My Battle With Coronavirus Didn't End After 10 Days

With vaccines as the light at the end of the tunnel, the end of the global pandemic is in sight, at least I thought. I made it 11 months unscathed without getting COVID-19 until I went out with someone who tested negative before we hung out.

You might be thinking, “Well, it was your choice to hang out with someone.” And you make a completely valid point. In our new environment, leaving your house ultimately puts you at risk of exposure. Unfortunately, I tested positive and had to quarantine for 10 days, but look at the bright side; now I can share everything you should know about getting the virus and how it physically and mentally impacts you.

antigen coronavirus Photo by Medakit Ltd from Unsplash As far as my symptoms went, I got very lucky. It started with a sore throat that progressed into some congestion, and then I woke up without my sense of smell. Losing my sense of smell was the tipping point for me, so I decided to get tested. I got the dreaded results that I was expecting: positive. At that point, my sore throat and congestion subsided (and I never got a fever), and I was left without smell and my energy levels diminished more than I was hoping for.

I am out of quarantine, and I still don’t have my sense of smell. Thankfully, I never lost my taste, so I was still able to grub on takeout food (that my mom got me safely). I will admit I definitely took my sense of smell for granted pre-COVID-19. Waking up with the scent of vanilla filling my nose from my Bath and Body Works Wallflower brought me happiness, to say the least. Now, there is just nothing; a void of ANY aroma, if you will. Walking upstairs post-virus without losing my breath is a luxury that I have yet to get back. I get extremely tired very fast, and I was an active teen before this happened. It’s hard to push the breaks in my life, but right now, I know that taking it easy will benefit me in the long run.

My mental health is a different story. To say I went a little crazy would be an understatement. While quarantining, I had less than one percent of human interaction—I don’t say zero because my mom would bring me things, but socially-distanced, of course. Little did I know, I thrive on in-person interactions, and without them, my inner thoughts become my best friend.

woman sleeping on bed beside book Photo by Zohre Nemati from Unsplash

In Tallahassee, I have three other roommates. By the grace of whatever you believe in, they were able to test negative twice because each of us did the best we could to take the necessary precautions that we deemed necessary. My mom took me back home to Orlando to quarantine on one side of the house, and she and my sister also got negative results after my quarantine period was over.

Before I was transported home, my roommates and I were only able to communicate in everyone’s favorite way: group chats. I also want to preface the one golden rule we all learned as children: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. All of my roommates and I are pretty friendly—two of them are my close friends. As the needy and newly quarantined resident, I desired check-ups from all my roommates, and especially my friends, to see if I needed anything or just to see how I was doing because that’s what I would do if they were in my position. I got a few but not as many as I wished for, and I let that get to my head.

The only thing I could think was that they hated me, and that’s it. I took the phrase “silence speaks volumes” to a new level. In case you were wondering, crying while having COVID-19 drains your energy more than you could imagine. I will admit that I kept them in the loop every time I had a new update, so they didn’t have a reason to worry, but I would have preferred the one-on-one interaction because that’s what I would have done. One of my roommates did continuously check up on me and brought me Chipotle, and I am more thankful for her than she’ll ever know.

Out of quarantine and back in the 850 came an important discussion that was able to clear everything up. The biggest lesson I learned was communication is key (not over text), and the pandemic is no joke. Solitude can definitely cloud your judgment, especially when you have nothing else to do but think. Friends should be able to honestly communicate and be able to clear anything up, and if they’re not able to, then they weren’t your friend. Although vaccines are around the corner, the pandemic is still something to take very seriously because the aftermath doesn’t go away after your quarantine period.

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