I become sick and get tested for COVID-19

I was feeling out of sorts on Saturday, and by late afternoon was running a 101-degree fever. My head pounded and my throat ached. My chest felt a bit tight.

At one time, this would have been only mildly concerning — I’d take a sick day and queue up some Tylenol and bed rest to shake off whatever ailed me.

In the coronavirus age, though, such symptoms are a cause for panic. After all, fevers, headaches and sore throats are COVID-19 indicators.

Fortunately, getting tested for the coronavirus is now pretty straightforward in the Twin Cities. I had to be quickly phone-screened by a nurse who then gave me a number to schedule a COVID test. I also asked for my wife to get tested, since she was exhibiting minor symptoms.

My St. Paul clinic has set up drive-up testing in its parking lot. This process was less of an ordeal than I expected, though it felt a bit dystopian.

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As the pandemic rages, I write and write …

As the pandemic rages, I’m still pretty calm as I go on more than a month of near-continuous home confinement.

It’s helpful that the kind of work I do can be performed at home (I had telecommuted a great deal in the years before the pandemic). And I have a LOT of work — Keeping myself busy with projects is good for my state of mind at an apocalyptic time.

I’ve written about coronavirus-related topics, mostly, in recent weeks.

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Virus: How we do work is changing forever

My friends, the great experiment.

No, I don’t mean the Excelsior-class starship. (For non-nerds reading this and wondering what the hell I’m talking about, here’s a link to the relevant “Star Trek” scene.)

Telecommuting had been a growing trend before the coronavirus crisis, but it’s now the default (at least for those with the right sort of office-style work) as the coronavirus shutters offices and scatters their occupants in a historic home-working migration.

I’m going on nearly a month of near-continuous telecommuting (the looming pandemic had sent me scurrying to my home office long before others at the Pioneer Press), and now the bulk of my colleagues are performing their jobs exclusively from their residences.

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Coronavirus: Why the hell am I so calm?

I’ve been trying to figure out why the pandemic hasn’t totally freaked me out (so far). Oh, I’m stressed out, but I also feel a weird calm.

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How to keep up with the coronavirus news

The COVID-19 outbreak might be the story of the century, and there’s no shortage of news about it.

For you, that can be a good or bad thing. If the never-ending torrent of info about the coronavirus is bumming you out, this post isn’t for you. Power down the computer or smartphone, cut off the virus-news firehose, and go do something that relaxes you.

But if your appetite for COVID-19 news is insatiable, you’ve come to the right place.

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A quick coronavirus guide for fellow nerds

As I write this, the highly infectious and often-deadly COVID-19 virus is beginning its rampage across the country. And, like other Americans, I am figuring out how to cope.

I’m a nerd who likes putting a geeky spin on any problem, and this medical emergency is no exception.

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Coronavirus: Staying sane and productive

The COVID-19 crisis has made me paranoid about once-ordinary routines.

I’ve stopped going to my public library because I’m leery of much-handled books. I’m no longer visiting my gym and its oft-touched equipment. Heck, I’m no longer going to my office — I have been 100-percent telecommuting for more than a week, with my employer’s OK, and anticipate doing so for the foreseeable future.

These are drastic lifestyle changes, and I’ve had to figure out how I’ll cope.

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My adventures with cleats & snowblowers

As a Puerto Rican in Minnesota, I have complicated feelings about winter.

I hate the never-ending cold, but I gamely do battle with King Boreas every day, and have moments of exhilaration — like when I am attacking snowdrifts with an electric snowblower.

In recent weeks, I have written a couple of times in the Pioneer Press about my trials with winter.

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Recapping a bicycling season for the ages

Last year, I bicycled like never before. I embarked on the greatest cycling adventures of my life, and went farther than I ever thought possible.

I pedaled 2,535.6 miles, compared to 2,287.8 miles in 2018, and 1,448.9 miles in 2019.

I had aspired to hit 3,000 miles, but my cycling season was cut short in September when I found myself fighting for my life.

Here are the year’s high points — and a low point that very nearly put me in my grave.

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My 10 best reads (and 2 re-reads) of 2019

I set a reading goal of 100 books last year, but only managed 88 — which isn’t bad!

Here are my 10 favorite new reads of 2019, in no particular order, and I threw in two re-reads. Click the covers to see the corresponding Goodreads pages.

(I’ve again set a 100-book goal for the year and here’s what I’ve read so far in 2020.)

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My friend Steve makes me a Mandalorian

My deepest thanks to my artistic pal Steve Borsch for yet again unleashing his digital skillz to insert me into a geeky scenario — the hit Disney+ series “The Mandalorian,” in this case — as the best kind of birthday gift.

This means a lot, my friend. I appreciate it.

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