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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Irvine chapter.

It has been a bit more than a month since I wrote my last article, but I am beyond grateful to be writing again. I’m not going to lie; the past month was terrifying. I was hesitant to write about my experience because I did not think that I needed to announce it publicly. However, as more and more coronavirus cases rise, I felt it was necessary to inform people about the realities of having Covid-19. The virus is real – whether people want to believe it or not. I find it so ridiculous that many Americans believe that it is a hoax. 

Before I give you the rundown of how I tested positive, I want to share what my quarantine has been like since March. Ever since I went back home for the Spring quarter, I have been strict about my quarantine. I only went out to public spaces if I was grocery shopping or buying essential needs. I occasionally went to restaurants, but I always ate my food at home or away from people outside.

I hung out with a couple of friends about once a month in-person, but I only felt safe doing so because they were quarantining as well. I am so grateful to have friends who respect my boundaries if I thought hanging out would not be a great idea. 

I noticed symptoms on October 30th, but I did not get tested until November 2nd. I got my result on the 4th, but I already knew that I had it well throughout the weekend. I had a terrible dry cough, and I lived with a sibling who tested positive a few days before. She works in a restaurant, so I suspect she got it from a customer or a co-worker. The unfair reality is that anyone can get it even if people are super strict with their quarantine. 

I did not think that I would get the coronavirus during the two most important days in my calendar this year: Halloween and the 2020 Election. 

Halloween is an important day for me because there are particular sentiments to the day. I planned to do a special Blue Moon ritual with my close two friends a month in advance, but I had to cancel it. I was so heartbroken to cancel it, but my friends and I enjoyed a night on Zoom as I read tarot cards to them.

Election week was the most difficult for me because I was stressed out like never before. Thankfully, the results of the election were good news. 

As I went through the two weeks of having Covid-19, I jotted down the symptoms I had. My symptoms were manageable, and I was still able to get through my classes and extracurriculars. I can confirm that you can still have the virus and not have symptoms because my sibling was experiencing zero symptoms. 

All the symptoms that I had were:

  • Extreme fatigue the first two days, and mild fatigue the rest of the two weeks.

  • No taste or smell for two weeks.

  • A terrible dry cough that lasted all of November.

  • Body aches in my legs and arms.

Not being able to taste was the weirdest experience of it all. The only foods I could taste were sriracha and fruit juices. I should have tried out all different kinds of foods like raw onions or garlic paste to see if I could taste them. Maybe not being able to taste would be good for me after all because I ate so healthy during those two weeks. I genuinely missed eating foods with flavor because I only ate foods like steamed veggies for nutritional purposes.

The most significant factor in my fast recovery had to be the long hours of sleep I had. I felt so tired that all I could do was take naps throughout the day. I occasionally walked around my neighborhood to work on my breathing, which was helpful. It was so strange that I could not smell the bushes of jasmine that I walked by. 

I am incredibly blessed and grateful not to have had extreme symptoms such as difficulty breathing and that I did not have to spend any time in a hospital. I am also thankful that I have such amazing friends and family who supported me through it all. 

Remember that when you are staying at home, you are doing enough. You are keeping yourself, your loved ones, and others safe. That is the best and most productive thing you can do during a pandemic, so I appreciate you. 

The holiday season is among us, so please stay at home and host your parties on Zoom. There are so many fun online activities you can do with friends and family. We will get through this tough time and celebrate how we wanted to when things get better. 

Make sure to take care of yourself physically, emotionally and mentally!

Rehana is pursuing double degrees in Film & Media and Ethnic Studies with an interest in screenwriting, creative non-fiction, and oral histories. A proud Capricorn, she enjoys spending her time daydreaming about flaky pastries, baby otters and Studio Ghibli films.