I was sitting on my couch patiently waiting for my dad to arrive home. I was scared, anxious, not knowing what was about to happen. I was hoping for the best but expecting the worst. I remember just staring at the wall, no TV on, no music playing, just me going over multiple scenarios in my head of what could happen. My mom was at work and my brother was still asleep when my dad came in through the front door and said, “I just tested positive for COVID-19.”
“How could this have happened?” I asked myself. My mom made rules for our family. We were not allowed to go out to restaurants, hang out with friends or even go on our annual summer trip. I had already thought my summer was bad because all I could do was go to work. This was my senior summer. COVID already ruined it once, but now it had ruined it again by making its way into our home. I was terrified. My first instinct was to start cleaning. I woke up my brother, and we started cleaning the whole house from top to bottom. My dad started calling his work to let them know our situation, and my mom raced home.
At the time, I was still feeling fine. All I had was a sinus headache. I was still able to participate in my virtual work out and make lunch. But then, I took a turn. All of a sudden, I was too weak to stand by myself, I had chills and couldn’t stop shaking and my whole body was hurting. I laid down and did not want to get back up.
The next day, my mom and I went to go get tested and the results came back positive. Our doctor prescribed us a Z-Pack and we stocked up on vitamins. We took Vitamin-C three times a day, elderberry, Vitamin-D, Zinc and DoTerra Onguard pills. My mom also put together shots of essential oils for us to take throughout the day. We were also drinking plenty of Emergen-C. This seemed to be helping. After a few days of lying in bed, feeling too sick to move, I finally made my way back to the front room and was slowly gaining energy back.
I stopped running a fever after day three, but my headache was still there. My dad was also starting to feel better. Everything went back to normal for him after a few days, but he still had his cough. My mom got hit with it the worst though. She did not want to leave her bed for more than a week. Her oxygen levels also went down to 90. The doctor said if it reaches below 87, she needed to go to the hospital; but thankfully, it never got that low. My brother felt fine throughout the whole thing. He only developed a small cough, but nothing too extreme.
After the two weeks of isolation, we were approved to go back to work. I’m grateful that my family didn’t get it too seriously because my parents have a lot of underlying health issues. It was scary because I didn’t know what to expect. Was I going to make it through this? Would I be able to go back to school? There were so many days during isolation where I would just start crying. The fear of not knowing what the next day would be like really messed with my mental health.
One of the hardest things about having COVID was being stuck in isolation for two weeks. All I did before was go to work, walk my dogs at the park and do a workout, but all of that was taken away from me. Those little moments were what made my summer. Being stuck in a house for two weeks was driving me crazy, but I managed to cope with it.
The number one thing that helped me was Facetiming my friends every night. Even though I couldn’t physically be with them, I was still getting the human interaction I needed. They would make me laugh and helped get my mind off of what I was going through. We would talk about life and make plans for when we got to see each other again. They helped me realize that I wasn’t going to have COVID forever, and I would soon be able to go out again.
Another thing that helped my mental state was talking to my mom about how I feel. Even before COVID, I wasn’t the type of person to tell people about my feelings, but my mom got it out of me. It’s okay to cry and let your emotions out. It’s a scary time, and your feelings are valid. This virus is new, and doctors and scientists are still looking into it. But keeping your feelings bottled up, especially when you’re in isolation, is not healthy. Find that person you feel comfortable talking to and spill your emotions all over them.
Going outside or opening a window is also very beneficial. I self-isolated at home; so, when I got sick of the scenery of my room, I would lay out in the sun in our backyard. Feeling the sun touch my skin and breathing in the fresh air helped me relax and focus on the good things in life. The days that I was too sick to make my way outside, I would open my room’s window. I would still get to breathe in that fresh air and see the outside world.
This is also a great time to pick up a new hobby, try to learn an instrument or binge watch that Netflix show you’ve been dying to see but never had time. I binged watched, “How to Get Away with Murder,” and I loved the show so much. I also started to paint. I found out that I’m not very good at it, but I enjoyed the time I spent doing it. And, that’s the key. Find your isolation time doing something you love; it helps your focus on something other than COVID.
Life with COVID is something that’s hard to cope with. You don’t feel well, you’re stuck in isolation and you’re going through a new experience. The uncertainty about the future is a terrifying thing to go through. Some of us might get it. Others will not. But, it’s important for all of us to play a role in preventing the spread of this virus. Remember to wear your mask out in public and practice social distancing. Everyone has different reactions to COVID, so it’s important for everyone to follow the CDC guidelines.