The dark circles of Covid

By: Daniel Hutchinson

Daniel Hutchinson
From The Hutch

 A knock at the door usually means someone is trying to sell something or save a soul.

It’s hard to get mad at anyone who is just trying to save you from eternal damnation, and door-to-door sales is such a crappy job that I at least start with a polite ‘no thanks’. This is quickly followed by a death stare and then a slow close of the door for dramatic effect.

To combat unwanted door-to-door sales, legislation comes into force on August 16. Basically, you get yourself a ‘Do not knock’ sign and place it on your letterbox or door. Traders who ignore it are liable for a fine of up to $30,000.

It seems like a weird law so I probably won’t get one unless it gets out of control. However, on Wednesday, there is a no-nonsense knock at the door and I feel a flush of annoyance.

Mrs Hutch is in the Covid Suite at the far end of the house, where she has been for a couple of days and I had joined the Covid Club with a positive test only an hour earlier – yay!

The drug deal

As the least offensive of the two of us, I take it upon myself to gingerly open the door and take a step back. Through watery eyes I see a man I have never seen before offering me a bag of drugs.

Now that’s not entirely unusual in my neighbourhood but this person is dressed like a businessman and on closer inspection, I spy a tab of the good stuff in his bag – Strepsils.

So, I cautiously say ‘Umm, hi?’.

It turns out the bag is a care package from the wife’s workplace. There’s cough medicine and anti-virals, vitamins and other goodies in there.

Unsure of the protocols – I feel like there should be a big red ‘C’ painted on the door – we manage a contactless transfer, which vaguely resembles the gift-laying part of a pōwhiri.

It’s okay to cry

I close the door just as a silent tear rolls down my cheek. The care package is a lovely gesture but it certainly doesn’t warrant getting all weepy.

Having spent two-and-a-half years following the latest Covid-19 developments, I’m surprised that I haven’t heard of the watery eyes before.

The tiredness of the last couple of days has also left dark circles under my eyes. Having recently undergone minor surgery on my temple, the overall effect of black eyes and stitches makes me look like an emotional pirate.

I dive into the internet to see what other weird symptoms there might be that nobody has openly discussed.

There are a few things – almost half of people experiencing really bad Covid had some form of hair loss and then there is a thing called Covid nails which affects finger and toenails.

Fortunately, I have to cut this line of inquiry short. Because, as luck would have it, I stumble upon the latest research on the origin of Covid-19 which has just been published.

Something to chew on

And the prime suspect is – drum roll – racoon dogs. The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan is almost certainly where the virus jumped from animals to humans and exhaustive investigations have even pinpointed which part of the market it happened – you guessed it, the part with racoon dogs in it.

There’s a fairly extensive list of proteins to choose from in China and badgers, hares, rats and foxes are also sold at the market. They are suspects too but my money is on the racoon dogs. It would certainly explain the dark circles under the eyes.

A sporting chance

Everyone reacts in different ways to their Covid-19 diagnosis. Some people go into a cleaning frenzy, others seek out the latest Government advice, and the more organised among us do some online grocery shopping before their eyes get too weepy to look at the screen.

Just in case it gets bad, and I lose my upper body strength, I move a big TV into the spare room so I can watch the Commonwealth Games, the cricket and the rugby. I could theoretically watch sport non-stop for five days. But actually, I might just have a snooze now.

daniel@thesun.co.nz