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When the Unexpected Knocks at Your Door: I Tested Positive for COVID-19

In these times, we find ourselves living differently, and that’s not easy to accept. Sometimes, it’s difficult for me to realize that nothing is as it was before. The times of going out when and wherever we wanted are over. If we go out now, it has to be done with certain limitations, and never forgetting the compulsory accessory for every one of our outfits: the face mask. Meeting my friends and having fun dates together is no longer possible because everywhere we go, the Coronavirus lives invisibly.

This virus has completely and mentally drained me. It’s hard for me to believe that we’re all experiencing a pandemic. I feel like I’m an actress in an apocalyptic Hollywood movie— zero going out, limited entrances to shops, a 24/7 use of hand sanitizer, disinfecting everything I touch or anything that enters my home. In short, a new lifestyle. Sure, it’s always important to maintain excellent hygiene, but with the virus, our need to clean everything has intensified dramatically.

Going outside has become a deadly step. Leaving our houses has to be a maximum security activity with all precautions taken, but always fearing that anything could happen. Eventually, it was my turn. I tested positive for COVID-19.

You’re probably wondering, “How did you get it?” to which my answer is “I don't know.” Sure, I continued my normal life. I went to work and to my medical appointments, but I never thought I would become just another statistic of those infected inside the panorama of the virus. I’m grateful that, despite having tested positive, my symptoms weren’t as strong as others’ who have unfortunately suffered. But I don’t deny the fact that, when I received the call from my doctor with my results, fear took over. I couldn’t believe it. [bf_image id="q8p3d9-4likhk-73w0b5"]

I started to feel several of the mild symptoms: fever, body aches, and allergies. At first, I told myself it was a cold, but in the early hours of a Thursday, everything escalated and I had to go to the emergency room. Everything went well, although I was feeling a horrible pain all over my body. I always told myself that everything would be fine, but something deep inside of me told me it was the virus. I always say that my sixth sense never fails, because it wasn’t wrong. When I received the call, my world stopped— what was going to happen tomorrow? Could I get over it? Was I going to die? The feeling I had was terrifying, but I tried to keep a positive attitude all the way. I started an extensive quarantine to protect myself and those who live with me.

These were eternal and cold days for me, to say the least.

I couldn’t do anything. I couldn't even leave my own room to soak up the sun. The only thing I had from the outside world were my windows. I was excluded from humanity and began to survive only with what I had in the surroundings of my room. Little by little, I realized that I began to lose my sense of smell and taste. In short, it was a living hell. Not being able to see anyone from my family or friends consumed me to such a level of depression that I had to turn to someone for psychological help. To put it into words, I felt like I was walking blindly through a dark tunnel with no end in sight. And this is just me, but what about the rest of the people who continue to battle this terrible virus today?

It isn’t until it knocks on your door that you open your eyes and see how important it is to protect yourself. I spent two months in quarantine. Now I’m cured, testing negative and feeling good, and have regained my senses. However, the Coronavirus isn’t something that we should take as a joke. It’s serious and deadly. For you, your family, your friends, your teachers, your co-workers, wear that mask. We don't know how much longer this situation will last, but it’s up to us to take it seriously and protect ourselves and our loved ones as well as we can. Stay safe!

Yarelis Ortiz Rivera is an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus. She’s studying a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a minor's degree in Human Rights. When she isn't doing college work, she has her nose buried in a book or reading academic writings for gain of knowledge and research. Yarelis Ortiz Rivera is out here to do was right with passion in her heart!
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