Odd

2020, Photography, thoughts

Odd, as strange or unexpected. That is how March 28 eventually turned out to be.

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We all live in strange times this year. And some families have been hit hard, really hard, with a virus called Covid-19 a.k.a. Coronavirus. Lockdown, social distancing, toilet paper, ICU’s, doctors, nurses, deaths, many deaths, uncertainties, pneumonia, China, Italy, Spain, disturbing low oxigen levels, UK, the States, mad man, more deaths, clapping, testing, shortness of breath, masks, post poned, canceled, more mad men, high fever, herd immunity, financial crisis, unemployment, and strange blood clots.

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I had been feeling kind of sick since mid February, and while the news picked up about the Coronavirus, it kept on working. On February 27 apparently patient zero was identified in the Netherlands (later specialists estimated that the virus was already here mid February). On March 9 we were told in the Netherlands to not shake hands anymore, to cough or sneeze in your elbow, wash your hands for 20 seconds, and to use disinfectant. Still more patients came into ICU’s and on March 11 more precautions were taken.

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On March 11 I started a training at work. That night Trump ordered a travel ban for Europeans to the States, and quarantine countermeasures for Americans returning home. Our American trainer hastly left the hotel and returned to the US forgetting us to inform us she abruptly left.

So March 12 turned out to be my last day at the office. From March 15 we were ordered to work at home. Schools, colleges, and universities were closed. The next week I lost smell and taste. Sometimes I coughed and I lost my voice. I had no fever though and very little shortness of breath. So nothing to worry about, but from March 26 I felt to sick to work.

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I was mostly tired, still didn’t smell and taste that much, and had a general sense of illness. March 28 I regurarly walked against tables and chairs. Not really disturbing at all, it was just odd. Later Saturday night I got a headache, started to feel uncomfortably tired, and all I wanted to do is sleep. Everything happened in slow motion in my head. I could talk, but talked like a drunken man according to my wife. She was worried, but since I was sick she gave me rest and I immediatelly felt a sleep on the couch.

Later that night I informed here I felt better and that it all felt okay in my head. On Sunday March 29 she still was cautious. Cause my son had a stroke late 2015 they requested me to come to the hospital.

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There I underwent numerous tests and they told me I had a mini-stroke, a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). Probably because I had no short breathness that didn’t test me for Covid-19 at that time. The CT-scan, the electrocardiogram, blood test, it all took a lot of time. It became an odd evening.

Now I think I may be fortunate enough, and after four weeks of being mostly exhausted I’m gaining strength and more awareness. I have no headaches anymore, walk and cycle a lot, and enjoy photography again. I don’t feel that odd anymore.

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So stay safe, look after one another, and be kind to each other. Peace.

25 thoughts on “Odd

  1. I am glad you’re on the mend. Had to look up what TIA meant. Current state of affairs is not ideal to keep us unstressed.

    Stay safe!

    1. Well, now you know. A TIA is just a mini-stroke. Apparently with less to null damage. It could either be an alarm for more to come, like a stroke. Sometimes the origin of a stroke, or in my case a mini-stroke, will never be found. I suspect that will happen with me since no traces in my neck vessels could be found. Alarming though are the signals that Covid-19 and bload clots could be a more common combination. Well Geza, time will tell. Stay safe too.

  2. Odd indeed.
    Lack of smell & taste are reported to be common early symptoms of COVID19! Haven’t heard of them connected to TIA, maybe they are.
    Get well soon!

    1. While these times are strange, it brings a form of solidarity too in my opinion. When I walk or cycle we carefully try to distance ourselves. Since it feels so impersonal I notice that people greet each other more often. That said, I still try to avoid doing groceries.

  3. I’m so happy to read that you’re on the mend Wouter! Thanks for sharing this with us, both photographs and the whole experience. People up here in Jutland are greeting and looking out for each other more during the lockdown too.

    1. Thank you Brett. Here in the Netherlands we’re all looking at Denmark since opening the schools again. It is good to now that people are looking after each other. I really hope this is universal.

  4. Sorry you have been unwell. I had covid 19. A moderate version. When the coughing came, I was in a LOT of pain….but I did eventually recover.

    1. I’m sorry you’ve been unwell too Gavin. I’m glad you did recover, but I read you’ve still been going through rough times. I do know how that feels though. I just hope you believe there is always light that makes it worth living for. Stay safe Gavin.

  5. Glad to hear that you’re better and also that you started photographing and blogging again.
    We certainly live in strange times at the moment and hope you and your family are safe and stay healthy.
    Take care Wouter!

    1. Thank you Christian. You know what keeps me going? Thinking about all the beautiful and interesting people I’ve met through photography. And you’re part of that too.
      My family is safe and we’re all doing a tremendous job. I’m really proud and fortunate. We try to make life simple and basic again, so we can do this.
      I hope you’re fine too.

  6. Wouter >>> wow! >>> three things to say, really. First, I am extremely glad to hear that you are on the mend, that you are ok again.

    Second, I have to say that this is an extremely striking and gripping post, quite possibly one of the best in these respects that I have ever seen. A lot of this is personal to you, obviously, but I greatly admire the way you kept photographing throughout. And I very much like your second paragraph, full of words about The Now, the paragraph below the “Spain” image – very well done indeed!

    Lastly, I want to tell you how much I admire – and have always admired – your photography. So many of your pictures seem to have that extra little, meaningful something. It is always with a sense of great anticipation that I look at your posts. Stay safe, my friend! Adrian 🙂

      1. Yes, Wouter, thanks, we’re ok, taking many precautions, and feeling a bit down and depressed, but we’re hanging on in there. Looking forward to seeing more of your photography! Adrian 🙂

  7. Dear Wouter,

    Glad you’re feeling better! I’m behind on my RSS reader, so I’m only reading/seeing this now. Whatever that “oddity” was, I hope it is gone for good and you’ll be feeling better and better.

    All the best for you and your family
    Fabian

  8. Hi, Wouter. Sorry to know about your predicament and I’m glad you are feeling better now. Strange days indeed we live. It´s like “strange” has become the new normal. All the best for you, your familly and your photography.

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