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100 Days of COVID-19: On Writing and Breathing

Today marks 100 days since I felt my first COVID-19 symptoms, back on March 17.

To mark the occasion, my essay, "I’ve Been Sick with COVID-19 for Over Three Months. Here's What You Should Know,” is featured in today's HuffPost. It is a fitting bookend to the essay I wrote for them in March,"My Teen Daughter Is Sick but Can't Get the Coronavirus Test. That's Simply Not Okay,"at a time when I was scrambling for information and answers. More than three months later, I have some wisdom to share, based on living for so long with this novel coronavirus.

Throughout my COVID-19 journey, I have made our story public (not only in publications but also via public posts on Facebook). Information has been scarce at times, and this virus is terrifying. But the more we know about it, the better equipped we all are to stay safe and to understand on a human level what it feels like to live with COVID.

I have improved significantly since the most difficult stretch of my illness, which spanned from late March through much of May; I go for short daily walks in my neighborhood, I am tending the plants in my garden, and I am rehabbing my lungs. I still have a ways to go, for my lungs still burn and I am often short of breath, but I will get there. It will just take time, as I am among the ranks of the "long haul COVID fighters."

As I work to recover, I am learning new ways to operate in my changed body and in this changed world. My essay "Breathing Lessons: Some Thoughts on Moving Forward during the COVID-19 Pandemic, published in May in Noteworthy: The Journal Blog, is my optimistic take that we can do so with determination, innovation and creativity.

Before I sign off, I want to share some of my COVID poetry. As you may know, April is National Poetry Month, and it is my custom to write a poem each day of the month. Though I was at my most sick in April, I was determined to meet the challenge this year and set my experience into words. And I did it: in April I wrote 30 poems in 30 days.

Most of these are still living on my laptop, but three of my COVID poems have been published: "Breathless" and "Fool's Gold" in The New Verse News, and "The Safety Within" in Halfway Down the Stairs.

Another poem published in April, in Stirring: A Literary Collection, though written last year, is eerily attuned to my mood this spring: I made this recording of "Of Grace and Silence" for National Poetry Month.

In April, I was also invited to participate in Art House Productions' exciting Jersey City Community Poem, on the theme of Life in the Pandemic and Beyond: Quarantine, Devastation, and Hope for the Future. The finished video, "Just Breathe," is an extraordinary record of this time in one of the nation's hardest hit areas, a compilation of work by 42 poets from New Jersey (participating poets and community leaders read others' work in the video). My piece is included as Day Eight

Isolation, Apart

This unyielding wall of isolation

divides us for safety

me from you,

you from me.

My viral load in quarantine.

Your essential risk in circulation.

Two separate terrors

experienced alone, alone.

As for my other COVID poems, I will be returning to those in the coming months, and sending them off to find good homes. And I'll continue writing my COVID story, because it is not over yet.

Stay safe and be well my friends,


9 comentários

PS to Winnie. Unfortunately this is still early days for the effects of high glutathione in warding off COVID though it's trending fast.

1. A link to this paper has gone up on the Federal NIH website.

"Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients"

2. Here's another, by Wendy Kagan.

"Two Potential Treatments for COVID-19 Unfold in the Hudson Valley

3. Here's another, on YouTube.

"Coronavirus Pandemic Update 70: Glutathione Deficiency, Oxidative Stress, and COVID 19"


@Winnie re your question on the "cocktail" you describe. Perhaps first a little more background. While I'm not medical, as a development manager I've long been in and out of WHO Geneva, Copenhagen, and other officers, and overseen some of "their" projects in Africa, Middle East and Europe. Recently there I've been hearing, before Covid emerged, in a SARS and Ebola context, that what we really seem to have is a global gutathione deficiency pandemic caused in large part by a global selenium deficiency pandemic. Some countries try to correct for this by supplementing their animal feeds with selenium, especially poultry, so some of us globally get some selenium via chicken and eggs (and also Brazil nuts) but the dosages…


Re peterquennell Thank you for your comment. The Marik COVID-19 Protocol is frequently updated - (hydroxychloroquine was included in the protocol then removed; the analysis that led to that medication's use being discontinued is now suspect; not sure if we'll ever know if it was helpful when used early, upon first symptoms of COVID-19 because I believe all trials on it's use has been stopped). For the most current Marik COVID-19 Protocol, go directly to this hospital's website... Once there, at the top of the page, you will be able to click on two links, "Download the latestEVMS Critical Care COVID-19 Protocol developed by Dr. Paul Marik" and "Download the two-page Marik COVID-19 Protocol Summary based on the protocol above". In addition,…


Re Winnie53. I posted a comment here the other day; my emails just pointed to what Winnie said. That seems a pretty nice "modern" mix (just dont take zinc and copper together, or vitamin D and K2 together; they neutralize one another); and those are good "modern" sources too, only maybe not the Marik Protocol which seems a bit loopy to me: chloroquine? really? and where is selenium? Selenium deficiency is known within WHO and NIH to be running rampant in spots around the world. Selenium MUST be in us for peak glutathione - and peak glutathione will beat peak vitamin C etc; there are some fine YouTubes on that. Suggestion: google (1) the global selenium distribution maps, and (2…


Writing from the perspective of getting only diagnoses, monitoring of disease status, and pharmaceutical treatments from allopathic physicians, in contrast to being helped by functional medicine physicians and other health advocates who helped me put my inflammatory bowel disease (20 years) and diabetes (15 years) into remission (with diet, specific nutritional supplements, walking, and other lifestyle changes), I encourage you to use your connections to find a healthcare provider to investigate what's preventing or slowing your recovery. Not sure how I learned about functional medicine five years ago, but I think it has much to offer for those of us with "chronic conditions". I've spent months learning everything I can to prepare for COVID-19. Nutritional status is important: I personally…