For many survivors of Covid, friends, family and coworkers life after Covid is underway. Sharing their experience and wisdom is important. What they went through, the importance of precautions and PPE and how their perspective has changed since. We asked one survivor to share her story.
You see it on the news. You see more and more people getting infected. You hear the stories of how it started or how fast it’s spreading and it starts to scare you. You stay in your house, you wear a mask, you keep your hands clean. You take steps to try to prevent yourself from becoming a statistic. But sometimes it’s that one mistake that ends up with what you’ve been trying to avoid this entire time. You have tested positive for COVID-19.
I can say now that I probably wasn’t as proactive as I should have been in stopping the spread of COVID-19 because I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. I was quarantined for over 3 weeks, only leaving my home to pickup groceries and other necessary items for daily life. I would order my items on an app on my phone, pull up to the grocery store and pop my trunk, while the employees loaded up the things I had purchased. I wore gloves when I would use a gas pump and always wore a proper facial mask when leaving the house. I was doing what I needed to stop the spread, or so I thought.
What I didn’t consider was the idea of the virus spreading within my own home. My roommate was told that the restaurant he was employed by was reopening, and they could choose to come back to work.Their jobs were there. They could work. It wasn’t until three weeks later that my roommate tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies and his general manager tested positive for the virus. That’s when I knew I wasn’t being safe enough.
Around a week later I started experiencing a sore throat. It wasn’t terribly annoying more than just anything, but manageable. After about a 24 hour period of the sore throat I started experiencing chills. Chills that felt like my blood was frozen, but my skin felt normal. At first I doubted myself. I thought it was the anxiety of the idea of having COVID-19 that scared me into believing I was experiencing these symptoms. But after 3 full days with chills and a worsening sore throat I knew it wasn’t the case.
I had mild coughing during the first few days but nothing I couldn’t handle. The chills were the worst past. Until I felt it in my lungs. My lungs started to feel very heavy and it started to become impossible to take a full breath. When I did take a deep breath it felt like my lungs were dirty, like I had inhaled a few weeks worth of smog in just a few hours. Every time I would breathe I could feel the gross heavy feeling in my lungs. That was easily the worst part.
When I first felt discomfort in my lungs I was nervous, but not scared. After 24 hours my lungs felt so disgusting that I was debating on going to the hospital. I told myself to give it a little while before making any decisions but a part of me was terrified it was going to get worse. Had I known then that the 24 hour mark was going to be the peak of how bad it was going to get I would have been able to calm myself down. It was the not knowing of how bad it could get and when I should decide it was too much and make the trip to the hospital. During this time I lost my ability to smell, and my ability to taste most things. I could still taste things that were very sweet or spicy, but a watered down dull version of taste that did not last long at all. Between my throat being sore, my taste and smell leaving me and my lungs feeling like a smoldering garbage fire, I was helpless. Not knowing how much worse it could really get while seeing statistics of death tolls every single day was one of the most miserable parts of testing positive.
Once my symptoms started to subside I was beyond relieved. Not knowing where your COVID-19 road ends can be the worst part. Luckily for me I fully recovered within around 6 days. I have my taste and smell back, and my lungs have returned to feeling normal. I now take a lot more precautions around my own home with disinfectant wipes and keeping the common areas more sanitized, as I would never want to live through that again. I wish I could tell more people just how serious this can be, as seeing statistics and news clippings doesn’t seem to show the brutal face of COVID-19. Wear your masks, wash your hands, and make sure you are doing your part to stop the spread of this nasty virus.