Hello all,

This is your friendly neighborhood Avenue editor speaking:

I am saddened to report that I tested positive for COVID-19, and only a few days before I was scheduled for a get-together with friends to ring in the new year. So much for a rollicking start to 2022 over the weekend; instead I had to stay home and fight boredom. No need to fret, though; I am totally fine and recovered now.

Honestly, I have no right to complain. I have been very fortunate thus far to have not caught the dreaded disease, considering the fact that I have been exposed a handful of times since the pandemic began in March 2020. I was even living in New York City, the “epicenter” of the virus, when this whole shebang took off, and still had not fallen ill.

But I guess that I had tempted fate one too many times and on the final days of my family vacation to Disney World, aka “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” two weeks ago, I had started experiencing mild cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose and cough.

But I did not really think twice about it and wrote it off as just that – a cold… that is, until a few days later, when the sensation from the symptoms started to feel different, unlike anything I had ever felt before.

It is difficult to explain how it felt. My head felt heavy, and my nose and throat became congested with a thick phlegm. But it was more than just your common cold… it was strange, almost indescribable. I would not recommend.

I am still technically considered “fully vaccinated” and had planned to get a booster shot last week until, of course, the test revealed a positive result. Now that I am out of isolation, I will look into how and when to get a third vaccine dose.

Perhaps the greatest challenge that came from my bout with the virus was just the disruption; I am not a fan of working from home and was itching to get back to the office.

I also realized, to my dismay, that it is nearly impossible to find self-testing kits anywhere. I lucked out in acquiring a kit for my first test, because my trusted colleague Dan Belson, the Dundalk Eagle editor, had a spare on hand.

But for my second test to confirm I was negative, following the CDC-recommended isolation and quarantine period, I searched high and low to almost no avail; the self-testing kits are flying off store shelves and consistently sold out online.

I finally found one at a local store and tested negative earlier this week; thank heavens. I have now returned to the office, grinding at work to put out a stellar paper for you all.

Thank you all for reading the Avenue, and happy new year!

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