Before I got Covid in May 2022, I spent a lot of time playing flute, tin whistle, and Celtic harp in Irish sessions in crowded corners of crowded bars.... or jamming in house parties with other musicians... or performing concerts alone or with other musicians.
Now I have very little energy and a lot of unexplained pain.
I spend a lot of time resting and waiting for some energy to build up so I can do another thing.
There is no medical treatment yet, just a few off-label drugs and supplements that some of us have discovered can help for some symptoms.
Scary fact: 60% of long-haulers will get worse after another bout of Covid.
But because the rest of the world stopped doing anything to avoid getting Covid, those of us in this situation have to work twice as hard to avoid it.
So I rarely play with other musicians, and never in the crowded corner of a crowded bar. I also don't eat in restaurants, go to indoor parties, get on airplanes, or go to rock concerts. I never play the flute or tin whistle, which are my main instruments, close to other musicians. I've been playing the flute for 45+ years and now I can't play it in the same room as another musician unless they are wearing a mask.
It's heartbreaking. Isolating. An existential loss of identity.
But for some reason, Covid left me with a new fascination with colors.
I've never cared about colors. I've never done art or anything artsy.
But now I put colors on rocks. And lines, too.
Painting rocks doesn't drain my energy. It's a meditation. Sometimes it's an expression of just how cranky it feels to be this way.
I have no idea why this happened but am so grateful that it did.