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More Than a Cold: My COVID Experience

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

As much as it sucks, COVID is here and around to stay for a while despite the rollout of vaccines. Being college students, it’s hard not to feel invincible, especially against COVID. But unfortunately, we’re not. Luckily, having all 3 doses of the vaccine protects against severe illness.

A little over a year ago, before the COVID vaccines were available, I contracted COVID-19 from my mom. I was a little nervous about being sick during finals but figured it would only feel slightly worse than a cold. After all, I was a healthy 19-year-old, who did CrossFit and ate fairly healthy.

I had never been more wrong in my life.

Within a few days of learning I had COVID, I had developed a raging fever and headache that was present 24/7. My chest hurt with every breath I took, and breathing became a difficult task. I couldn’t fathom that a few days prior I had felt perfectly healthy and now here I was, struggling to breathe. A couple more days passed by, and I experienced the worst pain I ever had. At this point, I couldn’t get up and down the stairs in my home without being completely out of breath (well let’s be honest, stairs normally make me feel a little out of breath anyway). One of my friends mentioned on FaceTime that at least I could still smell and taste, which I was grateful for.

The next day, I lost both my sense of taste and smell.

I went to eat that day and realized that my food tasted like nothing. Desperate, and a little bit in
denial, I took a spoonful of hot sauce. Nothing. At this point, I was in so much pain that I didn’t have the energy to be annoyed. I was a week into having COVID, and it didn’t seem like I was anywhere close to being on the mend.

Another week went by, and I felt the same I had the previous week. In pain, unable to breathe properly, and unable to taste and smell. Living with 2 parents who are physicians and in correspondence with my doctor, the consensus was that there was nothing I could do except just fight through it.

Two more weeks passed by before I felt any sense of some relief. About 8 weeks after initially contracting COVID, I began to recover. I started to gain some of my sense of taste and smell back and was able to be mobile for longer periods of time.

Since then, I have had various doctor appointments to make sure my lungs and heart are healthy and functioning well. I’m in good health now, and could not be more grateful. I wrote this account not to just scare anyone who reads it but as a reminder of how real COVID is. Now we’re lucky to have vaccines available to us, to prevent infection and/or prevent serious illness if you do contract COVID. A lot of my peers seem to now be treating COVID as something that’s just a part of our lives. While partially true, it’s still important to be wary and remember that we’re not invincible. But getting all three doses of the vaccine means that most likely you won’t have a story similar to mine. And that’s definitely a good thing.

Esha Elahi

U Mich '24

Esha is a senior majoring in Community and Global Public Health at UMich. She enjoys doing CrossFit, baking, reading, and fueling her love for coffee. Esha hopes to incorporate her love for current events and pop culture into her writing, and is looking forward to being a part of Her Campus.