I expected to write about this at some point, though I didn’t think I would be writing about this on week four.
I want to give an honest look at my thoughts, feelings and actions because I know this experience is different for everyone. I know people have had it far worse than I, and I am not positive I handled everything perfectly.
So, starting Thursday, Sept. 2, at around noon, I began feeling cold and I noticed a consistent tickle in my throat. Beyond that, nothing else.
I lead this off by saying that I’ve felt symptoms like this before. I thought it was a case of me overworking myself as I was trying to solve the curious case of the Alumni Building with no power, handle other paper-related activities and manage school. I thought one night in would be safe. Luckily, I didn’t convince myself or let myself be convinced to go to Ferris’ football game. That would have been a mess.
I got some sleep and woke up in the morning feeling good. I thought I had taken care of whatever was ailing me. I felt so good that I went onto campus. I attended a virtual meeting at the library, I picked up keys to cubicles in the UC and I even ran into a friend of mine. By about noon, I started feeling bad again. It was about this time that my roommate called and told me to take a COVID-19 test.
After Burkham couldn’t get me in, I bought a COVID-19 take-home test.
At my apartment, within 30 seconds of this 15-minute test, it showed I was positive.
It was at this point my sinuses were all stuffed up.
One phone call home and I left. I didn’t want to infect anyone at my apartment, so I went home, where I had a room that I could lock myself away in. I didn’t stop anywhere on the way and drove straight home.
Over that weekend, I took a test at a clinic in Ionia and those results also came back positive. It was at this point the final symptoms I noticed began creeping in. I was tired all the time and the tickle in my throat gave way to coughing fits.
At this point, I began making phone calls to the Torch’s staff. A lot of phone calls. The realization that we had a mostly in-person meeting the day before I started showing symptoms made me very uneasy. So the biggest task for the weekend, beyond seeing that the paper got produced, was calling every single person I could think of that was in this classroom with me. I wanted to personally tell them that I was sick; it was my responsibility.
Luckily for me, the symptoms began to lessen over the 10-day quarantine. The cold feeling faded by Sunday, which I presume was the fever. The drowsiness went away after a few days of sleep. The coughing fits are the only symptoms that lasted longer than a few days, with the tickle being present up until day ten before finally fading away to a brief flare.
Beyond that, there wasn’t much more to my symptoms. Luckily, I didn’t spread it to any of my family members while I was at home. Despite the nurse in Ionia saying that my mom was going to get it since she drove me. Luckily, my staff didn’t get sick. Luckily, no one that I know of got sick when I went out Friday.
Notice, I say luckily a lot in the previous paragraph. I truly feel that I was lucky that neither I nor anyone else I knew got seriously ill from this. A lot of people have not been so lucky. Too many people have been unlucky.
This was a virus that was scary to me due to the fact that it was so easy for me to brush off. I’ve felt every symptom that I had with this virus before. Every single one. So it was relatively easy for me to brush it off as a cold, or overexertion or allergies. Heck, if it wasn’t for my roommate convincing me to get a test, I would’ve acted like I was fine and could have caused a campus-wide outbreak and hurt a lot of people.
All I can say, as someone who is not an expert in virology, is that everyone needs to be mindful of symptoms. Until the test showed it was COVID-19, I thought it was a cold. If you feel anything that I felt, figure out a way to get a test. You don’t know who is protected against this virus and who isn’t. So why not try to protect a fellow human being?