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I Developed A Cold During The Pandemic: What I Did & How I Dealt With It

At a time like this, sickness is scary. It became especially scary to me when one morning I woke up and my throat was feeling slightly itchy. However, because this was something that was normal for me (like if I forgot to drink water before bed) I did not pay it much attention. When I woke up the next day and that dryness was intensified - that was when I began to worry.

[bf_image id="q8hz40-5tj6s8-563u01"] I started racking my brain for all the recent instances of me making contact with anyone. I started getting so scared that I stayed in my room all day with the door closed, attempting not to come into contact with my family. 

The Coronavirus is something that attacks your lungs, and although I am no longer asthmatic (and have not been since I was little) my first thought was about how if I had the virus, I was going to die. On top of this, my anxiety was terrible that day. These panicking thoughts ran through my head on repeat, and even though I was staying in my room and trying not to have any contact with my family, they did not seem to care, so they continued to get close to me. Nevertheless, my family was about 10 steps ahead of me, and so as soon as I said “I think I’m getting sick," they were already giving me medicine.

[bf_image id="q5aiqw-8el4s0-7303d9"] It took so much energy to get myself to calm down and start listening to my body. It was not until the next day that I  started assessing my symptoms. I really only had an itchy throat, a cough and mucus. When my mum took my temperature using an ear thermometer, I had no fever. Immediately I started taking cough syrup each day in the morning and in the night, and before bed each evening, I smeared vapor-rub all over my nose, chest and sock covered feet. 

Another fact that also helped me to calm down was the fact that I had not been outside or in contact with anyone outside of my family since I came home for quarantine back in March. Even so, my brain kept registering this cold as Coronavirus because my parents would still go out so that they could go to work. I began to think of that situation as the reason why I even had what I thought at the time could have been Coronavirus. Sitting in my room left to my own thoughts, I began to analyze that situation and how that could not realistically be the case; that would have to mean my whole family - who was not presenting any symptoms - also had it. 

My anxious mind immediately went back around and thought about the fact that they could be asymptomatic. In my home, there are six of us; one of the six being an eight month old baby and another of the six being 65 year old women. At that point, my mind decided that if my whole family was exposed to the virus, those two people would not be asymptomatic. Babies, the elderly and immunocompromised folks are the groups that are supposed to be at the greatest risk. 

[bf_image id="q70b2n-dr6imo-1xrv6u"] Once the circles that were going around in my head slowed down, I finally was able to calm down. I do not have Coronavirus, I have a cold. As I write this article, I am practically cold free (but still taking medicine as a precaution).

From this past month in quarantine, I feel like I have started to let a lot of the things I am reading on the news get to me. Unplugging and sitting in my room shuffling through all my thoughts was honestly the biggest way I was able to deal with my cold. That along with the support that my family gave me when I became paranoid out of my mind. The important thing now is that I am healthy and safe, and I am lucky that neither I nor my family have been exposed to the virus.

Genessee (Gen-eh-see) is a second year, non-transfer senior majoring in English at UCLA. During her free time she loves to read, write, and dance. Currently she is a feature writer with HerCampus UCLA, writer for the UCLA VDay Coalition, and treasurer of Grupo Folklórico de UCLA. You can contact Genessee at genfloressantos@gmail.com
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