I actually tested positive for Covid-19 last week, after I came home from DragonCon, but as a result I was unable to produce any new pages to update for this week. Thus, this is technically my “covid week,” even though I endured its effects on me last week. As of this writing, I’m on my fifth day of isolation and I’m feeling much better, so hopefully I’ll have tested negative today and I can concentrate on catching up on all the work time I lost.
It was a hell of a ride, let me tell you. My case wasn’t extraordinary in its extremities, thanks to being properly vaccinated and boosted, but the circumstances surrounding it made my situation… story-worthy, at least.
When I first tested positive it was only me. My wife and son had, so far, evaded infection. In an attempt to keep the virus from them I decided to quarantine, which was a challenge in and of itself, given that our home is small and there are few comfortable places to be truly separate from each other. I isolated myself in a makeshift home office that didn’t even have a door, so we hung a curtain in the doorway and had a fan blowing all the air in the room out its one window. I slept on couch pillows (not the cushions, mind you) and a few layers of blankets. It was cramped and uncomfortable, and I had miserable nights of sleep, but I felt like I was doing all I could to keep my family safe.
My symptoms were mild but varied. I ran through the gauntlet of body aches, chills, a hacking cough, splitting headaches, and fatigue. Every day seemed to be a new suite of symptoms that kept my body feeling sicker and sicker. The night of the third day was the worst, where my symptoms were bad and an attempt at a midday nap to catch up on all the sleep I’d lost resulted in triggering the single worst tension headache I’d had in years. I entered a state of panic and, thanks to lengthy isolation, became convinced I wasn’t going to make it through the night. Thankfully my wife was very supportive and talked me down from my near emotional breakdown.
On the fourth day my symptoms began to turn around, but my wife tested positive. Somehow our son remained negative, and remains so as of this writing. We couldn’t isolate ourselves away from a seven-year-old, so we kept ourselves masked indoors and did our best to socially distance from him in our own home. Fingers crossed that it’s been enough.
I realize I was lucky that the worst I had to deal with, besides an emotional breakdown thanks to isolation and searing head pain, was being inconvenienced for a few days… but I still have a few things to bitch about. The biggest being the concert I missed thanks to my positive test! I’d bought tickets to see Heilung in concert six months ago, and let me tell you those tickets weren’t cheap either! To get a positive result the day before a one-of-a-kind show I’d been waiting six months to see was a punch in the gut. But bigger than that was the feeling of futility that washed over me. I’d gone to DragonCon with the express purpose of being extra safe so I wouldn’t bring Covid-19 home to my family not only the days before that concert, but the days before my son’s first days of second grade! I was constantly masked, washed and sanitized my hands, and after-hours I went into my room and barely socialized. I was extra careful! But after all that, I brought it home anyway. And my attempt at quarantining to keep the virus away from my family was all for nothing as well. Logically I realize that this virus is extremely contagious and it will get you even if you’re doing everything right, but the rational part of my brain is not always the one in the driver’s seat.
If there was one positive to come out of all this, it’s the time I gained to reflect on THE LEGACY OF DOMINIC DEEGAN. I am extremely proud of this comic and I’m in it for the long haul. You folks seem to like it, too, as the books I brought to DragonCon sold quite well! But after spending some time away from the proverbial drawing board, my gut is telling me it’s time for a significant shift in its pacing and its stakes. These last three years have had a purposefully chill vibe akin to going for a walk, because that’s exactly where I needed to be as an artist and a storyteller. After the complicated Oracle for Hire years and the constant action of Star Power, I needed to make something that had the chance to breathe and relax. Now I’m feeling the need to start running again. Ease up on the bite-sized hints at the longer narrative and return to shorter chapters with quicker conclusions.
We’ve spent three wonderful years chilling out with Snout. Now it’s time to put him through the real workout.