Hundreds of thousands of people have died from the coronavirus throughout the world. Hundreds of thousands of others have survived COVID-19. These survivors have learned a lot from the healing process. Many have shared some things they would like for us to know.
Trevor Martin, a Seattle resident, and Lutheran pastor, was alarmed at how quickly the virus spreads. On March 1, he visited a friend in the hospital. He later learned the friend had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Martin said, “It can spread so easily. It doesn’t seem to matter if you’re in contact with a person or not.” He said that this is why social distancing is so essential as well as staying home as much as possible.
Chiara DiGiallorenzo, 25, living in Miami, battled the virus for a long time. Her illness started with fatigue and fever. Although these two are both flu-like symptoms, she knew something was different. She started feeling a growing tightness in her chest. This resulted in causing her to be short of breath. She said that many victims who get it are “fighting for air.” Christy, who withheld her last name, said, “It’s not just a cold. I’m pretty healthy and not old (in my 40’s), and it kicked my ass.” Her case started with a multiday fever. It then progressed into sinus congestion, a headache, and a debilitating “brain fog” that made it difficult for her to focus.
A large percentage of people suffering from COVID-19 have mild symptoms such as a slight fever and a dry cough. They normally recover on their own while at home.
DiGiallorenzo is teaching other millennials about the severity of the pandemic. She’s hosting Q&A’s on her Instagram page. She believes younger people must understand that passing it on to an older, less healthy person, can be deadly. She also wants younger people to know they can get sick too. This is particularly true if they have underlying health issues. She said, “Nobody is invincible to this.”
Testing continues to be a problem as it is still limited. This means test kits are mostly available just for those with the most severe symptoms. Some hospitals will not test people due to their age and their level of health. Some of those who have recovered suggested if you get tested, or not, just assume you have COVID-19. Quarantine yourself until you feel better. Christy said, “You will probably never be able to get tested, so you’ll just have to act accordingly.”
Former COVID-19 sufferers are almost all experiencing an outpour of support. Many people are receiving meals and groceries, as well as calls to check on the patient. Even so, they point out that there are others, many of them elderly, who do not have others to lean on. Christy said, “I would love it if people start thinking about folks who might need a phone call, email, or message right now. It’s a great time to reach out to a friend or relative and check-in.”
COVID-19 is something that seems to be on our mind each day. If we all do our part, these days can hopefully be numbered.