A First-Hand Report from a COVID-19 Case

This is a report from a friend of my daughter in New York City. She is mid-thirties. I have redacted her husband’s name to XXXX for privacy. These are her words:

Back in March XXXX and I were both sick for 2+ weeks each with what is presumed to be Covid-19. While our cases are considered mild (meaning we did not go to the hospital, we were not able to get tested due to extreme shortages, and were advised via telehealth appointments) it was still the scariest time of my life. Taking care of XXXX while the world reeled and the city fell totally silent, riddled with this mystery illness and mounting deaths, was isolating and awful. Although we did not go to the hospital, this was the sickest I had seen XXXX and our symptoms were beyond the kind we are familiar with caring for at home-like recurring circulation issues and chest pain bad enough to wake me up at night.

We have recovered but up until last month, five whole months later (almost half a year!), we continued to have days of extreme fatigue and recurring lung and chest pain. We would walk the dogs or unload the dishwasher and have that pinching feeling in our lungs, like we had just gone for a marathon run. In May we ventured out for a meandering 3 mile walk. We stopping half way to sit down. It was a sunny WARM day and when we got home, we were both so cold and fatigued we began to shiver and had to take long hot showers just to warm up.

Despite clear sinuses, I completely lost my sense of smell at the start of April. It took nearly two months for it to faintly return and even today it’s still not the same. Today I read this article and it was so comforting to know it wasn’t just me. For me the phantom smell is akin to a disgusting, slightly sweet, stale garlic breath. Like a bad practical joke, mint smells like this, as do many cleaning products, laundry detergents, and some foods. I smell it everyday, multiple times a day. For a while I even thought it was me that smelled. Just last week I started to really lose my patience and complained about it to XXXX, telling him it was as though a spectrum of scents have fallen off in my brain and they now register as old garlic breath. I wasn’t totally wrong.

I am thankful this is all we have to report but I worry for those who are hit harder and I try not to think too much about the unknowns, such as any future health complications that may surface as a result….

It is possible to find comfort in uniting against this and doing the right thing by others. The virus is real. It’s worse than the flu. I know it’s hard and we are all suffering from fatigue (or much much worse) but please wear a mask, practice caution, and be mindful.

And this is why I remain in quarantine.

One thought on “A First-Hand Report from a COVID-19 Case

  1. Yes! If only everyone took it as seriously. But everyone has covid fatigue now. Not from being ill but from being bored with it all. And that means they are in a dangerous place, because they may take unnecessary risks.

Leave a Reply