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At 7 a.m. on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021, I woke up and checked the results of my weekly COVID monitoring test. I expected it to say “no signs” as usual, at which point I’d start getting ready for the gym and preparing for the day ahead. But, the two words I saw instead, I did not expect: “signs detected”. To put it simply, I was devastated. All I could think was, “Why this week, why me, and how did this happen?” After I was able to calm down a bit, I scheduled an appointment for a PCR test and not even 20 minutes later, I was on my way to the Boulder Fairgrounds for a COVID test. The next day, I officially tested positive for COVID.  [bf_image id="n5kzcx267pfqcqghqsz7fk"]

Ever since the pandemic kicked me out of my dorm and sent me home last March, I had been so careful. I wore my mask, sanitized my hands, limited my exposure to others, all the precautions you can think of, I took. So I was genuinely shocked to find that an entire year later, when vaccines are rolling out and there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel, my weekly COVID test came back positive. I was so upset with myself because I didn’t know how many people I had possibly exposed, and I was just so angry that I had gotten it.

After testing positive, I started isolating myself immediately. Per Boulder County rules, I stayed in isolation for 10 full days until they gave me the all-clear to be free to leave my apartment. Luckily, my physical symptoms weren’t too severe, I just had a few headaches here and there and couldn’t taste or smell for a few days. But for me, having COVID was so much more emotionally draining than physically. It’s not easy being confined to a small space for 10 days with no social interaction and literally being a walking virus in your own home. But, I made it through. [bf_image id="fpj46fwxnz8ww6jfk6xmkb8n"] I was also worried about everybody that I’d been exposed to. The day before my positive test, I had gone to class, to work, to Target, and I had been with my roommates. They all went into quarantine when we got my test result and they got tested every other day for 10 days. I was also with my family a couple of days before my positive test, so I was constantly checking in with them as well. I don’t know how, but everybody around me tested negative. I know that I am so lucky that nobody else in my circle got COVID, and I am endlessly grateful and relieved.

I know that everybody’s experience with COVID is different, and I’m beyond lucky that my symptoms were mild and that I didn’t infect anybody else. But my experience just goes to show how little we really know about the virus. I still don’t know where or how I got it and how my roommates didn’t. I did my part in refraining from large gatherings and I didn’t party in a crowd of hundreds, but I still ended up getting COVID. Even the most careful people can contract it. And even though there is still so much that we do not know, we all have to continue doing our part in protecting ourselves and others because that is the only way that this pandemic will ever end. 

Masha Gradushy

CU Boulder '22

Masha is the Editor-in-Chief of HCCU and is a senior at CU Boulder majoring in Finance. When she's not doing school work or writing articles, you can probably find her working out, drinking an iced coffee, or scrolling through TikTok. She hopes you enjoy her content!
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