During a session, my therapist (yeah, I started that during quarantine; let’s talk about that later, okay? lol) asked me, “how are you wrapping your mind around the severity of COVID? People are dying from the same thing you have. Have you thought about it?”
To be honest, up until that point, my mind had seemingly dissociated the severity of COVID from me having it. Don’t get me wrong. As a healthcare professional, I definitely understand how serious the Coronavirus is, especially in those with co-morbid (read: multiple) conditions such asthma, high blood pressure, and immunocompromised states. But when it came to me, I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around the fact it could have been much more.
When we got off our call I literally sat there for a moment and allowed myself to take it all in. It is by God’s grace that I am a woman in her 20s, physically fit, and able go through this illness with only moderate symptoms that did not require hospitalization. It is by His grace that the shortness of breath I experienced did not lead to be being intubated and vented. At a point, I simply ate for sustenance – eating without the ability to taste and smell food removed the joy I once had in making and eating meals. I got accustomed to waking up with so much fatigue that the only thing on my mind was the next nap. I hated the pain of daily headaches that would bring even the strongest person to their knees.
I felt really dramatic typing all that lol but that’s the reality of it. As of July 25th, 2020, 143,868 people have died from COVID. That’s one hundred, forty three thousand, eight hundred and sixty-eight people.
Imagine me at home quarantining from a job (a new one at that) that I love, having only enough strength wake up, eat, and sleep while I watched people on Facebook talking about how they won’t be inconvenienced to wear a mask. Imagine me having to quarantine from my husband, not being able to even give him a hug (what a life) and getting on Instagram just to see people try to rationalize why masks don’t work. Imagine me not being able to see my family while people continue to spread baseless claims that COVID is a ploy of the government to control the minds of the masses. I probably engaged with such people and conversations a little too much but I WAS PISSED.
In a family gathering of 6 people, 5 of us tested positive afterwards. Do the math. All it takes is one person to spread this thing y’all. Do not let your guards down when it comes to social-distancing. Do not be around others that don’t value social distancing guidelines because they don't think they'll get sick. If you can’t be far apart outdoors, keep a mask on indoors. I’ve learned my lesson. Period
If anything, I want you to know that COVID IS NOT A MYTH. I’m thankful that this was only my reality for two weeks but there are PLENTY of people who find themselves fighting this illness for months. I debated whether or not this should even be a post. But I wanted you to be able to say you know someone that had COVID. I wanted it to be something that hit home for you. I want you to know that news headlines are not far-fetched, and they are not unlikely to be applicable to anyone you know; that couldn’t be any further from the truth. If you’ve gotten to the end of this post, I am asking that you wear a mask. Use wisdom when going out and ask yourself “is where I’m going truly necessary right now?” If it is, ask yourself “am I doing all that I can to protect myself and those around me? Let’s not politicize mask-wearing.
I was fortunate enough to make a full recovery and test negative on subsequent tests. However, there are many people in your community and state that may not be so fortunate. Lives are literally at stake. WEAR. A. MASK.