COVID kicked my butt! Yes, I’m here to tell the tale, but I can’t in good conscience tell you that I beat the virus. It was more like a bar fight where I got in a couple of good licks before realizing how much trouble I’d gotten myself into; at that point I simply crawled into a fetal position under the pool table and waited out the kicks to the ribs. The bully got bored, left the establishment and I slithered out of hiding once the immediate coast was clear.
During the week of March 9, 2020, we got our first real taste of “coronavirus” when we received word of the very first show cancellation related to the pandemic, the 2020 Saltwater Fishing Expo in Edison. In the weeks and months that followed, “social distancing” became a part or our regular vernacular as our regular news updates and weekly video fishing forecasts were filled with information about COVID, what we could do, what we couldn’t do, and where any semblance of recreational fishing in relative isolation could be found. A long, strange trip indeed.
If you watch my weekly video forecast, you no doubt saw my feeble attempt to pull off a pre-Labor Day Fishing forecast on September 1, 2022 while still in the midst of my COVID playdate. From the other side of my quarantine door the wife said “I think you should get someone else to do your video this week.” Bah, what does she know? Truth be told, she clearly knows a lot more than I – while I typically bang one of these things out in one take, I found it impossible to talk much more than 5 minutes at a clip before the dry heaves and sweats drove me to find refuge on the cold tile floor in the bathroom.
As horrific as that forecast week went, I am glad I did it; this week I’m doing my 395th consecutive weekly video forecast without missing a slot. By the way, I can’t thank you all enough for the outpouring of good wishes I received following that COVID-hostage video; though I think I liked the jokes best. “If you play it at 1.25 speed he sounds as chipper as always,” noted YouTube viewer HossPrey, while subscriber Victor0326 noted “This is hilarious and a guilty pleasure! I couldn’t tell the difference at 1.25.”
In the 28 months since COVID became a part of daily life, I’ve been in every virtual petri dish one can imagine – restaurants, concerts, tackle conventions, etc. Even with the vaccine and all the follow-up boosters, the mandatory (sometimes voluntary) mask-wearing, social distancing practices and regular use of hand sanitizer, I have come to the conclusion that everyone’s COVID number will eventually get drawn; just seems like a part of life at this point. And lord willing, we battle through.
One benefit – if there is a silver lining in actually getting COVID – is that I’ve been going to bed soon after sunset and regularly enjoying my coffee at my desk well before sunrise. With fall officially getting underway this week and a lot of good sunrises to follow, I kinda like the rather fishy pattern my mind and body have fallen into, which should be quite beneficial to the morning tides of October.
This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be out at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood for the Jersey Shore Boat Sale & Expo, 11-6 on Friday, 10-6 on Saturday and from 10-5 on Sunday. Forgive me if I just fist bump; I’m still a bit shell-shocked by a miserable week in quarantine and isolation due to the Vid. And if you catch me stealing a few winks while sprawled out on the grass behind the booth, now you know (morning tide).
COVID or not, our fishing life goes on!