We Waited So Long to Get COVID You Could Almost Call Us “Retro”

Dawn Vickerstaff
4 min readMar 25, 2023


It still stinks to be so sick

I don’t want anyone to think that this bloody thing is over, past its time, or really ‘retro’. We are in the midst of it. COVID has us by the throat and that throat is really pretty sore.

My husband and I have managed to avoid COVID throughout most of the previous part of the pandemic. Although, I am convinced I had it in January 2020 when nobody knew what was happening and I was still flying mask-less in crowded airplanes back and forth across the pond from my home in England to Oregon. Once I landed in Oregon that January, I had a couple of days of relative wellness, and then experienced one hell of a ‘jet lag’ return that morphed into the worst flu I had ever experienced. That then led to a cough that took me in its teeth and shook the daylights out of me. That cough decided to be my unwelcome roommate for a couple of months. I’d wake up in the middle of the night already coughing during the climb to consciousness. Everyone left me alone which was a blessing really. Nobody else in the house seemed to get it.

I was just amazed though at how long the path to wellness seemed to be. I was out of breath all the time, energy lacking every minute. I thought to myself, ‘well self, this is how it feels to be old’. It made me angry and resentful.

My husband, still back in the UK had his own bout with something similar to my ‘flu’ and we began to suspect COVID. Then the rash happened in April of that year.

It began on one shin, the left one, as a small, itchy circle. The circle widened and a clear spot appeared in the middle. Another circle, widening and merging with the first one. Another and another. Soon my whole shin, on the one leg was driving me nuts with itching and burning and eventually oozing. As a person who never gets random rashes, this was disconcerting.

“Doctor”, I asked through the laptop as I rotated the screen to get the best angle on my now two shins. Both had the weird rash. “What is it?”

“I don’t know”, the dermatologist admitted. “It’s an itchy rash!” She laughed. I wasn’t laughing. “Try this cream.”

The cream didn’t work. The rash was spreading and I was feeling ill again. Then my daughter came home with some tea tree oil and bloody hell! The rash retreated and eventually disappeared. I am now a believer in tea tree oil. I also know that the rash was likely due to having had COVID. They find this post-COVID symptom mostly in under-10-year-olds. Well, what can I say?

Anyway, that was then when I was stuck in the USA despite my desire to run home to the open arms of my lovely man whom I didn’t see again until May 2021. I wouldn’t recommend volunteering to help out a daughter who is divorcing in the middle of a pandemic unless you want a very long break from your husband. But this is about now.

On Monday last, my husband tested positive for COVID. On Tuesday, I tested positive for COVID. We both had fevers, sore throats, headaches, coughs, and absolute exhaustion. We retreated to separate bedrooms because we were too miserable to cuddle. That’s pretty miserable. My husband kept coming in to test my blood oxygen. We have one of those finger clamps. This is how I know he loves me.

I think I slept for the first two days in between bouts of coughing. But now, here it is Saturday and I feel pretty okay. Still a bit stuffy, head full, coughing now and again, but not nearly as achy or exhausted. I think I am on the road to recovery. So, thankfully, is my husband.

I envision the many vaccinations I’ve had as Generals rallying my troops. “Be ready guys! It’s coming!”

Man getting his COVID vaccine injection

There was a concerted battle and my troops got the upper hand pretty quickly. Everybody is celebrating while they do the clean-up. If those Generals hadn’t been there? Well, the NHS has its problems right now and I wouldn’t want to stress the system any more than it already is. So, when it’s available I’ll get the next injection of Generals to rally my troops yet again. This COVID thing isn’t Retro yet.