The Public Eye

printed 05/13/2022

I have come down with the covid, as they might say where I grew up. Not covid-19, or Delta or Omicron or the Alpha-Beta-Gamma Variant 2.3 of Subset Seven. It’s just plain covid and I have come down with it.

From my perspective, knowing what edition of the coronavirus I have is pointless, since it’s not as if one version is more notable than the other.

People aren’t going to say, for instance, “Oh yeah, he has covid, but it’s just the base model.”

Even though covid’s multiple variations has us citing all sorts of alphanumeric designations in our plague-of-the-week conversations, they don’t mean diddly to the average person, some of whom wouldn’t know the difference between a “viral envelope” and a #10 mailer.

Besides, it’s a virus, not a car. There is no A-Class model at the low end, an S-Class luxury edition at the other, and for the sporty set, the Covid-RT Series with Offroad Capability.

Even so, some people can’t help trying to appear more knowledgeable about this virus than they really are.

“What? You have covid-19, the Omicron subvariant, BA.2.12.1?”

“I don’t know, maybe. Does it matter?”

“Well, the BA.2.12.1 (an actual thing) is trending, you know.”

“Gee, I hadn’t thought about the importance of staying on trend.”

Again, I don’t know and don’t care whatcstrain or subvariant hit me a little more than a week ago and left me isolating in my own home.

It didn’t lay me low, necessarily, because I’ve had more vaccinations than a flock of baby chickens and that helps block the worst stuff. But it has been interesting having my evening meals presented to me on the end of a long stick.

“Here you go,” she says, pushing a plate of pot roast toward my assigned dining area with a 10-foot-pole.

All I need is for her to blow a whistle at suppertime so I’ll get close enough to the bars of my cage to snag the evening’s offering and take it back to my corner and gnaw on it.

I do understand her concern, though, because it hasn’t been what I would call an enjoyable time, even though I have not experienced some of the more notorious symptoms, including the loss of the senses of smell and taste, and brain fog.

Okay, I did inadvertently put toothpaste on my hair for that tousled-yet-in-control look, but that wasn’t brain fog. It could happen to anyone with a sink as cluttered as mine, and I do have to say that having a minty fresh head isn’t the worst thing that could happen.

Still, I do miss being at the office, where I can aggravate a different set of people just for the sake of variety.

I should be back soon enough though, depending on which subvariant I have. And again, it really makes no difference, because all I know is that after all this time, I’ve finally gone viral.

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