Surviving Covid-19

With all of the uncertainty surrounding the realities of Covid-19, it always helps to hear stories from people who have actually endured the virus. My uncle, Edouard, and aunt, Brooke, were nice enough to spend some time talking with me about their experience living with and surviving Covid-19. While both of them were diagnosed positive for the virus, their symptoms and experiences varied despite living under the same roof. 


How did you find out you were sick and what were your first symptoms?

Brooke: “My first symptoms were flu like symptoms: chills, fever, and a little bit of a sore throat. In the beginning I thought that maybe it was just the flu and then as time went on my symptoms started to evolve into no taste, no smell, and severe headaches. Then I started to get chest tightening, which sent me to the hospital and so I got a Covid test and found out that I was positive.”

Edouard: “My wife went through having all of these symptoms and I had a headache and chills for a couple of days. So since I was living with her and she came back with a positive test, I knew that I had it but in a mild form.” 


Was it difficult to get a test?

Brooke: “It was not difficult for me to get a test and I think that is because I had chest tightening and chest pain. I did, however, have to go through several questions and screenings in order to get the test. Edouard though had a really hard time getting a test, especially the first time.” 

Edouard: “I went to the same hospital that Brooke went to two days later and was not able to get tested because at that moment there was limited supply. Also, they were only allowing in people who were basically about to go on a ventilator and I wasn’t at that point so they rejected me. What I had to do was I came home and was able to find a local doctor to come to my house and give me a test.”


How long were you sick for?

Brooke: “I was sick for pretty much a total of fourteen days. I had very severe symptoms for the first ten and then it started to linger off. But I would say that I fully recovered and started to feel better after fourteen days.”

Edouard: “I was sick for probably a week and a half, but I didn’t experience the lack of energy or some of the more severe symptoms that people with worse cases endured. Headaches and chest tightening were my issues, but nothing that was really putting me down. I was still energized and able to walk around and deal with my kids and everything.”


Some people who have Covid-19 compare the feeling of breathing to broken glass going through your lungs. Did you experience this sensation, and if not, what was breathing like for you?

Brooke: “I didn’t experience a sensation that felt like glass going through my lungs. What I felt was pressure on my chest and when I would take deep breaths there would be a pain, but it was mostly a tightening pain and an intense pressure that made me feel like my chest was collapsing.”

Edouard: “Basically the same as Brooke, but not to the same degree.”


You have two kids who are nine and six. How has homeschooling them been?

Edouard: “A complete and utter nightmare and I have lots of respect for the teachers in the world because it is impossible.”

Brooke: “Homeschooling has been very challenging, especially in the beginning when I had to also work full time without any extra support outside of my husband. That was very difficult. I since am no longer working, so I’ve been able to dedicate more time to the kids and the homeschool process, but it’s been very difficult to navigate two different young ages, six and nine, and two different schools with two different learning platforms, while both of them needing my attention and support during the day.”


What advice would you give people who are diagnosed with Covid-19?

Edouard: “Take a deep breath and try to hope that you have a mild case because there are so many unknowns. As long as you are somewhat healthy and live an active lifestyle, you will most likely be okay, but you just have to really hope for the best.”

Brooke: “Take care of your body as much as you can. Start drinking tons of water, do whatever the doctors are saying in terms of what to eat, what to drink, and what vitamins and medication you should take. Sleep, relax, take it easy if you can. Obviously isolate yourself and be super clean with everything that you do so you don’t run the risk of giving anyone else the virus. And mentally, just really try to maintain a positive outlook because you can go to a really dark place and it’s very scary. It’s really important to try to stay as positive as possible. And again, you should stay home and get a lot of rest, but if you are really starting to feel worse you have to contact your doctor and keep in touch with them, especially to know when it’s time to seek additional medical treatment if needed.”