2023 can stop doing this stuff right now

Bryan Alexander
3 min readOct 29, 2023

This past week saw me doing a whirlwind of work. I taught three classes, flew across the country to meet with one client, led a Future Trends Forum session, worked up the next FTTE report, held several virtual meetings, started redesigning FTTE, honed my next book proposal, prepped my spring class, and tried in vain to stem the email tide.

I hate leaving town when my wife is still recovering from heart attacks (first, second). I only do it for professional purposes — and those trips are extra needed now, given medical bills, as we decided to handle health care in America. I actually turned down some trips which took me away too long. Meanwhile, we set up care at home (our two adult children coming in handy).

Then to make things worse, last week Ceredwyn came down with COVID. You all know the drill: she tested positive, re-tested to make sure, then we confined her to our bedroom. We brought her food and other supplies, leaving them outside the door. I slept in the living room. She very all too symptomatic: joint pain, headaches, throat pain, fevers, chills. It was like a bad flu for several days.

This made things worse for her in all kinds of ways. Being sequestered isolated her from human contact. Ibuprofen interacts badly with some cardio meds, so my wife can’t use “vitamin I” to address pain. Acetaminophen has no effect on her now, so the suffering is wretched. Plus she can’t do cardio rehab sessions while being infected. And there’s the general psychological stress piled onto genuine dread.

Several days into this vileness, I left for a work trip. From the road, I kept checking on her by phone and text. She was gradually getting better, but was exhausted and in pain. I felt frustrated and sad and could only listen, plus tell her stories and read her poetry.

On Friday I started traveling back east and began feeling poorly myself: coughing, fevers, chills, sore throat. I slept unusually badly on a redeye from Seattles to Dulles. When I arrived home I at once fired up a COVID test for me and sure enough:

The usual time for a COVID test to complete is 15 minutes, but that hard red line appeared in only about 2 minutes.

I don’t know the infection’s source. Did someone give me COVID from an airport? Did the…

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Bryan Alexander

Futurist, speaker, writer, educator. Author of the FTTE report, UNIVERSITIES ON FIRE, and ACADEMIA NEXT. Creator of The Future Trends Forum.