Because a little boy went ka-choo!
After two years of parental worry and vigilance, our son Jack caught COVID. He's in good spirits, and asked for his own episode of 'Covid Roulette'.
Between April and June this year, Leanne Coughlin and I made a seventeen episode podcast series called ‘Covid Roulette — Stories of the Pandemic’. The idea was to talk to ordinary people in these extraordinary times, and to share a range of experiences, from the tragic to the mundane, documenting and sharing what pandemic life has been like in our local community.
The first episode was about my daughter Polly’s infection, and the lengths she went to to keep her brother with cerebral palsy safe. Uncertainty about how the virus would affect Jack has been front of mind for us for two and a half years, especially in the period before vaccination. He isn’t immuno-compromised, but he is significantly weaker than other kids when it comes to dealing with colds and lung infections, lacking the chest and diaphragm strength to really ‘cough out’.
This week it finally happened. Jack caught Covid. Melbourne Cup day was my fiftieth birthday, and I had an extended family catch up, and my brother Ned treated us to a superb speech, peppered with plenty of laughs and topped off with just a light sprinkling of Covid.
The good news is Jack’s well, and the three other kids in the house are negative. But Tam and I both caught it. For carers of kids with limited independent movement, it’s hard to maintain any sort of distancing. It all felt pretty inevitable.
But what is bleakly amusing is that I think I actually recorded myself catching covid, together with my reaction to knowing I’d just caught covid. Jack loves getting my digital voice recorder out to do interviews. We make pretend podcasts, introduce made up bands, we’ve co-hosted hour long fantasy Brownlow calls where he does the introductions and I count the votes. When he found out he was positive, he begged me to record his own Covid Roulette episode and so with some reluctance (I was still negative) and quite a lot of sanitiser, I set up in the hall and faced him at the polluted threshold of his room.
He was on fire for much of the interview. Very cheeky and funny, and definitely not very sick, which was a great relief and a testament to the power of vaccination. Towards the end, he asked to do an ‘ad’. Jack often asks to voice ads because he joined in on quite a few of the Greenskin and Purpleskin avocados promos I recorded for my Speakola podcast last year. Here’s one of those, with Jack straight off the top:
This year, Docplay are sponsoring the podcast, which pleases me but disappoints Jack because he loved talking about avocados. In any event, we were doing an ad for my books when I didn’t notice the sneeze building.
I don’t do a great job of hiding my disappointment.
‘Carry on’ indeed Jack! Is that a world first? Recording your covid infection moment live on tape?
He was in great form, and so I’ll put the whole interview out on the ‘Good one, Wilson’ podcast. Jack got his wish and it’s being included as the eighteenth and final episode of ‘Covid Roulette’ too.
If you missed Covid Roulette, Leanne and I were really pleased with the series. Some good episodes to check out are Chloe Hooper on protecting an immunocompromised partner, Alistair on being a heroin addict during the pandemic, Elise on a school camp that turned into a covid disaster zone and Simon on the destruction of his tourism business. This is the Chloe Hooper episode. I also loved her beautiful memoir ‘Bedtime Story’.
Jack tested negative today and went back to school. It’s a relief to know that at least at the first instance, his body has encountered the virus and handled it. His Covid Roulette chat was funny, so I’ll add the transcript below.
Keep well everyone, which means keeping away from me!
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Covid Roulette — Episode 18 — Jack
Jack: Can we do a Covid Roulette ad or something like that?
Tony: You could say that Covid Roulette is recorded for the Alphington Community Centre. Okay, you ready? Go!
Jack: Hello, my name's Jack Wilson and welcome to the Covid Roulette ad, and I'm very proud to introduce the host of the Covid Roulette podcast, who's ... I was on for a little bit in Polly's episode, and now I've made an episode on myself. If you want to check that out, please welcome Tony Wilson. Welcome Tony!
Tony: Ah, thank you for that intro, Jack. I am the host of this podcast and what an interesting turn life has taken this week cuz we spent the whole pandemic since 2020 trying to avoid you getting covid. Because you've got cerebral palsy and we've worried about your breathing if you got a bad case of covid. But you're double vaccinated and we're on day two aren't we? How are you feeling?
Jack: Still not great.
Tony: Not great. What are some of the problems? What can you feel in your body?
Jack: But we're on day day one of Covid! Don't you know your numbers <laugh>?
Tony: No, we count yesterday as day one cuz that's when you did your RAT right?
Tony: Yesterday, which was Friday afternoon and we did we do a RAT test Jack?
Jack: In case I got Covid.
Tony: And what were the signs that you might have?
Jack: And after my mom told me I had covid. I went 'yay!'. I get to stay home and finally Yay. Yay <laugh>
Tony: Jack! You don't want to be sick though. do you? So the answer to how did you feel is you didn't feel that bad did you? Cause you were going yay, yay, yay! But why did we do the RAT? What was the thing that wasn't quite right? Was it your nose?
Tony: And what was going on with it?
Jack: I got a tummy ache.
Jack: You should have picked me up early ...
Tony: You wanted me to?
Tony: But I didn't pick you up early. How come?
Jack: Because I had had a runny nose but I didn't have covid.
Tony:Well you did have covid, then you tested positive and you've had a bit of a sore tummy and you didn't want to eat much did you?
Jack: Like I didn't want to eat much pancakes this morning.
Tony: You only had three pancakes instead of your normal seven <laugh>. You must be sick Jack!
Tony: How many pancakes is your record that you've ever eaten in one sitting?
Tony: You didn't do a hundred. Do you have a song that you sing with your friend Daemos about pancakes?
Jack: I did have Daemos online just before we started this process. I went to Buckingham Palace with Daemos to go see the Queen and play a concert for her and Leonard and Paddington and Mr Narrator were there. [long story, the magical journeys need their own post]
Tony: Yeah. So you do do these imaginary journeys, these magical journeys you call them with Daemos. And today's journey was to Buckingham Palace for a show with Paddington in front of the Queen. But you're not feeling too down are you, cuz you've done a FaceTime concert with Daemos. And is there anything that you can't do because you've got Covid? Are you gonna miss something?
Jack: No. Put in brackets I will have Covid on Wednesday because you are looking after me and I would still have Covid!
Tony: Yep. So tell me this, how did you get Covid? Who gave it to you?
Jack: Um ..... Good question. I don't know.
Tony: Well we think it might have been, we had a party didn't we? Whose birthday was it?
Tony: Well how old was I turning?
Tony: And what was your job at the 50th birthday?
Tony: And you did? How did you start the gig? What's the first thing you said when you started the concert ... '
Jack: "Hello Red Hillers, Hello! Nice to see you! Thank you! Enjoy the Melbourne Cup!'
Tony: And you did that very excited and good intro. Who did you intro first at the gig?
Jack: Polly Wilson.
Tony: Polly. That's right, you did as well. Did she have covid?
Jack: Nope. But I do.
Tony: And then who did you intro after Polly?
Jack: Ned Wilson.
Tony: My brother. And did he have covid as it turned out?
Tony: He did, didn't he!
Jack: Poor Ned.
Tony: I know, he got it and his son ...
Jack: Because of me!
Tony: No, no other way around. So you probably talked to Ned a bit about the speeches and maybe Ned leaned down and gave you a hug and what happened then when he did that?
Jack: I got covid.
Tony: You got Covid.
Jack: From him.
Tony: Yep. It's not his fault. And so you had a great day though. How did the gig end?
Jack:"Thank you. Good night! Enjoy the Melbourne Cup. Thank you, good niiiiiiight!'
Tony: And we went home and we've had a couple of days since. And once we heard Ned was positive, we've all been testing and then we tested you and what happened?
Jack: I was positive.
Tony: You are positive. And what was your reaction to that?
Tony: <laugh>. It's not good though. It's not good for Mum and me cause we
Jack: But it is good.
Tony: No it's not.
Tony: But we're very pleased that you are vaccinated and that you seem to be in such high spirits.
Jack: Oh, I've miss those ads for doing Purple Green skin avocados. Can we do one of those for Speakola?
Tony: Well I'm not sponsored by Green Skin Avocados anymore. But you could do an ad for Tony Wilson author. Do you wanna do that?
Tony: Okay. So you just have to say, "look, you might be looking for some books for Christmas. Go to tonywilsonauthor.com. You'll find Harry HighPants, The Selwood Boys, The Cow Tipped Over the Moon. Look 'em up. tonywilsonauthor.com. Can you do that?
Tony: Okay, go.
Jack: Hello and before introduce that ad sponsor I want to introduce my cohost who's helping me do these ads, it s Tony Wilson. Welcome back Tony.
Tony: Oh thanks Jack. It's very nice to be here with my 11 year old boy Jack who has Covid and making podcast promos is our activity of the hour. And Jack, what's the promo for? What's this one for?
Jack: Tony Wilson Author! And you say those books and I'll say the sponsor ...
Tony: Okay. So if you'd like to get some books for Christmas, we've got paperback picture books like Harry HighPants and we've also got the hard back of the cow trip over the moon. I've got middle grade fiction like The Selwood Boys and A Boy called Bob about Bob Murphy and even my adult sports history classic, Jack.
Tony: Oh Shesus.
Jack: Oh sorry.
Tony: Mmmm. That's alright.
Jack: Ah ... carry on.
Tony: [Silent despair]
Jack: Carry on!
Tony: Okay. 1989, The Great Grand Final. So there you go.
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