The last week of February was an unprecedented time in my life. After three boring days of what I had believed to be stomach flu, it turned out that I had COVID-19. One would think that a stuffy nose, the inability to taste or smell, and overall lethargy would be dead giveaways, but I was somewhat reluctant to accept that I had the virus after managing to evade it for nearly a year.
Initially I had been staying home because I suspected I had stomach flu, which I had been exposed to at work. I suspected nothing of it, and hoped that I would be back within a day or two. However, in order to be able to come back to school, I had to get a doctor’s note saying I was good to go. On Thursday, Feb. 25, I went into my doctor’s office, and was tested for COVID-19.
I honestly thought I didn’t have it. I had been wearing my mask almost everywhere, and I had no idea who else would have had it that I had been with recently. Because of this, I shrugged off my symptoms and chalked it up to the aftermath of stomach flu. Obviously that was not the case. My results came back positive the next day, Friday. By then, my nose was no longer stuffy and I had to face the fact that I could not taste or smell anything, no matter how hard I tried. I was also incredibly lethargic and hardly moved. I felt awful laying in bed all day, which normally isn’t the case.
I had no idea where I caught covid from; it could have been anywhere. Luckily, I did not have to have other people quarantined, as I had been home since Tuesday that week. I did, however, have my family quarantined. My mom, who works in healthcare, did everything she could to make me feel comfortable and recover quickly. She made me my lunch and dinner and brought it up to me on a little tray, as well as keeping me company from the door frame as I laid in bed. My brother, however, was extremely cautious when I was quarantined, and went out of his way to avoid me when I would so much as open my door. I don’t blame him though, he was just being cautious. He actually went to get tested the day before my quarantine was over, and on March 5, his results came back negative. He was incredibly relieved.
Having covid was a wild experience. After avoiding it for nearly a year, I had no idea what to expect over the week and a half that I was sick. I was cooped up in my room for so long that I began to wish that I could do something. I made friendship bracelets for a few hours at a time, but I got bored, and it strained my eyes squinting at all the tiny strands of string I looped around over and over.
I even took it upon myself to lay a plastic tarp down on my carpet and mess around with some acrylic paints just to be able to feel like I wasn’t wasting my days away. I wanted to be able to enjoy my time to myself.
Aside from taking up acrylic painting, I had to focus on online school, which was extremely difficult. Staring at a screen for that amount of time put a huge strain on my eyes, and it was definitely the cause of a lot of my headaches throughout the days. Still, I did my best to complete my work and be somewhat involved, even if I was not feeling up to it all.
My experience with having COVID-19 was one I will never forget, much like this entire pandemic. It seemed like it would last forever, yet it was gone in the blink of an eye. I know that I am extremely lucky to have come out of quarantine almost fully recovered, as I know there are so many other people who are not as fortunate. That seemingly boring, brief, week and a half of laying in bed confined to my room will forever stick with me.
Now, after nearly a week of recovery, I still feel the effects of the virus. I still have a hard time smelling things, and everything that normally has a very strong flavor now tastes like a bland LaCroix. I have also had trouble catching my breath. I play the bass clarinet in band, and I participate in choir, jazz choir, and musical. It’s been really hard keeping up with all of it, but day by day, I can feel my condition improving ever so slightly. I am incredibly glad to be back at school, and hopefully I can get myself back into the rhythm of things sooner than later.