As I am endorsing my chemotherapy orders to Andrea, our chemo nurse, she tells me that my voice sounds sad. I ask her what the hell she means (while I try to reflect if I am sad) and she quickly clarifies that I don’t sound sad after all, more like sick. Come to think of it I do sound hoarse. So I quickly finish my endorsements and run to the laboratory… to have a COVID RT PCR test done! Having suffered from allergic rhinitis all my life I’m used to always having runny nose, but I did cough a bit in the car this morning, and my back is a little painful. I quickly drive home, ask for hot soup, jump into bed, and mope. If I’m COVID positive then for sure I had infected everyone in the car on our weekend trip to Baguio, as well as the friends we’d met and had dinner with, and everyone else who dined and used the elevator in The Manor, and the patients and staff I’d talked to this morning.
A few hours later I get the email that my PCR is negative. I ask a friend who specializes in infectious disease, Rose, if the negative PCR is enough to confirm that I’m negative, and she assures me that yes, the cold and humid Baguio weather and all the pollens in the air must have just wreaked havoc on my upper respiratory tract.
At least I have time enough to work on the final proofs of my book. The publisher has sent me the proofs for approval a few days ago, and I was quite surprised that the book, in its final lay-out, runs for over 300 pages! I was told that as soon as I send it back and the edits are applied, the manuscript will be sent to the press, with a possible release date by September in time for the Manila International Book Fair. I am all of a sudden very conscious of the content in this manuscript. I hope I hadn’t embarrassed myself too much, and more importantly, that my friends won’t mind that I am telling their stories. I had given them a copy of the manuscript and asked for permission before I submitted it to the publisher. All of them said “Oh it’s fine, just publish it already!” I should have asked them to sign some kind of a release statement of consent or something, because for sure they didn’t really read the damn thing!
When I got back from the weekend trip, where we just ate and drank thousands and thousands of calories, I promised that I would exercise vigorously and go on a diet. But you know what, I have a cold, so I’ll have that caramel macchiato and bag of chips to help me recover, thank you very much.