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Never in my life would I have imagined myself living in a global pandemic. Seeing my loved ones walk around wearing masks was so foreign to me two years ago, and now it’s the norm. It’s safe to say that this has been an eerie feeling.

With this pandemic comes a lot of learning, and most of all with science. Never as a society have we been so hyperfocused on biology, and specifically epidemiology, regarding what the COVID-19 virus is. Because of this, I want to talk about my experience with catching the virus and it invading my body for almost two months. However, before I begin, I just want to say that my experience is not the same as others. The virus affects everyone differently, and I will just be discussing my own (and my family’s) perspective.

woman wearing mask grocery shopping
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

As we know, lockdown happened at the beginning of March. Everything was closed, gloves and masks were in hand, and there were only essential things available. School began online and no in-person contact was made. We caught the virus in July. It was at the beginning of Phase 1, right after lockdown had stopped; however, many were still at home. My parents are essential workers, given that they work at airport hangars for cargo, and they were in charge of making sure that these airlines were getting the medical supplies needed to hospitals. Personally, I believe that the opening of Phase 1 happened too early, because unfortunately, both my parents caught COVID while working.

This caused a lot of frustration and really diminished my mental health. I had not left the house in months, and I managed to get the virus at home. I was the only person I knew that had gotten the virus, and it felt as though the world was punishing me — I felt like a freak show in the circus. When these things happen, we subconsciously think, “but it won’t happen to me,” until it does. Since the idea of catching it was so terrifying, getting the test back was the only time I ever prayed for negativity.

Living in a small apartment, my family of five all got infected. We were quarantined together, not knowing that my parents had the virus when they came home from work. It infected each of us differently. My niece, at six years old, was thankfully asymptomatic; not even a sniff came out of her nose. My sister had cold chills for a weekend and recovered extremely quickly. My mom had common cold symptoms. However, my dad and I got the short end of the stick. It’s a disease of many faces.

white ceramic mug on white table beside black eyeglasses

I felt like a grand piano had crushed my body and weighed me down. I would get up every morning wanting to faint, I had headaches every day, and severe nausea had hit me. It was paralyzing because I would not want to get up at all. I lost my sense of smell and taste, and had piercing sensations everywhere. My father, on the other hand, was even worse. He has asthma and diabetes, and he even begged us to go to the hospital once. Being Hispanic, we didn’t let him and instead focused on using natural remedies to recover. At this time there was so much fear and panic in the world that we didn’t even know if a hospital could recover my father. I remember saying that, “if COVID doesn’t kill you, depression will,” because at the time, no visitors were allowed and doctors still didn’t know what treatments were right. We were scared and feared the unknown future of the pandemic.

medical worker takes a swab test
Photo by Mufid Majnun from Unsplash

On the bright side, we powered through. We drank every single remedy you could possibly think of, and I even became a graduate of “WhatsApp University,” as many Hispanics joke, because we were desperate for any cure we could find — no matter how ridiculous or crazy it might have been. We placed chopped onions around the house, boiled lemon and oranges, and tried so many different vitamins, to name a few. It took forever to test negative. Being in such a small home, we were passing it on to each other and it was hard to quarantine. But thankfully, after four covid tests each and a month and a half of symptoms, we recovered. Now, we are paranoid as ever.

Photo by United Nations COVID-19 Response on Unsplash

COVID is not a joke. COVID is not a game. COVID is a real thing and it will catch anyone — it does not discriminate. Please wear a mask and social distance, and please protect yourself. I was thankfully on the lucky side of not being hospitalized and having no complications, but not everyone has it the same. Millions of people have passed away, and it’s not a political conspiracy. It’s a real thing, and it’s horrifying. Protect yourself and protect others. No excuses.

Lover of all things creative! Class of 2024, and majoring in special education. Makeup artistry is my passion!
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