MARK ROSE: Why I'm Thankful for My COVID-19 Experience - Major League Fishing

MARK ROSE: Why I’m Thankful for My COVID-19 Experience

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Mark Rose details what his time with COVID-19 was like and why he's thankful he came down with the virus. Photo by Garrick Dixon
January 23, 2021 • Mark Rose • Angler Columns

The United States is still having to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and I’m one of the unlucky people who came down with the virus just over two weeks ago. I feel blessed to be on the tail end of it now and I feel about 75 percent back to my normal self.

The toughest symptoms were congestion, along with losing my smell and taste. It was scary going to bed every night because I wasn’t able to breathe very efficiently due to the congestion, and I never knew what was going to happen in the middle of the night.

Happily, I feel like I’m finally getting over it and I’m excited to get back to my life. Still, even with all the struggles COVID-19 brought into my life, I’m actually thankful for my bout with it.

I know that may be confusing for some people to read, but let me explain. I’m only going off of what I experienced and what my time with the virus taught me. I’m well aware of the pain and heartache it has caused so many families across this country, and I continue to hurt and pray for those families and individuals.

For me, my time with COVID helped me put a lot of things into perspective. At no point in my 21-year career have I ever slowed down and taken a break as I gear up for another fishing season. In the past, at this time of year I’m usually getting my last little bit of hunting in, a lot of crappie fishing and a lot of organization.

This virus caused me to stop everything I was doing and just be in the moment. I don’t get that opportunity a lot.

I got to spend more time in my bible. Anyone who knows me knows that my faith is important to me, but to be alone with my head in that bible, I feel as though I learned a lot. I had time to reflect and pray for many things, including my fellow anglers, their families and everyone who works at MLF and MLF BIG5. That was really important to me.

I want to say thank you to all my friends, family, and fellow anglers who reached out to me with their well wishes and prayers over the past couple of weeks. It means more to me than you know and it reminded me to do the same for others who are going through tough situations.

If you’ve had this virus and you know the effect it can have on your body, you know what the millions of people who have battled COVID are going through.

If you know someone (or even heard of someone you may not know come down with COVID), I challenge you to put them in your prayers. Send them a message of encouragement to let them know you’re thinking about them. I know how much it helped me, and I know how much it can help other people.

Stay safe out there, everyone. I’ll see you out on the water in February.