My Vaccinated COVID Experience (2022)

top view of cozy bedroom interior

Here’s what happened every day of my COVID infection in October 2022!

For reference, I’m 4x vaccinated (2-dose initial vaccination plus 2 boosters), don’t have any risk factors, and am in my late 20’s.

Friday, October 14

Of course, I can never be sure, but I’m almost positive that the infection happened at the concert I went to on the night of Friday, October 14.

I work 100% remotely, and before this date, I hadn’t been anywhere all week. I did go to the optometrist that same day in the early afternoon, because I get Friday afternoons off, and I wanted to use my vision insurance.

But at the optometrist I had my mask on the whole time and they literally taped my mask to my face. So I highly doubt I caught it there (everyone was tape-masked, too).

Anyway, at the concert, I saw a band I’d wanted to see for 15 years, and I didn’t wear my mask at any point in the experience. I was yelling, screaming, singing, walking around the large venue, and I used the bathroom at the venue 3 times (overactive bladder things).

Saturday, October 15

I felt totally fine. Meal prepped, basically used it as a recovery day from being up late at the concert. Partner played a ton of video games, I watched a bunch of TV (I started Sky Castle), we ate food, etc.

Sunday, October 16

I started to get a slightly sore throat, but I thought it was just from all the yelling and screaming I did at the concert on Friday.

Otherwise, physically, I felt totally fine. Went on a walk, etc.

Monday, October 17

I woke up and my sore throat was still there, but I didn’t feel bad (like a 2/10), so I started to work.

I finished up 8 content outlines I had prepared for a client project and handed them off to the project manager.

I started to feel a bit woozy and physically weak, and I had down time after submitting the outlines, so I took a rapid COVID test.

First time testing positive, ever!

I tested positive.

My partner, who I live with, tested negative, which was interesting. We’d been together all weekend including the concert. And no, he never tested positive on the following testing days.

As soon as I tested positive and my partner tested negative, it was weird because I didn’t actually know what to do.

Did I have to get a doctor’s diagnosis immediately? I had read some Tweets on that before. But I felt fine and didn’t want to waste coverage. Did I have to report my case somewhere? Should I get that paxlovid stuff? What meds should I take? Could I just take the Tylenol I had at home if I got a fever?

I had no idea.

But I didn’t want to increase the chances my partner caught it, so I went into the bedroom to quarantine. I told my team I tested positive for COVID and I had symptoms, so I’d take some time off. Everyone was super understanding and told me to take as much time off as I needed. Obviously, I’d use PTO, but they were very flexible on the other aspects related to work. It was also good that I had just sent 8 outlines to the clients and had a bit of a lull coming up.

I reported my positive case using my iPhone exposure notification thing. Apparently, that caused my partner to get an exposure notification on his phone immediately, which I thought was neat.

I just chilled the rest of the day and took it easy, being careful not to spread it if I did leave the room.

Thankfully, I had meal prepped healthy turkey chili on Saturday, so I had plenty of that to eat the whole week. Any time I needed any food, my partner heated it up for me and left it on a table just outside the bedroom for me.

I finished Sky Castle, started Something in the Rain and found it surprisingly boring, and watched a bunch of YouTube.

When I went to the bathroom, I was masked and made sure to wash my hands before and after.

Anytime showering had to happen, I told my partner he should shower before me on any given day because it would minimize him inhaling anything I expelled.

I got a 99-degree fever at around 3:00 PM on Monday. I took 1 Tylenol Extra Strength Rapid Release 500 mg, and that cleared my fever about 1-2 hours after taking it. Never got a fever after that.

Oh, and the CDC site said that I should stay away from pets so I had to leave my cat in the living room with my partner. I couldn’t pet her anymore.

I could only video chat with my cat for over a week. That was ruff. I missed her! Look at her sweet face of confusion.

Tuesday, October 18

I spent the whole day in bed.

I felt the same as the day before but didn’t get that fever again. Just a sore throat around 4-5 on the pain scale out of 10, congestion, and a mild feeling of dizziness/feeling unwell. Pulse oximeter reading was totally normal.

I honestly felt pretty decent, like I could have gone for a walk if I wanted to.

I started and finished Singles Inferno that day.

Wednesday, October 19

Woke up with quite a bad sore throat, the pain had gone from a 4-5 to around a 7 out of 10.

Otherwise, the same exact symptoms as Tuesday: congestion, some coughing, and a mild feeling of dizziness/feeling unwell.

I watched A Whisker Away, which wasn’t the greatest animated movie I’d seen, but it was pretty good.

Thursday, October 20

Woke up with a pretty bad sore throat, about a 7 out of 10 again, congestion and coughing, and a new symptom: diminished sense of smell and taste. The morning iced coffee I had tasted just faintly like iced coffee, like a La Croix version of iced coffee (without the carbonation, of course).

It was the first time I felt devastated. I couldn’t taste my morning coffee!

Yep, I also couldn’t smell any other odors, either.

But my physical symptoms of dizziness and generally feeling woozy were almost gone!

Mentally, though, I was getting kind of anxious and fidgety, so I did a virtual doctor’s visit with a doctor on my health insurance’s mobile app. It was free with my insurance.

I’m not a beacon of mental health and I get anxious about stuff too, so I just wanted to confirm that I was doing everything right and that I really just had to wait it out.

I chose a random MD that had good reviews and did a virtual visit which was quite easy – about a 10 minute wait in their virtual waiting room (1 person before me) and then the visit itself was also less than 10 minutes long.

He officially diagnosed me with COVID and told me that given my health and generally mild symptom information I wasn’t in any risk group to get a prescription for any medicines for COVID. He said that I’d probably get better in the next few days and that I should wait 6 days before going outside with a mask on but that 10 days would be better.

Anyway, that afternoon, I moved part of my work setup into the bedroom, signed onto work and started working again. I had used up 30 hours of PTO at that point and I honestly was feeling totally fine, physically, so I wanted to slowly get back into the swing of things at work.

This is a go-to for when I’m sick but I couldn’t taste it. It has 10% lemon juice and (apparently) the vitamin C of 50 lemons. Is that a lot of vitamin C? Idk.

Friday, October 21

My sore throat was a lot less severe when I woke up on Friday. The only symptoms I had were the loss of smell/taste and some coughing/congestion. I signed on to work for my usual half day of work on Fridays.

In the afternoon, I had to experiment with my diminished sense of taste and smell. I guess as someone who’s always been naturally curious about how stuff works, especially related to science and human health, I wanted to understand what was actually happening and if certain foods can still be enjoyable.

So what I noticed first was that SENSATIONS were still detectable.

Like, I had meal prepped brown rice with veggies and kimchi mixed in (one of my favorite healthy meal preps!) and I could still feel the spiciness pain of the kimchi on my tongue and I could also detect sourness. I just couldn’t taste the veggies, brown rice flavor, or the red peppery, cabbagey, kimchi flavor. So my tongue was still working?

And similarly for that vitamin C drink (a classic for sick days in Japan), my tongue could tell that it was supposed to be a bit sour and sweet, but I couldn’t round out that experience with my nose.

For dinner, I ordered a pizza with smoked salmon on it. When my partner came home with the pizza and put it outside the bedroom, I retrieved it, and I stuck my face into the box, and inhaled deeply.

I could faintly smell smoked salmon, which was a relief, but nothing else related to the baked, bread-related aroma of a pizza.

I picked off a caper and ate it, and once again, my tongue could easily feel the acidity associated with it, but my nose contributed nothing to the experience, so it just felt like a squishy caper in my mouth with some acidity. The pizza itself was great, but I could only get faint notes of smoked salmon from it.

After my food nap, I had a sugar-free strawberry popsicle and a sugar-free cherry jello cup. I tasted those a bit better, oddly, enough, which made me wonder if there are differences in how I could taste based on how artificially flavored something was, compared to naturally flavored.

I also watched the entire anime series “The Way of the Househusband” which is about a former yakuza member who becomes a househusband and his daily life with his working wife and cat, which was honestly hilarious.

Picture of a cartoon yakuza character saying "That tapioca ganged up on me, yo! I took a full load right in my throat."

By the time I fell asleep, my sore throat was gone.

Saturday, October 22

I woke up with no sore throat.

I still had a mild semi-wet cough and congestion, as well as a lack of taste and smell, but otherwise I felt perfectly normal.

I could smell my iced latte if I stuck my nose in the glass, and I could still taste hints of flavor, but those senses were definitely still dulled.

I never had body aches during this whole experience, which was nice. Everything below my throat felt totally normal the whole time.

I went on a walk with my partner. I was masked up and he wasn’t. I felt good but couldn’t/didn’t want to walk super briskly. We walked a good 30 minutes.

I was craving hot and sour soup that night so I ordered some and my partner picked it up for me.

It was filling, but not a great choice – I couldn’t taste all the complex flavors and only when I stuck my nose into the soup container and snorted very heavily could I faintly detect the aroma of the soup. I also had a small amount of rice (like half a cup, cooked) and some pan-fried pork and veggie dumplings from the Bibigo frozen food line. I tasted the pan-fried dumplings the best.

Sunday, October 23

I slept like a rock. A solid 9 hours of sleep. I’d been sleeping very well during my COVID experience.

Still the same level of smell and taste.

Took a COVID test and I got literally the faintest line imaginable.

Do you see it?

My partner took a test and his was negative. So, oddly and luckily enough, he still hadn’t been infected even though we spent the entirety of last weekend together after I probably had it in my system!

I went on another masked walk with my partner.

That night, I was sitting in bed working on revamping my blog, and my sense of smell seemed to have returned (a bit) because I suddenly could smell a nice aroma of soup coming in from the open window.

I heated up my leftover hot and sour soup and I could taste it more than yesterday. I could taste all the other food I ate, too.

I knew coffee Monday would be amazing.

Monday, October 24

Coffee was definitely better. As for my symptoms, I woke up a bit congested, but otherwise all better.

I signed in to work and started a normal work week.

My partner made me an epic sandwich for lunch – I asked him to make me an “omakase” sandwich, and this is what I got:

Turkey, salami, pepper jack cheese, arugula, egg, red onion, pickle, chipotle mayo…all the flavor!

I could taste it much more, which was great.

This whole time, I’ve been going out of the bedroom with my mask on, and also wearing a mask on my walks with my partner.

I’m hoping that my masking will end tomorrow after I take my next COVID test!

Tuesday, October 25

Still positive!

I took the COVID test in the afternoon, and I was still positive!

I felt completely fine, though. I had pretty much fully recovered.

Now, it’s just a waiting game to see when I’d stop shedding virus.

Wednesday, October 26

It’s officially been 9 days since I tested positive and 10 days since I started getting the first inkling of a sore throat.

I still have a mild, semi-wet cough, but otherwise, I feel completely back to normal.

I can smell and taste, I feel physically perfectly capable, and mentally sound.

Completely random tip, but if you have health insurance, see if you can order free COVID tests. Trust me, they will come in handy if/when you eventually get it. I was able to get 4 or so for free using my insurance coverage through Anthem Blue Cross. This was on top of the free tests that I could get from the government via USPS! Check your health insurance provider website and see what types of COVID services they offer.

I also started watching Aggretsuko! It’s so good.

Friday, October 28

I didn’t feel like writing anything yesterday, but I did go on a walk and felt perfectly fine. My cough had been diminishing daily, but I still did sound a big congested and scratchy.

Today, I finally tested negative!

It’s officially 2 weeks since my suspected exposure, and 11 days since I tested positive.

What a long journey it’s been.

I still have the slightest wet cough, but otherwise, I’m back to normal.

I finally got to open up the bedroom. Before I did, I made sure to Swiffer the floor and put the bedsheets and pillowcase in the laundry.

My cat seemed happy that I was more receptive to her! She quickly, but casually, sauntered into the room.

Final Thoughts

I clearly had a really mild case. It lasted a long time, but I was pretty much never suffering except for maybe a few hours on that Monday I tested positive and briefly got a fever.

The worst part about all of this was the fact that I had to quarantine and make sure no one else caught it. The fact I tested positive over and over again was really discouraging.

I know COVID experiences can vary greatly and I’ve heard a lot of anecdotes about long COVID, really long-lasting symptoms, brain fog, etc., but I didn’t experience any of that.

I was lucky to be fairly healthy, have no real issue getting over it, and get back to work in one piece.

I think that’s probably the case for a lot of folks.

One thing this bout with COVID taught me was that wearing a mask, especially in crowded areas, is definitely worth it. I’ve never been an anti-masker or anything, but I’ve also not been militant about mask-wearing like a lot of folks I see on Twitter.

This experience reminded me that it’s totally worth wearing masks in crowded places if I can.

Because to me, even though my case of COVID was so mild, even milder than how I felt after the boosters (those made me get migraines, throw up, have days-long fevers, etc.), it still was very inconvenient.

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