In case you were wondering, I survived the coronavirus and so did my husband and kids. It’s been over a month since our collective illnesses and everyone is back to normal. To be clear, it started with me. A few days later, my husband felt the familiar body aches, fatigue, and low grade fever. Then our oldest child started to complain of a sore throat. The youngest never had any symptoms. As each of us fell to the virus, we donned masks in the house trying to keep the next one from getting it. The youngest may have had it and been asymptomatic, I don’t know, I didn’t have her tested. The test is invasive enough that I didn’t want to make my kids have it before they had to and since the youngest was asymptomatic, I never bothered. We all hunkered down for 2 weeks and road out the internal storm of COVID 19 together.
As I recall those days, I remember an overwhelming fatigue. I had little energy for doing anything, including eating. I lost 7 pounds. Not an overwhelming amount, but I’m only 5 foot tall and on my frame, it was significant. I’ve definitely gained it all back. Once my sense of smell and taste returned, I was famished. I normally run 3-4 miles 4 days a week and I barely had the energy or breath to walk to my kitchen. The shortness of breath and fatigue were significant for me and it lasted for about 10 days. I had to be put on Prednisone because at around day 7, I developed wheezing and worsening shortness of breath. After a few days, these symptoms improved.
The hardest part during that time was listening to any news about the virus, death tolls, hospital rates, people refusing to comply with mask mandates, it was all too much and absolutely made the panic intensify. None of us know exactly how our bodies will react and with more than half of my little family sick, I couldn’t let my mind wander to the horrific possibilities. I reminded myself that most people survive, most do just fine, but some don’t. All the while our family was fighting the virus, one of my dear friends was transferred to the ICU minutes away from intubation. She wasn’t winning her fight and that realization hung over all of my COVID ridden days. I was only a few days behind her, was she my future, too?
I thought about writing during those times, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I just needed to focus on getting better, taking care of my family, and praying for my friend. I just needed to get to the other side. I was barely keeping my head above water and every bit of energy was necessary to swim to the shore. I eventually made it. My friend eventually made it, too. She slowly recovered and never had to be intubated. My husband and son, thankfully, had mild symptoms and recovered quickly.
There is a strange peace now that we have been through our own versions of illness. I still wear a mask everywhere I go, still use hand sanitizer, wash my hands and generally limit my trips to stores, but I feel relieved. I know that we have at least some immunity and the worst is behind us. We survived. My friend survived. In order to ensure that others have the same fighting chance, we must remain vigilant. Wear the masks, take the precautions, stop the spread of COVID 19 to others.