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So, I finally got COVID-19. Please send pizza. – Whittier Daily News

I have something to confess, but it’s a little bit hard.

After three years of steadfastly ignoring the pandemic – under the theory that I already had one fatal disease, so I didn’t have enough space in my brain to worry about another one – it has finally happened.

I have contracted COVID-19. It’s a very, very mild case. Although I will confess that it’s not as much fun as I expected.

Actually, the worst thing so far has been taking these antiviral drugs, which taste worse than Scotch whisky. I didn’t actually think anything could taste worse than Scotch, but I finally discovered Paxlovid.

Now, having a pesky ailment like cancer, you might think I’m used to nasty medical treatments. But this stuff is like chewing tree bark and then continuing to chew it for 12 hours. Because the taste doesn’t go away. You Scotch drinkers, though, will be just fine.

As some of you know, I’ve been continuing to travel where and when I pleased despite the pandemic for the last three years. I got all my shots and wore a mask and washed my hands a lot, but I just refused to hide at home, even though my immune system is weaker than a margarita at El Torito. I mean, if I don’t have much time left, I’m not spending it watching Netflix.

So, I managed to go to Mexico, Greece, Guatemala and elsewhere without contracting the dread virus. But apparently, Cambodia was my downfall. No, offense, Cambodia. It wasn’t your fault.

It happened in the airport last week, on the way back from our visit to see the ancient temples in Angkor Wat, at Siem Reap. I am sure about this because when you go into an airport these days no one is wearing masks, even if they’re lying on the ground having such a fit of coughing that they can’t stand up.

People just walk past these hacking folks, unlike me who leans down and says, “Put on a frickin’ mask, [expletive]. What’s wrong with you?”

This is what’s nice about being older. People expect you to be blunt because you don’t have enough time left to waste on unnecessary attempts at courtesy.

But, honestly, when you say these things, people look at you like you told them your brain is inhabited by little green men. And then utterly ignore you. Seriously.

I was in an airport lounge in Singapore, flying home, and two youngish boys were sitting with their parents, hacking up a lung. Not only was this alarming, but then they moved to sit closer to me. Really? Really? I saw the dad hand one of his sons a mask and then ignore the fact that he didn’t put it on. I mean, masks work when you’re holding them, right?

I got up to move to the other side of the lounge, but, before I did, I told the mom that her kids needed to put on masks. She looked at me like I’d just told her that I was selling swampland in Florida. And then turned away.

Maybe I got COVID from these charming people or maybe from the British woman in the departure lounge who was also hacking away. I walked over and offered her a mask, and her husband said, “We have one.” But neither put one on. At least they had to wear them on the plane, because Singapore Airlines made everyone wear masks. Thank you, Singapore Airlines.

By the way, don’t send me any emails telling me that masks don’t work. Yes, they do. You need better sources of information.

Anyway, I traveled everywhere for years, covering my face and being fully vaccinated, but otherwise just refusing to worry about COVID.

And guess what? I never got it.

But when I went to Cambodia, I WAS worried. Because I know so many people who’ve come back recently from foreign trips with COVID. I did not want that to be me.

I have two friends who went to Scotland recently, separately, and both of them came back with COVID. Another friend recently went on a group trip to Israel. Of the 24 people in the group, 10 of them had to go home with COVID. If I could do math, I’d tell you what percentage that is. Yikes! Who wants to fly all the way to Israel only to have to spend a week in a hotel room and then fly home? Needless to say, this was alarming.

As a result, I wore a good-quality mask every second in the airport, on the plane and everywhere there were crowds.  But I still got it. Which is ironic, because the only time I ever worried about getting COVID, I got COVID.

I don’t have room in this column to go into the possible metaphysical implications of that one, but still. Or it could just be that everyone’s getting COVID, and it was my turn. My Facebook readers are telling me they didn’t do anything but water their lawns, and they got it too.

Anyway, right now, I’m sitting in my recliner taking this nasty medicine and watching YouTube. I’ve lost all interest in healthy eating and all I want is frozen pizza. Is that a symptom? DiGiorno and I have become close personal friends.

I don’t feel very badly at all. I’ve had hangovers worse than this. In fact, the first day, I actually thought it was a hangover.

So, there you go. There is my confession. I don’t know why it embarrasses me, but for some reason it does. Now, it’s time for a pill. I’m trying to decide which is worse: having COVID or these nasty pills. I’ll report back later.

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