Both my wife Sarah and I assumed we would feel better today. We were wrong. In some ways, we feel worse.

We are Day 6 into COVID-19 at our house, which I announced to New Bern Post readers yesterday.

I had a freelance assignment due on Wednesday that I got moved to Thursday, then without permission moved it to Friday before finally turning it in just a few minutes ago, late Saturday morning.

I worked between coughing fits and bouts of exhaustion before I was finally able to click “save”, “attach”, and “send.” I have just enough energy left to update readers about COVID-19 at the Foster house.

Sarah told me she had a rough night sleep. I did, too, but I slept downstairs in my office, hoping that I would be able to pound out the freelance article I was working on.

Sarah joined me sometime during the night and we both slept poorly on the futon next to my desk. I woke up at 5 a.m., took care of the dogs, took a bath, and tried again to finish my assignment.

Sarah was feeling achy with a headache when she woke up. Her coughing fits happen when she sleeps. Mine happen when I’m awake.

The coughing fits are relentless and last for an hour or so, with bursts of continuous coughing between 5 to 20 minutes that leave me drained and with a headache all its own.

I am taking several over-the-counter medications and one prescription inhaler, but I found the most effective thing is a wet washcloth over my nose and mouth. It was a method I figured out when I was in Marine Boot Camp, where I contracted pneumonia AND measles at the same time.

Something about the cool, moist air from the washcloth soothes the coughing response.

For the moment, I’m not coughing, but I have come to fear the next bout.

It is noon and Sarah is sleeping peacefully. As soon as I publish this I hope to join her. The picture with this article was shot a few minutes ago and yes, I am wearing the same shirt I wore yesterday. I am typing this on my iPad on a small couch at the foot of our bed.

Our friends have kept us well stocked with food—homemade chicken soup, mashed potatoes with beef gravy and green beans, and a $100 gift card from Panera. Several more friends have offered and are on hold.

Our friends are the best.

I am writing this not to evoke sympathy from readers but to help people have a better understanding about COVID-19. The numbers of sick and dead put out by government are faceless and few people who have been through this have come forward to describe the experience.

Don’t pity me; learn from me. I was careful to avoid this, but not careful enough.

Yesterday, I ranked this 5th on my list of illnesses in my lifetime. Today I rank it 3rd. It’s hard to beat pneumonia AND measles AND Marine Boot Camp. Number 2 was when I had an inflamed colon when I was 6; they say you can’t remember pain, but I remember THAT pain.


  1. Hoping for a quick recovery All the Best
    Mike Duffy

  2. I am wishing that each day allows you and Sara to feel better. You are the first people I can say I actually know who have been affected by COVID, and given that people can be carriers without having any symptoms makes it difficult to feel confident about being out in the public for long. Try to get some rest.

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