I am not saying how far the young lady stuck the Q-Tip thingy down my nostril, but I distinctly felt a tickle around my hemorrhoid region. One day later another young lady called me and told me I had COVID. How they can tell that from a hemorrhoid swab I’ll never know.

I had not been feeling well for a day or two, so my wife, Marianne, brought down one of my shotguns from the wall, loaded it, pointed it in my general vicinity and forced me into the car. This is fairly standard protocol in getting me to go to a health care provider. Instead of the doctor, she drove me to a Covid testing center. It was a tent in a library parking lot.

A little known fact about Covid testing centers is they are designed to demonstrate to people who still remember what television was like before cable what technologically impaired troglodytes we are. Instead of using a pen and a piece of paper to register (like God intended), they wanted me to register using my cell phone. My standard approach to requests of this nature is to call on one of the kids and have them do it for me. In this case, there were no kids, so I had to steel myself, call upon my can do spirit and hand my phone to my wife. After a whole lot of button pushing and a few unladylike phrases, she announced I was registered.

That done, I met the young lady with the cotton swab who, by all indications, had fantasies about being a medieval jouster. Let’s just say, when she thrusts a swab down a nostril, she thrusts a swab down a nostril.

The nurse who called me the next day asked all sorts of questions and told me all sorts of things. Most of what she said was a blur, mainly because I was pretty sick and it was hard to focus. What stopped me short is when she said, “You have to quarantine yourself for ten days.”

“You mean stay home for ten days?”

“Yes sir.”

Having just watched the local fishing report, I asked her if they made exceptions to the quarantine rule in the event they are catching stripers, white perch and large mouth bass in shallow water coves at Lake Murray, South Carolina on brown jigs with glitter?

There was a moment of silence. “I don’t think so,” she said.

“So are you saying I have to use a different color jig or are they just against glitter?” I asked.

She explained that she meant I had to stay home regardless of lure choice or something to that effect.

Ten days at home? No fishing? My life passed before my eyes. What about my fishing addiction? My hands broke into involuntary casting motions. My body trembled and it had nothing to do with my illness.

I would have to turn to the methadone of fishing addicts – fishing shows. My kids somehow have YouTube playing on my television. I can control things through my remote, just like normal television. Ten days. I would watch every fishing show I could find. I went into my fishing isolation grimly holding my remote and a bottle of cough syrup.

For the record, I would personally like to find all the people who claim Covid is the equivalent of catching the sniffles and in a sincere and heartfelt way, beat them unconscious with a boat paddle. All I can say is try Covid with a bad heart and diabetes. Never in my life have I felt that miserable. I found myself constantly praying for death. Not mine, but the ‘sniffles’ crowd.

I got to where I couldn’t even watch my fishing shows. When you are too sick to watch fishing, brother you are sick.

My wife finally hauled my quivering carcass to an urgent care facility and it didn’t even require a shotgun. It was just as well. I am not sure I would have even noticed if she shot me. Next thing I know, I am getting what they call a BAM infusion. It is supposed to be some kind of non-FDA certified miracle remedy that alleviates the symptoms of Covid. They only give it to high-risk patience (probably defined as people too sick to watch fishing shows).

It took a day or so, but I actually felt like a human being again. I became a serious student of fishing videos. If the bubonic plague ever comes around again, I might just watch enough videos to turn pro.