By Jerry Zezima
The great humorist Erma Bombeck said that no one ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed.
I’m glad Erma was right because otherwise my wife, Sue, and I would now be in the Great Bed, Bath & Beyond.
We spent the better part of a week in the sack while being sacked by COVID-19.
Just when we thought it was safe to go out — after three years of being masked, tasked and vaxxed to the max — we somehow contracted the virus.
And we think we got it from, of all people, Lady Liberty.
Sue and I — with our two daughters, one of our sons-in-law and our five grandchildren — went to the Statue of Liberty but couldn’t get in because the tickets were sold out.
It was just as well because climbing those 354 stairs probably would have induced cardiac arrest. Then I’d really be bedridden. I can’t even make it up the 12 stairs in my house without getting winded.
But the long cool woman in a green dress wasn’t wearing a mask. Neither were we and the hundreds of people we encountered on Liberty Island.
Sue and I were among the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. A couple of days later, we had trouble breathing, which is nothing to sneeze at.
We sneezed anyway. We also coughed, ached and drank so much water — because we were told to keep well-hydrated — that our pet fish was getting nervous.
The bathroom was like Grand Central Station. I was tempted to hang a sign over the toilet: “All aboard!”
Yes, these were flush times in our house.
But back to bed, where we spent so much time — one night I slept for 11 hours and Sue for 12 — that it could have been considered hibernation.
Sometimes one of us went back to bed for a nap shortly after getting up in the morning while the other took the afternoon shift. Most days Sue also napped on the couch. One day I took two naps. Another day we napped in bed together but faced away from each other because we didn’t want to catch what we already had.
Now you know why neither of us went to med school.
Speaking of which, our doctors were sympathetic but essentially powerless to do anything to help us except, in my case, prescribe Paxlovid, an antiviral medication, and, in both cases, tell us to drink enough liquids to drown a walrus.
And, of course, get plenty of rest.
Day after agonizing day, the bed remained unmade. There was no point in making it because: (a) at least one of us would only go back to it and (b) we weren’t expecting a visit from Good Housekeeping.
Somehow, we remained alive.
It was a miracle considering I ran a fever high enough to fry an egg on my head, dummy side up.
Sue ran hot and cold — a fever, then chills — but had it worse than I did because she’s a heart patient and couldn’t take any medicine stronger than Tylenol.
So we napped. We hadn’t napped this much since we were babies. At one point, I felt like crying for a bottle, but my doctor said I couldn’t have beer. It was horrible.
Being in a high-risk category — old — didn’t help.
Still, it made us wonder: How did this happen? We thought the pandemic was over. We had taken all precautions and had escaped the virus. Until now.
Sue said even her heart attack two years ago wasn’t as bad as this. Neither of us had ever been sicker.
But we survived. Tragically, millions of other people didn’t.
A few family members and friends have also had the coronavirus. Some cases were mild, some serious, including one case of long COVID.
Fortunately, Sue and I are feeling much better.
Good Housekeeping can come over now. The bed has finally been made.
Copyright 2023 by Jerry Zezima