How to be sick with Covid:

Lay in bed with your head higher than your chest. Don’t lay in bed. Stay in. Go out. Feed yourself. Don’t eat a lot. Eat this, not that.

My symptoms turned up a notch. Fever. Coughing up blood. Dry cough. Nose bleeds.

Before I came to Europe, I bought specialized travel health insurance, even though my regular health insurance mostly covers me when I travel. There were three tiers of payment for the travel insurance company I chose: I decided to go for the top tier—since I am close to a war zone. If something happens, they will airlift me out.

I like that it’s their responsibility to get me out of here.

But the literature was confusing when it comes to Covid. I tried reading through it again, but couldn’t tell whether or not I would be covered if my symptoms got worse. I wanted them to help me find a doctor if I needed one. Should I make an appointment now for next week and then cancel it if I don’t need it?

I emailed the company, assuring them this was not an emergency. They emailed back right away and called me a few minutes later. I talked to the guy in charge of Covid cases.

He said, “I see you wrote bloody nose. Did you mean runny nose?”

He said he’d never had anyone else with issues of blood with Covid. (I looked online. It’s there.)

He said he could get me to a clinic in an hour—which he recommended, or I could wait to see if the symptoms go away on their own.

I opted to wait.

He put a note into the computer that we talked and logged my symptoms.

I relaxed. Good. They will take care of any medical arranging if I need help. Good. Good. Good.

I talked with my sister on a video chat as she prepared her art for the gallery. We named her paintings and decided how they would hang in the gallery. And then I talked to my friend Anne on another video chat who diagnosed my brain fog and suggested I let her do the talking for now.

I decided to order food in, but was too tired to deal with the ordeal of me not speaking Polish, needing gluten-free food and getting someone to deliver the food to my room. If I were feeling strong, this would be no problem. From within my Covid brain fog, it was too much to figure out. So I ate the rest of my snacks.

Then I got mad at myself for not ordering food.

I decided to reach out to one of the volunteers to ask someone to bring me food, but didn’t have the brain power to deal with that, either. What did I want to eat? No idea. What restaurant did I want to order from? No idea. A friend would know what to bring me. A new friend would have no idea.

So I took a nap and had nacho dreams: running out of nachos, spilling nachos all over the couch and nachos that were too spicy to eat.

I don’t even like nachos.

I know I am going to be fine. Truly. By the end of the day the bloody episodes stopped--hopefully for good.

It’s good to know that if I need help, the travel insurance company will arrange everything. In fact, if I need a doctor I think they can get me in to see one faster in Poland than if I were home.

That’s worth the extra tier.





Thanks for reading.



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Holly Winter Huppert stands with a woman in the Mountains of Turkey.

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Holly Winter Huppert Kington, NY


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