After two and a half years of managing the pandemic like a ninja, getting vaxed, boosted, wearing a mask everywhere, and only doing the elbow bumps, I have tested positive for COVID-19, likely the highly contagious Omicron BA.5 subvariant. As I write this from bed, I’m relatively ok, but it was a pretty difficult first four days, and without really knowing what’s still ahead. (For those who always see me in a mask may know I have an overreactive immune system that causes inflammation in my heart when I get sick but have been able to track and stay on top of that!)


I have some purpose in sharing with you this: one, to tell you that I am ok and will be happy to get back to your message when my isolation ends on Monday, but also just a friendly firsthand witness account about what is happening in our communities with the coronavirus right now.


“How did it happen—you were being so careful!” Last Monday, my wife needed to attend a medical emergency at the gym where she works. Two days later, she displayed symptoms and tested positive for COVID and subsequently learned the medical emergency was COVID-related. We tried to split the house up in two, with each of us having our own bedroom and bathroom. At that point, even though I tested negative on Thursday morning and had no symptoms, I was able to contact everyone that I’ve been in proximity with for longer than 15 minutes for a 48-hour contact window and notify them of possible exposure. That led to the proactive decision to move a Vision Team retreat meeting scheduled that Thursday at Eden Seminary to Zoom instead out of utmost precaution. My symptoms showed up on Friday night.


Since Saturday, this is not like any sickness I have ever experienced. Danielle’s symptoms have been different than mine. Mine are fewer but more intense and longer persisting than any virus I’ve ever had, all my go-to home remedies less effective. Sometimes, you can just “wait out” a virus until it moves into another stage—I have the same sore throat going into day five that I did on day one, with no sign of it getting weaker. That’s new.


Here are a few friendly considerations if like me you’ve been able to keep clear this whole pandemic:


1. STILL BE CAREFUL. Yes, hospitalizations are down but you do NOT want this. I missed two preaching gigs and some gatherings Ive been looking forward to for a long while….but it could have taken way more. I can’t imagine what this would have done to me with no vaccine protection.


2. Check your medicine cabinet now: I was surprised how quickly we both got laid flat and couldn’t make a medicine run (it’s good to live in an urban community again that can do delivery!). Note that urgent care has some COVID medication depending on your symptoms but don’t count on it being available for you. I recommend having on hand a symptom-comprehensive flu medicine, plus something that can help make you a little drowsy so you can sleep through pain. I recommend having an expectorant on hand in case you struggle with the coughing, and also pain/inflammation medicine.  Be mindful how any combination of meds you take interact, particularly where meds might be doubling up ingredients.


3. Stock up for freezer/pantry for soft, warm low-prep comfort food just so you have them if you have no energy to cook: if I had a time machine I absolutely would have used it for some Stouffers Mac & Cheese and two or three cans of Spaghetti-O’s with meatballs. Better to have something in you that you know youll eat until you can get strong enough to cook again. Something that has both carbs and protein in it, in addition to your favorite brothy soup of choice for being sick.


4. Keep a log of your symptoms and what works to help abate them, plus the timing of your meds—I’m finding I’m in most pain right when the medicine is wearing off (which is good to know it’s that and not something else!). Isolation timelines also factor in your last day of having a fever, so be sure to log any instances especially of a temperature over a hundred.


Like I said, I’ll be ok, and I don’t have it nearly as bad as others we know and love who have been been afflicted and even taken before us. For their sake, let’s stay vigilant so we may not only have life, but have it abundantly! (John 10:10)


I do welcome your prayers for Danielle and I as we weather these remaining days of acute symptoms. If you want to know how you can pray for us, I wrote this hastily composed prayer while I was experiencing a minor lull from the worst of the symptoms: feel free to use it if it is authentic and lifegiving to you!


“Our Father, who art in bloodcells

A solid night’s sleep be thy Name. 

Thy relief come. 

Thy will be done 

in bed, as it is in isolation. 

Give us this day our daily Mucinex. 

And forgive us our sneezes, 

As we forgive those who sneezed against us. 

And lead us not into dehydration, but deliver us from naysayers. 

For thine are the weary, the Kleenex, and the Doordash, forever. 



Rev. Ryan Landino

Presbytery Leader

Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy

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