At the start of the pandemic, it seemed rare to find a person who knew someone that had the Coronavirus, particularly young people.
Ten months into this pandemic, the opposite is true.
Our family members have had it, our friends have had it, and some of us have even had it.
As of January 19, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported 24,025,817 total cases of Coronavirus in the United States with California leading in the number of cases with 2,942,475.
Recently, I was one of those nearly three million.
You hear people say: “It’s just a flu.”
You also hear stories of seemingly healthy people dying from the virus.
I understand how both sides can be true.
Coronavirus hit me fast and unexpectedly.
New Year’s Eve I was celebrating with my husband, feeling normal as ever.
New Year’s Day I woke up with a nasty headache and an overall feeling of fatigue, which one could attribute to a hangover given the timing of the symptoms.
It was not a hangover.
On Jan. 2 I still had a headache and still felt tired, but I also started to feel congested.
When making myself my famous cold-buster tea, I opened a bag of unlabeled spices that was in my cabinet and noticed that it didn’t have a scent, or so it seemed.
Still not thinking anything of it, I carried on making myself breakfast.
It was when my bacon didn’t taste as satisfying as usual that I knew something was wrong.
Not only that, but the effort of simply making tea and frying bacon had me feeling like I had just run a marathon.
I quarantined myself to my room and booked a drive-thru appointment at Walgreens to get a COVID-19 test.
I had three days of symptoms that kept me bed ridden.
During those three days I came to an understanding of how some people, especially those with underlying issues, do not survive the virus.
Having no chronic respiratory issues, the attack that the virus made on my lungs made it difficult to breathe. Between the chest pain, chest heaviness and only being able to take very shallow breaths, I was sure I would need to go to the hospital.
I am fortunate enough to have fought it off, but it wasn’t easy by any means.
It’s now 29 days after my first symptoms of COVID-19 and I have tested again with a negative result.
The symptoms have not all gone away.
I am just starting to regain my sense of smell and taste, I still have a cough and congestion, and I still feel short of breath when active.
COVID-19 may have flu-like symptoms, but it’s not “just” a flu.
As an otherwise healthy 28-year-old, I was monitoring my heart rate and taking every recommended vitamin and painkiller just to make it through the peak of symptoms.
Even though we’re close to a year of being in this pandemic, let this serve as a reminder to wear your mask.
Still stay inside unless for essential activity and still social distance.
Don’t let yourself be another case number.
And don’t think you are invincible and this won’t knock you down.