No, God no! How can pizza taste so horrid?

We leave letters lying on the floor mat for a couple of days before touching them. Coming back from shopping involves up to an hour of anti-bac wiping and washing, right down to the last piece of fruit and vegetable. Outside: face masks on, sanitisers on standby, and proximity alert wound up to maximum – ‘hey, back off buddy!’ shouts my imaginary proxy self upon infringement, deliberate or otherwise, of my immediate two-metre surround space. In reality I usually just turn away and step back.

It’s difficult though, not like me at all. I’m generally pretty polite and approachable. But strange times call for strange behaviours – being rude, being anti-social, being stand-offish literally has been the order of the day for most of the last 12 months. If I can smell you, you’re way too close – that’s back when my olfactory senses still worked as they should.

How cautious then, have we been to protect ourselves from the dreaded Koveed Carona? Very much, very indeed. Especially cause we is BAME and the virus is racist innit? Nobody still knows why, but Koveed Nineteen frowns at brown.

Nearly a year in and with a vaccine just over the horizon, sounding its arrival via the triumphant trumpeting of the scientific cavalry galloping to the world’s rescue, as PM Boris Johnson would colourfully put it, and well, it finally got me.

Not just me, but three-quarters of my fam – the wife and my son, though my 15 year-old daughter appears to have escaped it, despite being stuck in isolation with the rest of us.

Of course because of all our efforts it was not the regular version of Koveed that got us. At the time it was already being reported that 60% of those us in the Southeast were being hit by the new fiercer East London strain – you know that amped up version, like a Jason Statham from Crank mutation of the virus. Unstoppable, unrelenting, uncouth and unkillable. Forget all your precautions, if you happen to even glance in its direction it’s like ‘Oi! Wotcha lookin at? You want sum? Yeah, you’re gonna ave it!’ And boom, you are done my son.

This highly aggressive and fast-acting strain, was obviously unleashed as a direct response to humanity brazenly announcing that it had come up with vaccines to combat the Koveed Carona. So the virus was like ‘Oh yeah? I’m gonna step it up – see if you can deal with this!’ All of which of course confirms that the Koveed is actually a sentient alien biological weapon of war sent ahead of a planetary invasion by the Zargots originally scheduled for this week, but called off because of the latest lockdown, and the Zargots are sticklers for rules. Saved by Sage then. How’s that for a conspiracy? I mean Gate’s microchips, 5G mind-control and DNA restructuring in the vaccine? Please… you amateurs!

It may be that I’m still suffering the effects of the Koveed, hence the ramblings of the previous couple of paras, or it might just be the record amount of Ibuprofen I’ve ingested over the last two and a half weeks. 

Let’s rewind. The first two days were the worst. I went to bed and couldn’t even drag myself out to get changed. I’m prone to the occasional migraine, but this was next level mind-drilling. Persistent, relentless, continuous pain, that even overdosing on Ibuprofen couldn’t do anything about. By day three not just my head, but my eyeballs were sore and tender to the touch. This period is a fog of sleep and headaches, no coughing at this stage though, and I must have had high temperatures but can’t remember.

In fact we were still speculating as to what it was – because catch Koveed? Us? Dunt be silly yaar! So, could it be a nasty cold? Could it be regular flu? But I’d recently had a flu jab, so had the wife (and she got her symptoms a couple of days after me) – ah! Maybe these were side effects? But then my son, Junaid, got similar symptoms 24 hours after, so it couldn’t be that.

A few days later the results of the home test kits arrived confirming our worse fears. We had Koveed Carona. Physically manifesting as utter exhaustion for by this stage. The head vice had loosened by this time, the fevers were prominent at night, and the coughing was picking up.

Funnily enough around day six, I felt like I was on the mend, that I’d beaten it. Junaid was mostly getting over it already – in fact for him it was a case of temperature and a little dizziness over three-four days but a quick recovery shortly after.

So I edited and posted a car review video, did a little writing, figured I’d beaten the Carona. Never do that! Never turn your back on it, never underestimate it, never find yourself in a position where it’s twisted and long twig-like malignant gross green fingers with the elongated clawed nails, tap you on the shoulder followed by a terrifying whisper in your ear ‘I ain’t done with you yet’.

The second week was worse overall; the temperature higher, the cough coarser, the weakness weakened further, plus aches and pains – shooting, debilitating currents of constant agony around the back, sometimes the left leg and now restricted movement in the left shoulder for some reason. And possibly the most vile aspect of Koveed: an awful putrid, chemical, metallic permanent taste and smell. It’s like your neighbour is burning rotting fruit and vegetables in a rusty metal drum doused with kerosene. It’s wafted across and seeped into your clothes, hair, everything really; gone up your nostrils and taken up residence in the sinuses from where it can dominantly ruin everything you dare ingest or inhale.

For example I’m normally a 4-6 cups-a-day tea drinker, I was down to barely half because it was undrinkable. Yuck! My favourite foods were ruined. We ordered in pizza, and it was disgusting. I mean pizza… why… why?! Please, not the pizza!!

It’s still there you know, even now. I’m not entirely sure if I’ve gotten a little used to it, or its relented a bit (I hope the latter) but usually towards the end of my enjoyment of some food or drink it suddenly streams through my nasal passages and destroy my delight. It’s a vindictive thing, deliberately out to shit over your pleasure.

Koveed affects everyone differently. My wife lost her taste and smell completely, though it’s now starting to come back. But I think I got it worse, because I feel like I can taste and smell Carona itself; it’s horrid, repugnant and sickeningly sickly.

Despite all of the above, I have to be grateful though. Watching the news and all those poor souls struggling to breath in the hospitals and many not making it, I am thankful I didn’t need to call directly upon the heroic efforts of the NHS. Thankful too that my family is okay, and actually recovered better and quicker than me. And thankful that… oh silver lining – I have five months’ immunity according to the latest research.

Koveed Carona then – been there, done that, don’t have a T-Shirt, don’t want one and wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Listen people: take it seriously, stay safe and keep well protected. I’m gonna go have some mint chocolate now, and desperately hope it still tastes vaguely like mint chocolate.

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