Digging back several years, I remember a ski trip to a hut outside Aspen, an area that's now one of Colorado's COVID-19 hotspots. The trip included nine friends, me included. We outfitted ourselves as for a camping expedition, loading backpacks with three days of food and gear. On the drive to the trailhead, I coped with sniffles and a mild headache. "Great," I figured sarcastically, "I'll be carrying a cold with me, too."
We attached fabric skins to our skis to counteract their natural sliding inclinations and walked uphill for about six miles to the isolated cabin we had rented. I labored, feeling heavy and creaky, my skin clammy despite the warmth I generated hiking. Part way along, noticing my complexion's light-green pallor, my companions took several bags of food from my pack to lighten the load. My headache intensified as I inched forward and upward, the hut sitting around 11,000 feet in elevation.
Once we reached our destination, an early priority was finding a place to tuck me away. The cabin was a single open space, bunks lining the walls surrounding a wood stove and a small kitchen annex jutting off one corner. "Look at this!" one friend called. He pointed to a sleeping nook we had walked past, just by the entry door. What used to be an area for storing firewood had been converted into a walled-off sleeping cubby. "This'll be perfect for Brian," the friend said. "We can put him in quarantine."
That's just what we did. By the next morning, after 14-plus hours of fitful sleep, I felt quite a bit better, and my infection didn't afflict anyone else.