Monday, September 12, 2022

Covid as a Freelancer

One of the things covid has really thrown into sharp relief is the failure of our job market to provide reliable benefits such as sick time.  For the most part, middle and upper class employees don't have to worry about this, as they generally work jobs that provide paid sick leave (or enable working from home, when someone is contagious but not too sick to work).  It's hourly employees and freelancers who have had to deal with the impact of illness when paid sick days are not available.

Yes, this is on my mind because finally, after nearly 2.5 years since it first shut everything down, I got covid.

I had a fairly mild case, as far as covid cases go, and yet it still wiped me out.  I was congested and coughing just a little, but the fatigue itself was anything but mild.  My husband and I felt symptoms coming on Wednesday night, and quickly went into full sick mode, conserving our energy for the only things that mattered: feeding my horse and the house pets, basically.  We alternated going out to the barn to feed Panama as much as possible so that we could both get enough sleep, and in that manner, slept basically all day Thursday and Friday.  We barely even ate.

Saturday was the first day of any improvement, when I was able to stay awake for about eight hours instead of immediately crashing again as soon as I was done feeding Panama.  Yesterday, Sunday, saw a little bit of a backslide, as I napped again in the afternoon and early evening, after dragging myself out to the barn to feed.

Once again, I am incredibly grateful for my clients.  The same clients who were understanding when Panama was sick were also patient when I couldn't get a couple of articles done last week.  I kept thinking I'd be able to, but kept having to put them off.  Fortunately my clients allowed me the extra time, no questions asked.  I was able to get a little caught up by working a bit over the weekend when I felt well enough.  I've been moving a little slow today, but have been able to get enough done that I'm pretty satisfied with the day.  I have to remind myself not to expect pre-covid productivity, though, just something that's better than the last few days.

I'm trying to prioritize so that I can get the most important things done while still giving myself sufficient time to rest.  A lot of friends have been warning me about the hazards of pushing yourself too soon when recovering from covid.  Apparently it can delay getting better and may even contribute to rebound covid.  I definitely don't want that!

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