Covid toes are all the rage today. But just as I needed everyone in 2nd grade to know that I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone months before my lame classmates caught the wave, I’m here to tell you that I had Covid toes FOUR WEEKS AGO—long before they were cool.
I’ve been in quarantine in Maine since March 24th. Before that, I was in quarantine in Pennsylvania for two weeks, so I felt pretty safe when I came up to Maine to be with my parents. Two days after I arrived, I strapped on a pair of my dad’s bike shoes and hopped on their Peloton bike. It’s not that I wanted to; I had no choice. A guy can only go for a jog so many times before his disappearing shoulders break his spirit. I needed to diversify my fitness regimen for fear that I was becoming a skinny jogging bitch boy whose shirts drooped off his body like a coat hanger.
Off I went, pedaling along to some hip hop hits class geared towards women in their second trimester. My dad’s shoes were about a size and a half too small, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Cycling—like soccer, swimming, and paraphilic infantalists—favors those who wear gear that is far too small for them.
The next day, two of the toes on my left foot started to swell. It was one toe in from my pinky as well as its neighbor to the right—the one that had roast beef, and the one that had none. They both turned red and were itchy in a way that I couldn’t satisfy, as though the itch was inside the toe. I ain’t no bitch so I ignored it for a few days, but it kept getting worse and itchier and more tender. Not to mention, the toe swelled up to the point where it looked like the rest of my foot was choking it.
My sister’s husband is a doctor and I facetimed him for an opinion. We also play chess online and I wanted to talk to him about his openings. I was worried that I had contracted some foot fungus from wearing my dad’s shoes, or that it was a bad case of athlete’s foot. My brother-in-law thought maybe the shoes I had worn were too small, and that the cramping had caused some inflammation and discomfort of the toe.
Paging Doctor Quackerson? You have a misdiagnosis on line 1. In his defense, he’s a spinal surgeon, so I can understand why a grainy, unstable-Wifi facetime image of my toe might not be in his wheelhouse. Even so, as the world has become more aware of the covid toes, I’m growing ever more certain that I had it. My symptoms were right down the checklist. The problem is, doctors and scientists don’t seem to know whether Covid toes are a sure indicator that someone has or had Coronavirus. So while I do feel elite for having the toes, I do not feel peace of mind about the ordeal.
In sum, if you get Covid toes today, don’t tell everyone about it. Covid toes stopped being cool a while ago.