The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
After nearly two years of avoiding the Coronavirus, I finally contracted it less than two weeks after my final semester at college had started. Yaaaayyyy!!! So here’s my Covid story, which may feel fairly unoriginal at this point to many people, but most of my friends still haven’t had Covid at all, surprisingly, so I guess a lot of people are still in that boat too.
I don’t definitively know how I got it, which stinks, but at this point, my best guess is that I got it in my college town on January 18th. I’d gone out to a bar and a pizza place with my SO and had talked to a friend without social distancing while I was out, so I either got it from them or perhaps from a not-properly washed cup or something. It’s also possible I got it from my SO who might have had an asymptomatic case, but that’s unlikely given that he’d had Covid in November of 2020, he’s been vaccinated since, and he was/is unfortunately still experiencing long Covid symptoms.
I first became symptomatic the night of January 23rd, but I brushed it off initially by thinking it was just post-nasal drip, which I get all the time. I’d had a sore throat, but if I cleared my throat a bit it would feel better, which usually happens when I get post-nasal drip. I didn’t have class that Monday, but on Tuesday, after I thought I might have had a fever during the night, I figured I might as well use my rapid-test just to be certain of what was going on, and it came back with two lines. (The pink line indicating the test was positive was SUPER faint, but it was there). So I emailed my professors and the campus wellness center and got ready to bunker down in my dorm room for five days. I live in an apartment, so I was allowed to just stay in my room.
Now, given that this was likely Omicron, and given that the incubation period for Omicron is typically 1-2 days, I tried to figure out how the heck I could have gotten it that Thursday or Friday, because I’d been super careful while on campus. My best estimate was that I got it from playing piano down the hill, but that didn’t seem like the strongest way to transmit the virus. If I had indeed gotten it on the 18th, had it really incubated for 5 days? If so, that seems atypical for Omicron from what I’ve read, but that was my case.
During the first five days, I ate a ton of soup, watched a lot of Netflix, and used up a box and a half of tissues, because now I also had a stuffy nose in addition to the sore throat. It really just felt like a bad cold. One of my roommates also got Covid and was quarantined in her room in the apartment too; we’d wear masks around our other roommates even though they’d both had Covid less than a month prior. I had the option to retest on day five at the health center, which I did, but that came back positive too. In a way it was a good thing; it confirmed my first rapid-test wasn’t a false-positive, plus I was still feeling a bit symptomatic (my sore throat would be gone during the day but then come back at night), but I was really dejected because I wanted to get out.
I was pretty lonely and I was missing most of my classes. I was able to Zoom into a few and meet with some of my professors, but for the most part I was doing the work assigned or not doing the work at all if I didn’t need to show anything for it.
On day 9, I got a call from the wellness center asking me if I was going to retest, since it had been after day 5 and I was allowed to. I called back indicating that I had indeed tested on day 5 and was still positive, but they told me they didn’t have a record of that (they’d lost it, I guess) and I could retest then if I wanted to. That day was snow-storming so I declined, but the next day, after my roommate tested negative after only been quarantining for five days, I figured I had to be negative too and retested. I was negative and got out about twelve hours earlier than I would have if I hadn’t tested at all, or if I was still positive (oof).
I was fortunate to leave isolation with no long Covid symptoms (that I’m conscious of) and to only have mild symptoms, but the only experience was crappy regardless. If you haven’t had Covid, please take care of yourself and other people so you don’t end up in my predicament! Invest in some high-quality masks and make sure to sanitize, social-distance, and vaccinate/boost if for some stupid reason you haven’t already. I’m glad I have the antibodies now, but I wish I hadn’t gotten sick anyway.