I Took My Temperature 6 Times in One Day. Don’t Pretend You Haven’t Been Doing the Same

Took My Temperature

How many times have you wanted to diagnose yourself with the coronavirus already? If it’s less than half a dozen times you are lying and can see yourself out.

My god, do you know that two weeks ago I went grocery shopping and then sat in the car eating an ice cream sandwich before driving back home to my family. I didn’t even remember about the pandemic until the vanilla ice cream started melting a little and then dripped onto my wrist and I absentmindedly licked it off.

I was horrified! What an embarrassing way to contract the virus! “We have your results, ma’am. It’s positive for COVID-19, and it appears that you picked it up eating ice cream? In a parking lot? Really?”

A week ago I had a little something in my throat and spent the better part of a day googling coronavirus and scratchy throat. Then just this past weekend I actually felt pretty crumby. It felt like I had a run-of-the-mill cold, so mild that it normally would not even register. So clearly I spent the day in bed writing good-bye letters to my children.

I actually felt great in the morning, energetic even. I dusted off my running shoes and went out for a jog. Alright fine, it was a walk-jog which is easy jogging interspersed with walking. A couple weeks ago I would have jogged the whole thing plus added in some pickups at a faster speed. But the walk-jog felt like enough.

By the time the evening rolled around, however, it felt like more than enough. I felt run down, slightly achy, and I had the slightest occasional productive cough. But I did sleep well, and even woke up feeling better, until a few minutes later I wasn’t better anymore.

All day it was like that, sitting in bed doing absolutely nothing, I felt okay. What had I been worried about? What an overreaction, I thought. But then I’d get up to use the bathroom and then try to tidy a few stray items away and then be ready for a rest again.

It reminded me of when I started having contractions early on in a drawn-out labour with my first baby. We were at a reading series and I kept feeling a weird discomfort, like an annoying tightening, but nothing you would automatically identify as labour. And then it would pass! (As contractions do.) And I would think, silly Rebecca, everything is fine. Those mild contractions continued like that for the rest of the night, slowly gaining power and frequency over the next couple days until finally my son was born.

I hoped this illness wasn’t going to follow that same trajectory, picking up in intensity and discomfort until finally, it breaks. I didn’t even have a fever, which I can tell you with absolute certainty since I took my temperature six times in one 24 hour period. Don’t pretend you haven’t been doing the same! But I did have that mild achy feeling I associate with fevers and I was just plain tired. I wasn’t flat-on-my-back-can’t-get-out-bed tired, just like I’d rather stay in bed reading and catching up on Netflix.

But I couldn’t shake the feeling. Are these the Braxton Hicks of the symptoms of a pandemic virus? Just a mild echo of the real thing that will go away as quickly as they came on? Or are these a precursor? Is this the early labour part of a full-blown coronavirus infection?

I’d been so careful too! (You know, ever since the ice cream sandwich incident.) It’d been over a week since schools closed and I stopped going to the gym and to my shared workspace. My family has been social distancing like bosses. I’ve been grocery shopping like a ninja and keeping more than enough space from others the odd time we’ve gone outside. Even if this was just a cold, how on earth did I even pick up a cold?!

The fact is I had come down with something and I was spending the day in bed with full access to the internet. So, of course, I went down a rabbit hole searching for accounts of mild COVID-19 infections. I didn’t have a fever and a bad cough, but Tom Hanks reports just feeling “the blahs.” I had the blahs, too! As far as I could tell, it looks like feeling run down with a bit of a *ahem* cough, is sometimes all that the coronavirus feels like for some people. Or it could start like that before gradually getting worse. That’s fun!

So we all get to spend a few weeks in quasi-isolation playing the “is it coronavirus or just allergies” game. The best part is that if we’re lucky enough to not need medical intervention–even if we’re actually sick as dogs–we may never know what it was.

In any case, I felt entirely better by the next day. I didn’t even lose my appetite. I never even missed one solitary meal! It was probably just a cold.

Almost definitely for sure.

I’m fairly confident.

Don’t you think?


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