07/06/22 – Not Leaving

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, July 6, 2022.




So, despite much efforts for the last two years to avoid it, I finally ended up getting Covid. I tested positive on Thursday.

I had fever, dizziness, phlegmy sore throat, etc pretty strongly, but it ebbed steadily (fever only lasted two days). I attribute luck of whatever variant I got, my body’s reaction, and having the vaccine for my mild turn of it.

“Fortunately” I knew I’d been exposed on Monday, so I worked hard to have the comic done through the weekend, and hoped I’d recover to do tonight’s strip in time. I wasn’t sure if I’d pull it off, and it’s still a little hard to think straight, but I kept at it. And voila!

Be well. Stay safe. Fight the good fight. Love the good love.


  1. Jude

    I’m glad you weren’t *that* sick, Christopher, and you’re recovering fast but it still sounds miserable to me, especially since I don’t even get colds. But please, no one will ever EVER mind if you have to “call in sick” and miss one or more strips. We’re your faithful readers – not your slave-drivers!

  2. Tom Wentzel

    So sorry to hear you caught the crud, after 2+ years of carefully avoiding it. My partner and I have remained COVID-free so far, but I see how we’re in a rapidly-diminishing minority, with friend after friend around us having caught it for the first time within the past couple months. We too are very thankful for the vaccines and boosters, and we continue to take care.
    I echo Jude in saying I’m glad you weren’t sick for long, and I hope you fully recover quickly. And I also echo Jude in saying we’d all be very understanding if you had to take a break. Thank you for all you do!

  3. Coyoty

    I wonder what she can make with those…

    “Why, I can make a hat or a brooch or a pterodactyl…”

    Surely it’s some kind of gun.

    “Maybe… And don’t call me Shirley.”

  4. KQY61

    Sorry to hear you have it. Glad to hear you have it now that it has become so mild vs what it was in the summer of 2019. I had Alpha then. The breathing issues were terrible. And the medical world was turning its back on those who had it for almost an entire year since they had no clue at all. One of these days, they will figure out how to kill the thing. I have been part of a research study since March 2020 and they are making progress.

  5. Sounds like Omicron. I had it back in January and my brother and his girlfriend got it last week and that’s pretty much how it manifested. One thing to note is the fact you will feel “not at 100%” for about two weeks after the symptoms cease, but you’ll then snap back to normal. In my case I could draw perfectly fine, but not do any heavy lifting, which was unfortunate timing because I had to help my mom with moving furniture…

    Also, interesting to note that a lot of the comic artists I follow seem to have gotten it at this exact moment.

  6. Demarquis

    “So sorry to hear you caught the crud, after 2+ years of carefully avoiding it.”

    That’s so true! One of my kids got it about a month ago. We almost made it!

  7. Muzhik

    As someone who had Covid back in January of 2019, when it first hit my area, I can tell you to start taking extra vitamin D, if you’re not already taking it. I credit that with reducing the severity of my symptoms. In fact, I kept telling people I didn’t have Covid, it was only a mild flu, mild because I’d had my flu vaccine earlier in the season. (I also knew it wasn’t Covid, because I wasn’t in the hospital dying, which is what all the media were telling people would happen.)

    Interesting note on WHY I was taking vitamin D: I had recently read about how men my age needed to increase their vitamin D because it reduces inflammation; and how a majority of adults in the US are vitamin D deficient. IIRC, it’s like 45% of Caucasians, 60% of African-Americans, and 80% of Latinos are deficient in vitamin D. So I started taking 1,000 units (1 pill) every day, and the next time I saw my doctor I asked for a vitamin D level. Three days later my doctor called and said I was vitamin D deficient, and told me to start taking more!

    So here’s a tip to all you men and women out there “of a certain age”: next time you see your doctor, if your insurance will cover it, ask for a vitamin D level test. The results might surprise you.

    1. @Muzhik. Totally. My D levels are in the healthy range. My levels (recently testet) ARE slightly on the low side, but I’m kinda maxing out the recommended supplement limit (and it’s just as dangerous to go higher). Sigh. I guess I should eat more mushrooms and spend more time in the sun. And continue wearing a mask an avoid people indefinitely.

      1. Muzhik

        Getting more sun is best, IMHO. Part of the problem with people having low vitamin D levels in this country is that we have become so paranoid about getting skin cancer that we’ll use SPF 1000 sun screen whenever we go out. This will prevent your skin from creating any vitamin D.

        I understand people who need to use some kind of sunblock, but you can still get enough vitamin D if you go outside in the sun for 15 minutes early in the morning or late in the day without using any sunblock. This should provide enough sunlight for your body to make enough vitamin D for most people.

        Another problem, especially with kids, is that they are no longer greatly encouraged to go outside in the sunshine and play whenever possible, AND they’re not drinking as much milk as they used to. Most milk sold in the US still has some vitamin D added, but as they get older kids start switching to sugared drinks like “SunnyD” (aka “Sunny Delight” — NOT a significant source of vitamin D)

    2. Meran

      I was born with rickets, caused by a natural deficiency, was given 10,000 units once a week for months. Cured it.
      As a result, when I had an opportunity to take nursing classes, I found out that ~anyone born north of the Mason-Dixon line will have more of a problem as she ages than anyone born below it (more dense clouds than not, I guess). California is fine, Oregon is not.

      You don’t have to take it daily, once a week is fine, but yeah, more than the RDA. The RDA, btw, was based on healthy 25 yrcold Californians… so it’s artificially lower than the normal American already.

      My hubs and I still haven’t had it. We wear masks whenever we go out, but don’t go out except for needed errands. And because of my history, I already take it a couple times/ week. I still don’t like masks, but I think I’d like COVID less, so …

      We do most appts over the web, same with social stuff. Ppl have gotten used to it now, you’re not considered strange.

      And yes, our friends who we’ve not seen for ages are now getting it. Many times, back to back. (Which makes me wonder if it’s not the same occurrence, tbh)

      Long term effects are still TBD. It’ll take TIME (lol), of course.

      So! Quit being social! Do more drawing! If you must go out, wear the mask!

      You know the drill ????

      And I’m glad you didn’t get it too badly. An overweight friend got it (he works in adult homes for the incapacitated), and didn’t get the all clear to even leave his bed for 2 weeks! Not sure that the excess weight mattered, but he’s also diabetic. I’m sure the meds don’t help either.

  8. TB

    It’s educational to see how places that have almost gone off the deep end to “avoid” COVID are doing right now. Like Australia.

    I didn’t get it until the end of April, and had few symptoms besides a nagging cough. My daughter (who had it over Christmas) helped us with groceries and such. Even though I wasn’t feeling all that bad, it’s still bad form to go out and about with it. Of course, that’s true for any communicable disease.

  9. Jay

    Yeah, I’d avoided it also but we took a cruise couple weeks ago and on the last two days I started feeling crappy. Tested at home and I was positive. Never had more than a degree of temperature, really just like a bad cold, and I’m an old fart.

    Yes, I was taking precautions throughout the cruise.

  10. Night-Gaunt

    COVID22 like its predecessors is relentless. Sorry it got to you too, glad it is mild. Just don’t make it a habit since those who keep catching it are experiencing “long COVID” now.

    Avoided it so far though the longer it is around the greater chance of being infected eventually.

  11. Asyncytial

    Sorry to hear you caught COVID. It is, however, great that you’ve avoided getting it for so long. Please note that having suffered it once already does not, and will not, prevent you from becoming infected again. It’s very important you avoid getting it again – I’ve been reading up on the scientific literature, and… let’s just say reinfections are very bad news.

    See, every time you catch SARS-CoV-2, it seems to cause a lasting reduction in T cell counts (constituting a form of lymphocytopenia); this reduction seems to accumulate with every additional infection, causing ever-increasing immunodeficiency. So far as I can tell, it is not yet known whether this effect is permanent or not.

    There are several factors contributing to this – among them, viral superantigens and interactions between immune cells & syncytia – but the upshot is that almost everyone who suffers several SARS-CoV-2 infections winds up being severely immunocompromised at least temporarily, possibly permanently.

    Immune system damage is just the tip of the iceberg. I won’t go into detail, but SARS-CoV-2 (especially in cases of repeated infection) also has a tendency to cause wide-ranging neurological issues, from peripheral nervous system disorders to brain damage and strokes… oh, and a whole host of blood clotting issues (both hypo- and hyper-coagulation, seemingly dependent on individual genotype).

    I highly recommend you use the best available respiratory protection going forwards; at very least, something comparable to an N95 mask – although ideally I would advise the use of (in ascending order of protection): N100, R100, or P100 disposable masks; or an elastomeric respirator fitted with N100, R100, or P100 filters. Of the latter, I might recommend the GVS SPR643 (which comes with a pair of filters) or 3M 6000-series (which does not come with filters – those must be bought separately) half-mask respirator systems.

    Hope it helps – and best of luck with your recovery! Stay safe out there.

    1. MrScott

      With you on using good masks and the importance of avoiding (re-)infection.

      The only problem with valved respirators is while they filter incoming air well, and seal really well to your face (if fitted), they do not filter the exhaust – allowing you to spread the virus in the time between getting it and having symptoms, when you may be most infectious.
      OTOH if you don’t get it, you can’t spread it.

      1. Asyncytial

        Ah, that is partly why I mentioned the GVS SPR643 (it’s a valveless elastomeric) and 3M 6200 (it is valved, but supports an exhalation filter – the 604).

        Also, on washing masks: yes, I use a combination of isopropanol wipes (they’re safe for my respirator, I checked) and a small UV-C germicidal lamp (fast, kills basically everything, cheap).

  12. Seymour

    Two giant corks might work well to embed the monsters prong-arms into to make them less threatening. And a burrito, well that’s just delicious.

    Get well soon Chris.

  13. Gabriel

    Glad your sickness is passing well!

    Always love your work! Remember when you were wondering what story to do after the epic style of The Human Seat? Well, I think you’ve done great coming up with funny, thoughtful things to say:)

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