FEATURE — In this article from the Fall 2020 issue of Health magazine, distributed by the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, three local residents share what it’s like to have COVID-19.
On June 11, I started to get a sore throat. On Friday by midday I had a fever, chills, body aches and the sore throat was getting extremely bad. I went to a testing center and was tested. As Saturday and Sunday rolled on, the symptoms got worse. Sunday night my fever broke, and I started to feel better.
On June 17, the test results came back positive. The health department called to recommend isolation, which I had already been doing, and asked if I had been around anyone who had tested positive. I figured it had to be from a store or a restaurant. I had not been wearing a mask very often, but I was good about washing my hands and trying to not touch my face.
They also needed to make sure anyone I had been in close contact with was notified to quarantine for 14 days.
On June 23, after finding I had no symptoms for the past three days, the health department released me from quarantine. Within two days I started to have body aches and a fever appeared that night.
On June 26 I didn’t have any symptoms, but I took a rapid test requested by my physical therapist and found I was still positive.
On June 27, my sore throat started to reappear. The next day I had body aches and a fever. On Monday night I had a massive fever, which broke early in the morning. On Tuesday my sore throat was worse, and the body aches, fever, chills and headaches were back. By Friday my symptoms slowly improved. After July 6, I have not had any symptoms other than the lingering cough which I was told may last for several weeks.
My husband and I started having horrible headaches around June 26. On June 29, he started feeling extremely tired and felt like he’d been hit by a bus. Then he started throwing up. We were camping so we thought it was just heat exhaustion. We got home late that night and he felt tired but not as sick. He went to work the next day feeling pretty good. I woke up feeling like there was something wrapped around my chest but felt great.
My 11-year-old woke up with a dry cough. I still didn’t have COVID-19 in my mind. My friend posted on Facebook that she had just tested positive, and her symptoms were the same as my husband’s! I instantly thought, “Oh no.” Seconds later my husband walked in the door and said he was sent home and had to get tested for COVID-19.
We decided to get the three of us tested and drove to the testing site at the old hospital. We waited in line for about 20 minutes before each had the nasal swab test. Ouch, that thing burns! By that evening I was sick with fever, chills, body aches, major fatigue, headache, and I felt like I had just run a long distance when all I was doing was laying there!
My husband had a headache, fatigue and diarrhea. Three of our five kids started showing a combination of symptoms.
The next day we got positive results for my husband and I. My 11-year-old was negative, but the health department told us to treat her as if she were positive. As far as the isolation went, my kids hadn’t really been out in public, so it wasn’t really different for them. My husband was able to get some projects done for me, so I thought that part of quarantine was wonderful! He didn’t like it as much; it was hard for him to not be out helping customers.
I couldn’t do anything or go anywhere because I was so sick, and it was hard asking for help to pick up groceries. It was also a constant battle of up-and-down emotions for me, and all the different opinions about COVID-19 going around didn’t help.
My husband recovered after seven days. My four kids who were sick had symptoms that lasted for five to 10 days. I was very sick for 16 days and had a tightness in my chest – at times my oxygen would dip in the low 80s and cause a panic attack that made breathing even harder. I also had extreme fatigue and exhaustion, which was very frustrating for a mom of five kids!
On day 16 I called the health department and told them that my only symptom was fatigue, and they said I could end isolation. Unfortunately, the fatigue and exhaustion lasted about 30 days. I feel like I am finally starting to feel back to normal.
I was asked by my employer to get tested on June 8 for COVID-19 because a coworker’s family had tested positive. I was surprised when the result was positive! I had been feeling fine but noticed some congestion and body aches for about three days as I started my isolation period, although I thought it might be allergies and sore muscles from working out.
I had been in close contact with my wife when I could have been contagious, but she never got sick and had two negative tests.
I secluded myself in a separate room at home for 10 days. The first two days weren’t bad, but after that I could see why humans weren’t meant to be alone. It was hard, but I wanted to do my part to keep others safe.
I was mostly asymptomatic and am feeling good now, although I do notice a little tightness or pressure in my chest on occasion.
This article was originally published in the Fall 2020 issue of Health magazine.
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