Student offers perspective after having COVID-19

‘COVID made me realize that there is something serious going on’

Graphic by: Charlie Zitta | Production Assistant

What’s it really like to have COVID-19?

A Ferris student who contracted the virus over the summer described her situation to help others understand the severity of this illness.

Mackenzie Foy is a fifth-year elementary education student and a resident advisor at Ferris. She discovered that she had tested positive for COVID-19 back in July 2020 while she was living at home with her family.

“I had just gotten home, I laid in bed and I felt like I had the shivers” Foy said. “I could barely sleep and eventually I felt my forehead and it was super hot. I walked downstairs and took my temperature, and it was over 101 degrees.”

Foy immediately alerted her mother and contacted her sister, who worked in a COVID-19 testing lab. Foy took the nasal swab test and her sister brought it to the lab. The results were ready just hours after the test: it was positive. 

Friends and family members of Foy got tested as well because they were in close contact with her. Everyone involved quarantined for around 10 days.

Ferris dental hygiene senior Abbey Dixon was one of Foy’s friends that needed to isolate over the summer.

“I was calm and was happy she told me right when she started showing symptoms” Dixon said. 

Because Foy was unable to leave her room, her parents took care of everything she needed. 

“My family was more worried about me than themselves” Foy said. “I had made sure to wash my hands regularly and be as safe as possible … they made sure to bring me food and to be as safe as possible during the time.”

Foy was also interning as a lead teacher at a daycare during that time. The establishment closed for two weeks in case of a COVID-19 contamination.

During her 10-day quarantine, Foy found different ways to occupy the time and keep herself busy.

“I was stuck in my bedroom, so I normally stayed on my phone or laptop for most of the day. This would consist of facetiming friends and family and watching movies. Eventually I had some scrap booking materials delivered to me from my mom and I was able to do that while I was cooped away” Foy said.

Foy took two nasal swab tests at the end of the quarantine period. The results came back negative and she was released.

Dixon felt at ease when Foy was free to leave isolation because she trusted the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s research on coronavirus and its effects.

“It felt like the flu and a normal sickness,” Foy said. “All my friends and family just made sure I was okay. COVID-19 is different for everyone, so I was lucky enough to be in a home and have the proper safety precautions and I was not as sick as others.”

To avoid further COVID exposure, Foy continues to social distance and only interacts with close friends and staff members. She wants to respect others, especially those more susceptible to the illness. 

“COVID made me realize that there is something serious going on,” Foy said. “Now that we wear masks and social distance, it makes me realize how serious the situation is and how I can make a difference by wearing a mask and respecting the regulations.”

Ferris heavily enforced these rules, among others, throughout campus in hopes of limiting the spread of COVID in the Big Rapids community. 

One of the university’s most severe restriction is on students attending or hosting large parties. Students could face serious consequences if these rules are broken. 

“I think partying can be taken many ways,” Foy said. “I think it is okay to be with a small group of friends that you see regularly and stay with that same group while social distancing still of course… But a party that has more than 15 people and with complete strangers should not happen because that could spread COVID so easily.”

The university has already begun seeing problems with students not obeying the new restrictions and the COVID numbers are slowly rising. The case count dashboard was last updated on Friday, Sept. 18 and listed 105 cumulative positive cases since Aug. 24.