was such an odd, striking image that I had to take a selfie. Kind of reminds me of an elongated, stylized angel on a Christmas card, except I don’t think angels wear red. Those are pots hanging from the rack over my head like the Sword of Damocles, by the way.

As people have noted elsewhere, this is a strange virus (if indeed what I have is Covid). Every morning brings a new adventure. How will I be sick today? The symptoms morph continually from headaches to sore throat to earaches to upper-back pain to nausea to stuffy nose to cough, etc., etc. And all I can think is: Thank God these symptoms are all I have. Thank God the vaccine and booster were available in time to keep me and my family (because, of course, we all got sick together😂) from getting seriously ill enough to require hospitalization.

(Several hours later . . . )

I’m watching the Green Bay Packers game tonight and suddenly realize that for the first time in 10-11 days I feel GOOD! Like, not sick! Now that could be because we are totally beating up on the poor Minnesota Vikings (score: 20-0 at the moment) and I’m high on endorphins, but maybe it’s because the virus is finally gone? Just like that? I woke up with a headache a week and a half ago and now I feel fine?

If this is my Covid story, I’m glad it’s so boring.

About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. I also volunteer with a Milwaukee homeless sanctuary, Repairers of the Breach, as chair of the Communications and Fund Development Committee.
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13 Responses to Self-portrait in red bathrobe among dirty dishes

  1. babsje says:

    Feel better soon! This is no way to start 2022. And there are no home tests available here, either – not in stores, not online. Very strange. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mworfolk says:

    I’m sorry you’ve been sick! I hope this is the start of you feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You look a bit like a Virgin Mary apparition in red! Hope you are feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Karen! I am feeling much better today. Your comment reminded me just now that I played the Virgin Mary in a second-grade Christmas pageant. I haven’t thought about that in years! My veil was made of white fabric attached to a headband (so it wouldn’t slide off my head) with a fringe of silver tinsel trimming the edges for an especially sparkly, festive appearance😂


  4. Lisa says:

    Oh, Katie, what a miserable way for your family to spend the holiday break! I hope you continue to feel better (and, yes, thank goodness for the vaccines that kept you all out of the hospital). Thinking of you. (Will the Packers actually go all the way this year??)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lisa! Yes, I’m continuing to feel better, although I did wake up with a scratchy throat today, so I guess I’m not out of the woods yet. Fingers crossed for the Packers. It would be fun to see them go all the way!


  5. paulrwaibel says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your suffering day after day, but also happy to see you can talk of it and deal with it in such a positive and “cheerful” way. Hang in there. This too shall pass. Better days are ahead. here is a song or two for the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. MELewis says:

    Sorry you’ve been unwell, Katherine, but glad that things are getting back to normal for you. As you say, it is a strange virus….and the vaccine does not seem to prevent it from spreading, even though it does a good job in preventing serious illness. Too bad you couldn’t get a test to be sure. Is there a shortage of rapid tests in the US?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, there is a shortage, at least in my state of Wisconsin. Drug stores are frequently sold out of the home test kits, and the lines at drive-up testing sites are extremely long. Like blocks and blocks and blocks long. I saw a news story and photo the other day about people standing (socially distanced) in line outside a clinic in the bitter cold for an hour before they could even get inside the building to stand in line again to get a test. Tonight’s news broadcast mentioned that today we (Wisconsin) have set yet another record high for Covid cases. Think of all the people who aren’t even being counted because they haven’t been able to get a test! It’s hard for me to fathom why there hasn’t been better leadership and coordination of efforts from the beginning of this pandemic to at least do something as simple and straightforward as have Covid testing be readily available and reasonably priced.

      Liked by 1 person

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