Man with a Hacksaw Cough

I am a man with a hacksaw cough.

Rattling lungs. Drippy nose. I sound like a tractor. Like a lawnmower that won’t start. One cough leads to another. I’m an unpleasant sight. Unpleasant sound too, I guess.

My Covid symptoms are pretty straightforward. A runny nose. Exhaustion. And, like I wrote, a hacksaw cough. I’m on day eight or nine as I write this blog. I can’t imagine what this would be like without the vaccine. It’s pretty ugly with it.

I haven’t done a whole lot of anything over the past few days. Sleep. Read. Reply to email.

I hope these symptoms go away soon. Otherwise, put me in a shawl and leave me in the backyard. Bring out your dead. Bring out your Sam.


Oh, it’s not that bad. I feel fortunate I caught this thing after I had the vaccine. Boosted as all get out. I’m still a little annoyed.

I went two years without catching Covid. As safe as safe could be. The safest. And yet here we are. The spring of 2022. My final month in Happy Valley. And I’m teeming with Covid.

My son Solomon brought it home from school. That’s my best guess. He tested positive before the rest of us. It took about two weeks for State College schools to end the mask mandate for Solomon to get it. My wife Katie caught it next. Then my other child Samson. Then me.

My symptoms are worse than theirs. I guess I’m the oldest, so that makes sense. Solomon was running around the house screaming in no time. And Katie was fine after losing her sense of smell. And Samson barely had a cough.

Then there’s me. Hacksaw Sam.

I’m trying to drink fluids. Trying to take it easy. Praying this 41-year-old body recovers. I’ve got travel coming up. For work. Teaching workshops in North Carolina. And we’re moving to Iowa City soon. Lots to do. But Covid isn’t having any of it.


I would have preferred to have never have caught this thing. But I guess that’s becoming increasingly unlikely for people. Seems like more people in the United States than not have got it. Talk about an infected country.

So let this be a brief journal entry about a man with a hacksaw cough. He escaped Covid for the last two years, only to be taken down in April of 2022. It was a good run well it last. Now I’m just another poor sap teeming with virus. Send horse tranquilizers. Isn’t that what people are using for medicine these days?

Just kidding. Don’t send anything. I think I’ll be fine.

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