This morning – and by “morning” I mean 4:00 am – I woke up with a raging sore throat. It had been bugging me in a mild-to-annoying fashion for a couple of days but then hit me full-force in Saturday’s early hours.
Normally, I would ride out something like that. But 2020’s hyper-careful medical protocols kicked in and I did two things: First, I called out from my Saturday small-group (as per church guidelines), then I headed for the walk-in clinic to check things out.
You have to know something about me. Not only am I freakishly sensitive to pain, but I seriously cannot tolerate anything intrusive. So good luck going in for a throat culture, or getting a nose swab more than a centimeter or two up a reluctant nostril.
Just my luck they wanted both. The unfortunate nurse had to go in twice for the throat, and she may well have scored some brain tissue when mining for COVID (twice, BTW, once each side).
The good news is that I tested negative for both. No Strep, no COVID. And, best of all, I added one more good number to help keep North Carolina’s test-to-positive ratio moving in the right direction. Currently North Carolina is trending slightly down at 6.6%, with Wake County averaging a fairly steady 4%.
I was pitiful. Coughing, sputtering, waving my arms, tears running down my cheeks. Of course it was a series of reflexive responses, completely outside my control. But I still apologized profusely to the nurse, Janet, who was both patient and understanding.
Now I get to suck analgesic throat lozenges, swallow ibuprofen, and wait for my throat to stop hurting.
Wear a Mask!
I have to tell you it all added up to a good reminder and affirmation that my choice to wear a mask in public is a good and necessary precaution. First, this is what they require at the doctor’s office; they are highly trained and very intelligent medical professionals – they have no reason to make stuff up. Then the realization that if I had tested positive I would have been potentially shedding particles of COVID into the air well before I checked in at the clinic.
The science is well documented: wearing a mask and social distancing is the best we can do to show respect and consideration for our brothers and sisters, who are also trying to navigate safely through this morass.
Then – and I have to say this – the famous politician who answered a COVID question with, “I don’t remember if I got a test or not,” evidently didn’t have nurse Janet jam a Q-tip deep into his lower brain! Or maybe he didn’t notice because it was Q-anonymous?
Peace y’all. Stay safe, care about others, and stay humble – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.