I'm afraid to leave the house

After a nasty bout of Covid in mid-September, I lost my sense of taste. Everything I ate seemed like cardboard or drywall. Now, after 3+ months, my tastebuds are back. We have a rampant surge of Covid on the outer Cape. I really don’t want to get sick again - I can handle a week or so of high fever, and respiratory impairment but DON’T MESS AROUND WITH MY TASTEBUDS damnit. I’m masking up like there’s no tomorrow - because what good is tomorrow if you can’t enjoy your food.

This has been a Public Service Announcement.


Covid symptoms are misleading. I had a relatively mild bout in July 2022, with no loss of taste or smell. Mind you, the sawbones scrambled with Paxlovid and the other stuff when I tested positive. It was only much later that I realized that it was probably Covid that was the cause of the damage to my heart.


Yep. That’s how I roll.


This is why I still mask up. I can’t afford heart stuff.


Wow. I’m so sorry for you - thanks for the warning about that. I will take extra caution.


If the medical types are right, then your bout in September should still be shielding you quite a bit.

OTOH, if you can avoid taking chances… avoid taking chances.

And yeah, “Don’t Mess With Tastebuds” is a good motto!


Yay! Glad those taste buds are back. Mine came back and then are now doing some weird wavering thing.


I posted this a few days ago -

and now have another data point. My 2nd daughter made cheesy egg scramble before heading back home this afternoon, using packaged shredded cheese. As she went to take her first bite of scramble, she said the cheese must be moldy. I couldn’t smell it in either the eggs or the bag of cheese (none was visible, but I know from prior experience that we can often smell it before it’s visible).

My wife smelled the bag and said it was a pretty strong mold smell. But I couldn’t smell it. I think I’d trade in the “tarragon detection” to get “mold detection” back.


Yup, it leaves you extremely fatigued and out of breath. As a result, I have done zero baking and minimal cooking this Christmas season. My wife gave me an upscale bottle of Grand Marnier for Christmas, and I have a hankering to make a GM soufflé. We will see if I can muster the energy!


I get take-out. I pick up the take-out while wearing my KN95 mask, then enjoy the food at home, or in a park when it’s nicer weather.

I’ve only met people inside for coffee or tea, when it’s a spacious or empty space, 4 times in the past 2 years. I bring my Aranet4 CO2 monitor with me, and leave if the reading goes over 1250.

We have a really long Take-out in Toronto, May 2023 onwards thread as well as a short Michelin Take-out in Toronto thread running on the Toronto Board.

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Sip some for comfort. I’m not about to get myself in trouble. The one gathering I’ve been to was for a friend in chemo - we all tested the morning of, and many of us masked anyway.


I have a CO2 monitor in my condo; lets me see who well my ventilation and air filters are working.

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The CO2 monitor measures exhaled breath. If you’re on your own, the level will probably be 600-750 inside. 450 outside. When our 3 dogs are nearby, and 3 of us are in the kitchen, the CO2 is around 1000 -1100, so I’ll often crack a window.

It’s mostly useful to know if you’re visiting a public space with poor ventilation, since other people’s breath can hang around inside for hours after they have left the building in a poorly ventilated space. One of my favourite bakeries has a covered, plastic- sealed heated patio in the winter where people have breakfast or brunch. There is no indoor restaurant, just the sealed patio from October to May, open ventilated covered patio from May to October. No ventilation in the cold weather. The reading was 2200 on 2 visits, which is not safe.

The air filters or purifiers won’t remove CO2, but they should remove dust , allergens and some pathogens.

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I can take it with me if I go some place. I’m not worried about the CO2 readings as CO2, and I know my masks do nothing for CO2, I’m worried about air exchange in crowded, poorly ventilated spaces (which the monitor illustrates)- and what it means for Covid exposure.

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That’s how I use it, to know when a lot of other people’s breath is likely around me.


Mask, takeout or outdoor dining, Aranet4 with a 1000-1200 upper limit for us if spacious/empty in the approximately 5 times we couldn’t avoid being indoors in the past few years. Just wanted to let you know you’re not alone in that strategy. I hope it continues to serve you well!


So far, so good! I’m glad it is working for you, too.

I don’t really enjoy most dining indoors anymore. I don’t miss it so it isn’t hard to avoid it.


I use N95s (which thankfully I had a supply of before this pandemic and therefore didn’t struggle when they were scarce or otherwise unavailable) and a face shield.

My gastroenterologist had asked a couple of years ago where I got it and I told him Amazon. :joy: He said it was the same they use in the surgical suites.

And I have enough food and supplies to last me for a couple of years at least.

Is this overkill? Don’t think so since it only takes one case to result in what I’ve read as “long covid” or worse.
Plus I have at least two “pre-existing conditions”. :roll_eyes::grimacing:

I did have some sincere joy giving away some face shields. Every now and then someone would ask me where I got the shield and I’d tell them, and then just give them the one I was wearing, or the extra I had in my vehicle. :smiling_face:

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” -
Bob Kerrey :smiling_face:


We’re in San Diego, and a lot of restaurants used incentives to expand already plentiful outdoor dining, so it hasn’t been a hardship here. Our minimal traveling, though, has presented some problems, so I’m glad of the CO2 monitor.