by Sylvia Villarreal
Administrator, Association of Reciprocal Safety Councils
I have been that person who did not take Covid-19 as seriously as I should. Because I took every precaution required to keep myself and my family safe from contracting the virus, I thought that I wouldn’t get it. Boy was I wrong! I unfortunately still fell victim to it. Like most everyone else, I had no clue where I could have contracted the virus. This is my story, and how the virus personally affected me.
In mid-December, I started feeling my allergy symptoms again. I am prone to seasonal allergies and can quickly recognize it if it is just simple allergies. These allergies require me to take over the counter medicine. That evening, I began to feel very tired, more so than usual. I brushed it off as just having a long day, and I was simply mentally drained. The next morning, still dealing with the sniffles, sneezing, and coughing, I got up and went to work. I figured my allergy medication should have or would be kicking in at any moment.
By the afternoon, it was obvious this was not just allergies. My body felt like it was coming down with something. I began to feel chills and again very tired. I went home, took some Ibuprofen, and went to bed. I figured it would be gone by the next day. I was wrong, the next day seemed to be worse. My body was achy and I had chills. Although I did not have a fever, I did go from hot to cold. I was still convinced this was not Covid-19. This had to be something else.
I went to see my Physician later that afternoon and explained my symptoms. She decided to test me for the flu, strep, and coronavirus. I was still convinced this is possibly just the flu. After what seemed like hours (only 20 minutes), the Physician returned only to tell me I did not have the flu nor strep, but I was positive for Covid-19. My skepticism turned to fear. The upside to this was that I had no fever and my lungs were strong. I was relieved about that, as I myself have Type 2 Diabetes which can be very dangerous having an underlying condition. I immediately returned home and prepared to quarantine for the next 14 days. Although my daughter did not have it, she was also advised to quarantine as well. As all teenagers do, they stay in their room so it was not difficult for her to keep away from me.
Everyone experiences different symptoms, and it can be worse for some more than for others. The first 5-6 days were the worst for me. I was extremely fatigued. I was not able to move around too much, my body ached, and I slept off and on the entire day. I continued with my congestion, coughing, and sneezing. I was advised to take three different medications for each of my symptoms. These three, combined with daily doses of zinc, vitamin C, elderberry, and plenty of liquids were all I needed.
Around day 3-4, I began to lose my sense of smell and taste. What an experience that was! I had an appetite, but I was not able to taste anything unless it had a spice to it. If it were spicy, it would have a funny, unpleasant taste. As for my sense of smell, I could easily breathe, but could not pick up on any scents. This lasted for several days. After about a week and a half I began to feel a bit normal again. I was able to get myself moving. I felt almost 100% better once I was cleared to be off quarantine. I did not realize, but symptoms can linger even long after you have been diagnosed. It has been a month since I tested positive and I continued to be fatigued. It is something I have been struggling with and am allowing myself to rest as much as possible to get back to feeling 100% again.
Covid-19 can be very mild to very dangerous and I am very thankful that I am able to be here to share my experience while others unfortunately cannot. Until this pandemic is over continue taking precaution, keeping yourself healthy, and taking doses of daily vitamins. After 3 months I will retest to have a more accurate test result. It is advised not to retest quickly after being out of quarantine. I hope this will be the very last time I experience Covid-19. I hope all of you stay safe. Please share your experiences with us if you have been affected by this virus.