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Enter the Virus




Evening Times Editor W ell, it took 18 months but it finally found us. Last Friday night, my wife and I went out with our daughter and her boyfriend over in Memphis for dinner and to pick out some new fish for my daughter’s aquarium. It was a fairly uneventful trip, finished off with a quick stop over at Cheesecake Corner.

If you’re familiar with the Cheesecake Corner, you know this is quite a treat. We, of course, complied with both common sense and the Shelby County mandate and all donned our face masks before entering. My wife inhaled deeply and commented about how good the aroma coming from the cheesecakes was. And yes, even through the masks, you could smell all the fruity, chocolatey, sugary goodness. Except …

“I don’t smell anything,” my daughter said.

We all gave her a little side-eye, and her boyfriend even quipped “She’s got the ’rona!”

Honestly, we didn’t really give it much thought after that, what with getting all busy trying to decide which of the more than a dozen flavors of cheesecake we all wanted to take home with us to eat while we played Marion Golf. We each made our selections and loaded back in my wife’s Explorer to go home.

Well, we got home and dug into our desserts. That was when my daughter made another disturbing comment.

“This just tastes like straight-up sugar,” she said.

This was more than a little alarming, as I’ve had their lemon cheesecake and it does not, in fact, taste like straight-up sugar. I, of course, was nice enough to try it myself, and it was definitely lemon flavored. I smelled it before taking a bite.

“It smells super-lemony,” I assured her. “Tastes super- lemony, too.”

My wife, ever the mother, took baby-girl’s temperature. It was normal. We all just shrugged.

“I guess it wouldn’t hurt to take her to get tested in the morning,” I said. It wouldn’t be absurd to be concerned. Half of her high school volleyball team at the Academies of West Memphis has been in quarantine all week because one of their players tested positive for COVID-19. My daughter has been vaccinated, so under the ADH and CDC guidelines, she was not required to quarantine. But it had been more than a week since she and the player in question had been together, so we weren’t too worried.

Well, my wife had to get up early that morning for a singing engagement with Jubilation Jazz out of town. Maybe you saw them perform at the Jazz on the Square event at the Marion Courthouse back in July? Anyway, with her out of pocket, it fell to me to get our child to get tested.

But before we went to all that trouble, I had to perform some tests of my own. She assured me she could not smell anything, but I put her through a jug of vinegar, a bottle of bleach, a spritz of my cheapest cologne and a few other things. Sure enough, she said she smelled nothing. And nothing tasted right. She could taste sweet things but most other foods were basically flavorless. Sigh..

We stopped by Marion Minor Medical a little before 11 a.m. We called from the parking lot to tell them we needed a test (which is their procedure). They told us they had “stopped doing COVID testing for the day,” 5which was weird to me, even though they close at noon on Saturday.

So, we headed across town to Mitchell Family Medicine. Somehow, they, too, had “stopped COVID testing for today, because we had so many this morning.” It was pretty frustrating, but we were determined to get her tested. Walgreens wasn’t testing unless you scheduled an online appointment. So, we scheduled one, but it wasn’t until the next day. In the meantime, I found an at-home testing kit at Kroger, so we went with that.

You basically swab yourself and wipe the swap on this little strip. It’s like a pregnancy test … one line means you’re negative, two lines means you’ve got yourself a case of the coronavirus. We got home and administered the test. It says on the box you need to wait up to 15 minutes, but we did not have to wait that long. In less than 5 minutes, the second little pink line began to appear. It just kept getting darker.

“Well, then,” my daughter sighed.

So, since then, she’s been at home, under quarantine, driving me nuts. Fortunately, she still feels fine, except for a little sniffle and being a little more tired than usual. We’ve informed all of our other family members to stay away, and hopefully, my wife and I can avoid getting it. And hopefully, her symptoms don’t get any worse. In the meantime, we’re sitting on the couch (opposite ends, of course), catching up on all our shows and playing Nintendo.

Stay safe, everyone.

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