“Negative Can Be Positive News,” Aug. 2, 2022

How should I describe this? Try to imagine, if you can, the way it might feel to wake up one morning and realize that, during the night while you slept curled up in your bed, you somehow got hit by an 18-wheeler pulling a double-wide mobile home.

I’d had sniffles for a few days, no fever or cough. Allergies, maybe. To be sure, I did a home test for Covid, waited and prayed for 15 minutes, and was very thankful to test negative. I wasn’t hit by a truck. It was just a cold. Remember the days when a cold was “just a cold”?

Since the start of the pandemic, even the slightest sniffle is enough to make me think maybe it’s time to put my affairs in order. In my case, that would mean cleaning my closet.

After so many months of face masks and social distancing, I can barely remember how it feels to have “just a cold.”

But I’ll never forget the day, about two years ago, when I phoned a friend who was hospitalized with Covid. She sounded so weak I wasn’t sure it was her. But when she heard my voice, she said, “Oh, I’m so glad you called! I am so sick!”

We’d been friends since we were little girls, through good times and bad, and I had never heard her sound so ill. Thankfully, she recovered, not quickly, but completely.

Since that day, I’ve often heard from readers who’ve lost loved ones to Covid. My heart goes out to them. It seems most everyone I know personally has had the virus, and fortunately survived it. My husband and I have tested on several occasions, and always been thankful for good results.

After testing negative a few days ago, I wanted to believe I had “just a cold.” But it kept getting worse. Then, when I woke up yesterday feeling like I’d been hit by a truck, I decided maybe the test had been wrong.

I’ve known several people _ you probably have, too _ who tested negative one day, then positive two days later. So I took another home test. Waited and prayed another 15 minutes. And once again, I was thankful and relieved to test negative.

Yet, the way I felt seemed to say it was not “just a cold.” It was a nasty bug I never wanted to give to anyone. To limit the risk to my husband, I’ve been keeping my distance, sleeping in the guest room, using a separate bathroom and covering my mouth when I cough.

But when he insists on bringing me water or coffee or chicken soup or brownies, I don’t argue. I just say, “Thanks.” He says, “You’re welcome,” and I’m pretty sure he means it.

This morning, I rolled over in the guest bed and reached for a pillow I was given years ago by a friend. One side of it is embroidered with these words: “I love you to the moon and back.” The other side has a pocket for her photo. I took out the photo and, despite how sick I felt, her beautiful smiling face lit me up like Christmas.

In a day or so, if I still feel like I’ve been hit by a truck, I’ll probably get a lab test. And clean my closet. But today I’m feeling well cared for and trusting I’m on the mend.

It’s no fun to feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. But it helps to spend time waiting, praying, being well cared for and getting the glorious gift of good news.

I hope you will never for any reason get sick. If you do, I hope you’re blessed to have someone who loves you enough to bring you water and coffee and chicken soup and brownies.

I hope you take hope knowing countless others have recovered from the same illness you suffer.

Sick or well, I hope you’re surrounded by smiling faces that light you up like Christmas.

And if you or a loved one ever need to test for Covid, I surely hope you’ll get good results.

Negative can be positive news.


  1. Kate Sciacca says

    Remembered you in my prayers the other day… had a feeling something was up. I’ve had “the gift of CoVid” twice now…. Second go round much easier and shorter than the first. I don’t know why, but I’ve honestly seen it as a gift. Anyway, prayers continue. Hope Papa Mark is well…

  2. Good morning Ms. Randall from Up North :-). I hope that you feel much better, but I have to say, with this new variant and sure to come weaker variants, IMO, people are yelling, “The Sky is falling,” over nothing. Both my Wife & I took COVID seriously, masking up, got THREE VAXs, the first two AND the Booster. And we are hoping come Flu VAX time (Sept or Oct) they will have a combo, Flu & COVID Booster. WE ARE NOT ANTI VAX, but I am Anti stupid, LOL. Yes People are still catching COVID, even ones fully VAX’d, but COVID is not going away, just like the COMMON COLD, Flu, (MAYBE A COUPLE OF STDs, LOL), will be here into infinity, so everyone needs to CHILL OUT. If one catches it, unless unless you are very elderly (We are 73, ME, & 70), with underlying MED Conditions), it will not be worst than a bad COMMON cold, or Flu, So like I said, CHILL OUT, live with it, use common sense. My Wife was a Pre School teacher (Pre K 4 yr. olds) for around 40 yrs. and those little germ bags came to school constantly with colds, and I caught them ALL. Some Mothers would actually bring their kid to school who were quite ill with fevers, and the director would have to call one of the parents to come get their GERM BAG.

    Anyway wish you the best, get well. OOPS, I just SNEEZED, better get tested>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>NOT!! 🙂

  3. CHope Hall says

    This is just what I needed to hear. This week has been tough. Our small town only has around 330 households. Two suicides of young people, one death of ALS, another friend in the hospital from several health problems, an older lady died. Next door neighbors on hospice care. We are not young by any means and thankfully we still have each other. My husband spoils me & I spoil him. We have been blessed & are truly thankful. Hopefully you are feeling better soon, let your husband keep spoiling you. It helps. You are blessed & so am I.

  4. I’m going through a tough time with complications from Lyme Disease. I needed to hear this. Thank you. I hope you feel better soon!

  5. This was the right time for this column. Thank you for reminding us all there’s a lot to be thankful for even during scarey times. ❤️❤️

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