So this happened:
Last week, with my AirPods in my ear, I realized that I had dropped my case when I got out of my car, in the Starbucks parking lot, two hours earlier.
Amazingly, I found the case in the street. Unfortunately, it had been run over at least once. Assuming I was out $79, or whatever the replacement fee is, I took a shot and tried using them anyway.
A week later and, so far, so good. I realize they may crap out any day now, but the case is charging the airpods, and being charged by lightning. the case cover doesn’t close all the way, but that doesn’t’ seem to be affecting the use.
Maybe this is why Apple is now worth a trillion dollars!!!