The further adventures of Cap’n Corona

James McAllen
4 min readAug 7, 2023


When we last left our intrepid heroes, they were in the midst of their 8th anniversary/vacation/2nd honeymoon in lovely Los Angeles.

We had an great time. Hollywood Hills. Venice Canals. Amazing Sunsets. New Friends. Lunch with cousins. And an abundance of marital bliss.
In short, it was the best week we’ve had in years.

The topper of the week - the cherry on top — was getting to see an 80-year-old Robbie Kreiger of the Doors, play 25 classic Doors songs in the Whiskey-a-Go-Go, the birthplace of the Doors and dozens of other LA Bands. It was in a word, surreal, and the perfect end to a perfect week.

We came back to NY with a smile on our faces and love in our hearts.

Then we landed.

That was the first day that it was 107 degrees with 100% humidity. I was miserable. For two days, I couldn’t breathe and was suffering from a bad case of post-vacation depression, laying about with no energy and even less motivation. Being the life-hardened warrior that I am, I pressed on, returning to work with a phony attitude, and a fake smile plastered on my face. But when I was home, I found myself sleeping 12–14 hours a day. Something was amiss.

Then the body aches started. As someone who went through two previous bouts of Covid, I declared this bout #3. I took a home test.


Low grade fever, headaches, stuffy nose. I was fairly certain that I had Covid, 2023 edition. I missed a few days of work trying to get better, and I called my doctor in the hopes that they would be able to get me in to test me and see what was going on.
They told me that they no longer test people for Covid and that I should go to “treat and release”.
This is the sign of a problem.

My symptoms started to lessen, and by Wed, I was feeling pretty good except for some pressure in my ears. I’ve had lifelong issues with my inner ear, as have many members of my family. It’s part of our curse. Not wanting it to get any worse, I went to the local CityMD to get checked out, and while there, get a proper test for Covid. I was happy to be informed that:
A. My Covid test was negative.
B. I didn’t have any infection in my inner ears.
The problem seemed to be that I had some buildup behind my ear drum which was causing the pressure. He suggest a round of steroids to reduce the swelling.
Terrific. Sign me up!

Two days of prednisone had me feeling invincible. I was racing around the house like a 25 year old. I was thrilled.

On Saturday Morning, I was crushed. 102 degree fever. Couldn’t get out of bed. Severe fatigue. Chills, sweats; urine leaving my body in buckets.
Surely this was Covid.

Another home test.

Now I was at a loss. I spent three days in bed with fever. I was miserable and useless. Once again, I reached out to my Doctor to explain my situation and see if I could get a visit. They called me back a day later to let me know that they had an opening the following day, but I needed to test negative before I came in.

No problem.
I get up at 7am the next day and take a home test.
I call the Dr’s. office, and they explain that they can’t see me.
Evidently, in 2023, Doctors only see healthy people. Sick people have to go to the hospital.
This is also a sign of a problem.
In my case, I get a video visit with a nurse practitioner.
The nurse tells me that the steroid probably weakened my immune system and that allowed the virus to run rampant.


What kind of voodoo witchdoctor nonsense is this? The medicine they gave me, made me sicker? She prescribed me a bunch of things for bad breath, foot bunions and irritable bowel syndrome, but nothing for Covid.
I made the decision to go it alone.

I decided to fight Covid by eating like I was Henry VIII. I devoured everything Val put in front of me. I was ravenous. I don’t know if it helped, but man, can my wife cook.

As the days passed, I got a little better each day. The symptoms went away, and the fatigue lessened to the point where I could start exercising again. The only lingering issue was the pressure in my ears.
And my hearing.
Everything anyone says sounds like a whisper and everything I say, sounds like I’m screaming, so I wind up compensating…
By whispering.
Every conversation sounds like this:

Her: What?
Me: What?
Her: I didn’t hear what you said.
Me: What did you say?

This might be funny for you guys, but it’s not fun for us. It’s only a matter of time before she stabs me with a pencil.

I’ve been Covid free for about 10 days now. Basically, I lost July.
But I’m still not 100% percent. I may be one of those “long Covid” people.
Or I may just be one of those “57-year-old people”.
I’m not sure yet.
I’ll let you know.