My Frustrating Battle With COVID - Daniel Norris

After a month of testing positive on and off for COVID-19, I was finally cleared to play. 

It was extremely frustrating to find out, only days before our delayed season was about to kick off on June 23, that I had tested positive for it. I knew camp was about to start and I couldn’t wait to get back on the field — but just kidding. Everyone else was out there while I was still quarantining at home.

I was frustrated because I had worked super hard during our downtime, but that time ended up being a really good opportunity for me to let go and rely on my faith in God. More than any time in my career when I was injured, this sickness made me feel completely helpless. During injuries, I can continue to work hard and try to do things that will help with my recovery. Along with trusting God with my recovery, I have my bit of work to do as well. But with COVID, I had zero control over the test results. There wasn’t anything I could do to make the virus leave my system more quickly.

Being at the mercy of the test results made me rely heavily on prayer and God’s timing. It was up to Him when He wanted me to play. I think it would have been easier if I tested positive the whole time I was out, but the test results kept flip-flopping. In the major leagues, we are all testing every 48 hours to see if we have the virus. If you’ve had it, you need at least two consecutive negative results in order to play. For a month, my tests kept coming back irregular — positive, negative, inconclusive, negative, positive, inconclusive. It felt like a horrible dance I had no control over.

I knew the sickness would pass for me. While it was extremely uncomfortable (like the flu but five times worse), I wasn’t fearful for myself. I just wanted to get back to health so I could play. During this time, I sent a text to all my teammates urging them to take this seriously. Not only did I not want them to experience the virus, I really wanted everyone to be able to finish the season. If one person gets it, they may be out the rest of the year. It’s worth sacrificing a couple months to stay put and follow protocol.

Although I wasn’t fearing for my safety, I know a lot of people are. Many are experiencing far worse symptoms than I did. There’s a sense of urgency we need to have because, in reality, with or without COVID, none of us know how much time left we have. If anything, this is an eye-opening experience for us to be vigilant in our faith. 

A lot of us end up going through the motions in our walk with God, but times like these cause us to be really intentional about our lives. Whether we are just getting out of our car, needing to remember to put our masks on, we have to be present. We can’t allow ourselves to just go through the motions. No one knows when this season will end or if a vaccine will even help. If nothing else, this time should cause people of faith to be intentional about our thoughts, habits and prayers. We don’t have time to lose. 

— Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers pitcher

Daniel Norris is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Daniel’s Increase profile here.

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