A new day dawned this morning. No surprise. After all, scientists have predicted we earthlings have at least five billion years before our sun turns in its future retirement notice. Not that people will be around by then, except maybe in spirit form. The way world politics continues to head, I sometimes wonder if humankind will even manage to survive five hundred years. Unless we learn to permanently disengage the nuclear war button and permanently engage the “Save Our Planet” one. Soon.
My new day included reaching the ten-day milestone that I likely can’t transmit my remaining bits of Covid-19 to others if I follow basic precautionary measures. That aggressive virus made me cough like my lungs would fly out my mouth while my brains shot out my ears. Yikes! Yes, I’ll still wear a mask in public places. Yes, I’ll still practice social distancing and avoid groups that are large or contain vulnerable people. I don’t plan to return to church in person for several weeks. And I’ll chill out for an appropriate while before visiting unvaccinated family members or friends. Or before going to in-person medical appointments. But with the help of vaccinations, boosters and antivirals, I’ve been blessed with this new day, and hopefully, many more to come.
More new days to exercise my body so I can keep walking. More new days to write so I can keep thinking. More new days to communicate with the people I love.
Way back in the early 1960s, I decided to study microbiology in college. The microbial world contains countless “friends” of humankind. Such organisms help us digest our food. They colonize parts of our bodies so their nastier neighbors can’t easily take over the territory. Unfortunately, sometimes the line between friend and foe stretches mighty thin, particularly in the immunocompromised.
But for now, my wonderful allergic-to-so-many-things immune system hasn’t forgotten how to mount a defense against ruthless invaders. I thank it and my hardy resident microbiome for protecting my “castle walls” through my recent bout with Covid-19.
Have you talked to your microbes and white blood cells lately? Thanked them for a job well done? At least take the time to nod and smile.
Laurel Anne Hill
Author and Former Underground Storage Tank Operator
(Who also talks to her plants.)