Coronavirus in the house


One of my favorite urban legends involves author Ernest Hemingway who bet his friends over lunch that he could write a novel in six words. After penning these words on a napkin and passing it around the table, he collected his $10 bet:

For sale, Baby shoes, Never worn.

Today, I think I can beat Hemingway. I can write just two words that will evoke just as much drama and emotion:

Tested positive.

Makes you shiver, right?

Six months ago that phrase did not possess the universal and evil power it evokes today. It is a phrase every person dreads. And, unfortunately, it is now my story.

In some ways, it is weird to be revealing a personal illness on a blog post, but COVID-19 is the world’s illness right now, I suppose … a public conversation. I tested positive after my wife struggled through, and overcame, the virus over a period of about three weeks.

I decided to let you know because most of you follow me across the social media streams and I’m grateful for your attention and support. But content needs context and I’ll probably be showing up in a different way over the next few weeks.

I’ve been writing a lot about the ways we need to be dealing with the current economic, marketing, and personal challenges presented by the coronavirus crisis. It’s probably fair for you to know that the content is coming from a guy who is currently dealing with the illness in his family, and now in himself.

I also wanted to post this because I’m taking a step back from most business activities at least for a week or two so I can devote my full body and mind to healing. I’ll probably be on social media to pass the time, but that will depend on how the next days unfold.

Right now, my symptoms are annoying but manageable:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Dry cough
  • Headache
  • Pressure on my chest (this is weird and unnerving)

My doctor told me the typical pattern to expect is 3-4 days of mild symptoms and then probably worsening symptoms. Since there is no treatment for the disease, the idea is to address the symptoms as best you can and let it roll through your body until you fight through it.

I’ve cleared my schedule with the help of some very understanding business partners and I’m preparing for total bedrest, which is something I have probably never done in my life.

I am in a positive mental state. I have a lot of good things to focus on:

  • I’m so fortunate that my wife got through this before it hit me so we weren’t both sick at the same time.
  • I am strong and healthy
  • I’m not alone
  • I can delay work activities to focus on rest
  • Chances of recovery are high
  • We have supportive family and neighbors (one just dropped off a box of food unannounced!)
  • We have a loving Christian church community behind us

So that’s the story.

Stay home. Wash your hands. Spread love. Be patient. Dispense hope.

See you on the other side.

Note: After more than three weeks of illness, I entered the recovery phase of the disease. Here is the story of my journey through the COVID-19 disease.

Note: I’ve prepared an inspirational, 30-minute virtual presentation designed for weekly team meetings. Filled with inspirational case studies and real-world solutions, it’s called “Fighting to The Other Side”. To learn more, or to bring this to your next meeting, send me a message here.

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

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