No, it's not a medical condition or illness. Nor is this particular fever measured by a thermometer. The malady is known by different names depending on your situation and perception, this one particular to seafarers that are away from home for long periods of time on a voyage or deployment. There is no specific amount of that element that can cause this ailment as each person is different. It is very real, something I have experienced first-hand many times before.
Mariners often feel the effects of Social Distancing, a term that has rapidly burned into our culture these past few months as the virus spreads across the globe. What do I mean by the phrase, Channel Fever, you may wonder? When you are on a ship at sea you are confined in space and gathered to a particular group of people. Depending on the mission and the nature of the voyage or vessel, this condition can last for many days, weeks, months, and yes, sometimes years. You miss the normal life you once had as you traverse through the many waters of the maritime domain, envisioning in great detail how life will be upon your return to family and friends. To some, this is the beginning of this profound affliction.
The vessel now entering the channel, navigating with meticulous attention to detail and safe speed. As the moment comes closer for your long awaited arrival, the fever starts to swiftly build. It increases almost exponentially as you near the very end of the journey and you can finally disembark the vessel. The pilot with precision begins the final approach to the dock. You can undeniably feel the incredible excitement awaiting when the ship is safely at rest alongside the pier. This is the point where it can become almost unbearable until... you pick the conclusion of the story.
The reason I share this true memoir is to say; some of us will experience Channel Fever to some degree. With great anticipation, unsure about what may come, we are approaching the outcome of a significant journey, like a long voyage
...and I may have Channel Fever