Today’s Rhetorical Question : Why bother to get into this? 

Today’s Rhetorical Answer : Because most of the people we have discussed this with, have thanked us saying they needed to hear what we had to say.

Translation : IF this can happen to Patti and Cap, as careful as they have been, it could happen to me ! Luckily we both have received the two basic covid-19 vaccinations AND both of the two available Booster vaccinations.

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Let’s begin with the meaning of the above title, The Elephant In The Living Room. Of course many (maybe most) of you know and understand the term BUT our friend Olga over in Chita may not.

From Wikipedia :

The expression “the elephant in the living room” is a metaphorical idiom in English for an important or enormous topic, question, or controversial issue that is obvious or that everyone knows about but no one mentions or wants to discuss because it makes at least some of them uncomfortable and is personally, socially, or politically embarrassing, and may also be controversial. It is often used in the field of addiction and recovery because no one wants to address the issue of another family member having challenges with drugs and alcohol.

It is based on the idea/thought that something as conspicuous as an elephant can appear to be overlooked in codified social interactions and that the sociology/psychology of repression also operates on the macro scale.

Various languages around the world have words that describe similar concepts.

Well Olga, we hope as you read along here that the above explanation helped you?

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Now a word or two about Gullible. Gullilble is a very important friend that most of you know because of her Africa Journals we refer to here on this website. In A.A. we would call Gullible a Sponsor. In real life Gullible is a bit of a Mentor.

Many (maybe most of you who follow us) know what has been going on with Patti and me because we text message you keeping you up to date about the reality of our lives.

Alas Alak ! Because Gullible does not text message, she had no idea what has been going on with Patti and me. So Patti and I telephoned her and, after hearing our story, she said, “Why hasn’t this been on your website, everything else is?” I replied, “Because I have not been feeling well and have lacked the energy to get into it.”  That she understood.

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Some general Covid background. Because, dating back to December of 2019 when I returned from Asia with Covid and then gave it to Patti, we have taken Covid precautions very seriously. Both of us had Emergency Room visits, me in Seattle in December of 2019 and Patti in January of 2020 BEFORE Covid was even known about here in the U.S. We have worn masks, we have socially distanced, we have avoided crowds and even avoided several airline trips to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. Both Patti and I have received two vaccinations and two booster shots. 

– – – – – – – –

The Elephant in Our Living Room. The issue that, until now, Patti and I have not been willing to mention or discuss here. 

Because frankly (odd as it is) I feel embarrassed at what has befallen us. No matter all we have done, here we sit.

One week ago today..

Thursday the 19th of May 2022, after a several days of Patti not feeling well because she was experiencing a horrible head cold or flu, coughing a lot, sleeping for hours at a time, falling asleep while sitting in a chair, etc, I said to Patti : “We are going to the E.R. and we are going now!” To prove how bad Patti was feeling, she agreed with me and off we went to our local E.R.

Long story short, during our seven (7) hour E.R. visit (general exam, chest x-ray, heart EKG, several blood draws) Patti was told : “You have tested POSITIVE for Covid-19.”

During Patti’s E.R. visit, she was asked when her symptoms first appeared. To complicate matters somewhat, while in Anchorage, before leaving on our trip here to Michigan, Patti and I received our second Covid Booster Shot (our fourth Covid innoculation) and both of us had some side effects that, in hindsight, caused us to miss what hit Patti coming down here. So Patti said on May the 9th. This we feel turned out to be incorrect and were side effects from our second covid booster shot.

This error caused both of us to be told it was too late for Patti to receive the latest medical treatment that must begin within 5 days of the onset of covid symptoms.

Prior to coming down to Michigan, I had ordered, and received, from the United States Post Office, eight of the covid home testing kits. After we got home from the E.R. we used these home tests. Patti’s home test was a firm POSITIVE. My home test was a firm NEGATIVE. So the next morning, Friday the 20th of May, I went to a local Urgent Care Center and got a PCR (polymerase chain reaction, the gold standard for diagnosing covid-19) test and I tested POSITIVE. I came home and did a second home test and it too was NEGATIVE. On Saturday the 21st of May, I got a second PCR test from another local health care facility and was advised by that firm that I had tested POSITIVE. I then came home and did another (my third) home test and it read POSITIVE. 

So here we sit. So far not one single medical professional or Covid related article online has told us what to do to take care of ourselves. Telling us to quarantine etc does not tell us what to do. Frustrated I have asked several medical professionals should we : drink a lot of water, eat well, get rest, etc and all agreed.. “Yes.” But they did not take the initiative to tell us first.

How are we feeling. Up and down. Overall we are both feeling (at least somewhat) better. Coughing less, the runny nose and head cold symptoms are lessening, for Patti she has gotten relief from the enormous fatigue that took us to the E.R. To the rest of the world, I still look like the Energizer Bunny but I feel the deep fatigue BUT this is not new for me. 

And? From what we are seeing online, it is looking like others like us, senior citizens with four innoculations, who have been very careful, are now becoming Covid POSITIVE.

You apparently can run but you can’t hide.

Tomorrow we plan to do home tests. Monday we plan to go to the local Urgent Care Center and get formal PCR (polymerase chain reaction the gold stan) tests.

Your Rhetorical Question for Us : Have we changed anything?

Our Reply : Yes we have. We are now using only N95 masks. For the past several years, like many, we have been using the basic hospital blue paper masks. In fact I am currently using them doubled up.

And? Thank You each and Thank You all of you for your support.

Cap and Patti


  1. Gullible

    Did they tell you what strain of COVID you have? Perhaps it’s one that vaccinations and boosters don’t cover. Perhaps you’re just unlucky. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. Get well soon.

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      First, we both feel (don’t ask us why) that the two vaccinations and the two booster shots have indeed assisted us in having a (somewhat) mild covid experience Gullible. As to the strain, NO we haven’t been told the strain Gullible. Neither the hospital E.R. NOR the hospital Urgent Care Facility NOR the Rite Aide Pharmacy PCR tests mentioned the variant. I would think that, to get the specific strain, would require sophisticated advanced techniques by specialists who have a need-to-know. Good observations. Cap and Patti

  2. Kathleen

    I am glad you are seeing some improvement. It is very scary stuff. I read (by a doctor who was responding to Elon Musk’s rampant rage about home tests because he had a similar situation-neg home test, pos PCR) that Covid has to be somewhat advanced before you test positive on a home test whereas the PCR tests can pick it up sooner. And the failure rate for home tests (very low overall) is a bit higher when for negative tests. Which is why there are two tests in a box – so you can retest a few days later. It is disappointing that the medical providers gave you no information on how to self-care. I suspect they figure we will ‘google’ it and why bother. I will be watching myself for any symptoms over the next week to 10 days given that I was on 4 flights this week with less than 10% wearing masks. Prayers that you will both be back to normal {whatever our normal is) soon.

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Thanks Kathleen, we had no idea about the home tests (requiring the covid to have advanced) vs the PCR tests (which are much more sensitive). We hope, as the days pass, that you do NOT develop any symptoms Kathleen. BUT IF YOU DO get tested. You said it : Hope you’re normal soon whatever our normal is. Happy YOU are back home. Cap and Patti

  3. Olga

    Dear Cap,
    I’m very thankful for all the explanations!
    Firstly, I’m very happy to see you with so many words on the page. For me it means that you unleavable fatigue is overcome in some way and you start coming to the state of above mentioned Energizer Bunny. Fine! I wish, Patti could move the same direction with the same speed. God grant!
    Secondly, it was really interesting and educative to learn about “The Elephant…” At first I’d thought of a Russian metaphor “An Elephant in a China Shop” but your expression turns to mean an absolutely different thing. I DON’T NOW the Russian equivalent to the metaphor discussed but I will do find something soon! I’m eager to know WHAT’S THIS?
    Thirdly, reading Kathleen’s comment I clearly see the parallel between the things happening towards Covid-19 in the USA and in Russia. At this point I can even affirm that we live in the same state :-)
    Get well soonner! Hug you both.
    From Siberia with the wish of good Siberian health.

      1. Olga

        Thank you, Jeanne, for being so kind to explain me the metaphor in more easy words. Yes, I understood THE MEANING :-)
        Actually, I’m very happy to get YOUR REPLY, Jeanne because I adore your Blog, always read the pages and applause your wise comments which I ALWAYS agree with.
        Sincerely yours,

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