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  • Writer's pictureLona

I Got Covid at Shambhala...

Like you, covid has ruined quite a few things for me. I remember the first big thing it ruined: Shambhala 2020! I cried when I heard they had cancelled it. I knew that no matter what I would be at the next one that happened. I cried again in 2021 when they cancelled. But I kept 2022 in my sights. I didn't even let myself get excited until a couple weeks before to avoid the heavy dismay I might feel if they cancelled again. But the stars aligned for me, and I made a solo trek to my home, Shambhala! Then I got Covid.

I want to give my entire Covid journey here as a way to normalize talking about it, even in the spiritual world. I got my first vaccine shot in the early days of when I was first eligible. Then got the second shot a month later. I even got the booster in December 2021. These were all decisions I made myself. I had no job to tell me what to do. I lost my job literally the day before it was labeled a pandemic. I'm proud of the choice I made. I did all the research and questioned all the things I needed to. I'm also proud of you for whatever choice you made. We have different backgrounds and callings. If you listened to yourself, and questioned everything that you came across, then you are free to make your own choices. This post isn't about vaccines though, it's about how hard Covid hit me!

I was heavily irresponsible with my close personal contact at Shambhala! I was so freaking excited to be there and was totally solo. So, I was left to all my own devious devices! On the first night I made out with 2 guys. Then on the second night I made out with 7 guys. And on the final night I made out with 4! Yes, sadly all guys! I really need to work on my opening lines with women. With men it's easy, I just ask if they want to make out. And I had a 100% success rate with that line at Shambs! If you did the math, I made out with 13 guys over 3 nights. Heavily irresponsible indeed!

I was slated to leave the ranch on Tuesday. The music ends on Monday morning at about 10:30am. I stayed all the way until the end of that last beautiful set (12 straight hours of dancing). I spent Monday sleeping, no more drugs, and got to bed early so I would be ready to leave Tuesday morning. I felt good, albeit tired. Then when I woke up Tuesday morning it felt like I had been hit by a bus. SO tired, took me hours just to get out of bed, headache, body aches, throat so sore, coughing, delirious. I just thought my body was having a reaction to the severe lack of sleep and the drugs. It took me 4 long hours to pack up my camp. I had to keep resting. And it was HOT. I thought, oh it's just the heat. Then I started the solo 9-hour drive home.

The car ride was terrible. I was so out of it, but I pushed through and made it home safe. When I got home, I told my roommate how I felt and he told me to take a covid test. It was the first I had even considered it was Covid... so naive! It was immediately positive. And I was scheduled to leave for a second music festival, Summer Meltdown, AND teach a workshop there in two days! I had to call off the next festival right then. Another crushing heartbreak from Covid! That was the first festival I was supposed to teach Tantra at! Covid always taking things!

Then the crazy started. I woke up the next day feeling even worse! Could barely get out of bed, body aching, throat absolutely screaming, coughing out of control. And I was alone. Somehow, I made it through that day. But that wasn't even the worst. The following day was the worst I've ever felt from a sickness. Maybe worst I've felt ever. It started around 4am, when I woke up sweating and shivering at the same time. I had a glass of water next to me, but I was so weak I couldn't even reach it. My throat felt like it was closing up. The coughs were getting worse. I had to literally yell for my roommate to come help me and get me medicine and calm me down. I was such a mess, just crying and coughing and in pain.

I was able to calm down and get some medicine down to fall back asleep, but it wasn't much better when I woke up. I was so weak I could only lay on the floor. The couch was too upright. I managed to get through the day, just knowing that the only way out was through. When my roommate got home, he was astonished at how bad I looked. He got me some soup and I was finally able to eat something real. I was literally scared to go to bed that night because I didn't want it to be like that morning. When I woke up the next day, it had finally broke. Thankfully, it was only 3 bad days. Well, two bad days and one AWFUL day! I've heard from many people that their symptoms lasted 7 or more days at the bad level.

Honestly, if I even had one more bad day, I would've needed someone to stay home with me, or I would've needed to go to the hospital. I don't know how I would've made it through another day that bad. Even though the bad bad was behind me, I still wasn't healthy. I spent days 4 through 15 just regular sick. Plus, on day 4 I totally lost my sense of smell and taste. That was just strange, but it came back over the next week. The fatigue was overwhelming at points. I couldn't do any work! I couldn't even do yoga or meditate. I was so tired. I don't take naps, like I can't for some reason, but I took so many naps in those 10 days! Then the coughing. I'm still not over the cough and it's day 18. Finally, the diarrhea. I hear with the BA-5 variant this is a common symptom. My stomach felt upset almost all the time. I was always in the bathroom, and nothing I ate made my stomach feel good. It was such a struggle to eat.

Now that I'm feeling about 99% better, I'm just glad to be on the other side of this one! Covid was really serious for me. I know it's not like that for everyone, some better, some worse. But I'm happy that I've gone through this difficult situation. It makes me so grateful for my health and resilience. Although I've lost so many things from Covid, I've actually gained so many things as well! I'm a freaking Tantra Teacher after Covid. I went from selling paint for a Fortune 100 company, to literally living my dreams! Yes, Covid was, and continues to be, one of the hardest things I've gone through. Yet also one of the greatest. The best lessons in life are forged in catastrophe.

INSPIRED ACTION: Journal Prompt! What lessons have you learned from Covid? What hardships have you endured? And what ways can you change how to view it to incorporate all the parts, not just the bad? Really dive into what it's been like to go through the full range of emotions in the pandemic. I want you to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then find what your biggest takeaways are.

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