covid long term effects
September 14, 2020 was the day it happened. The day my positive test came back.
Growing up, viruses were no big deal. You’d get sick, stay home from school, sleep a lot and down bowl after bowl of chicken noodle soup. After a few days of milking the “Mommy I still don’t feel good” while playing in the backyard dirt, you buck up and go back to school. covid long term effects
That’s how a virus used to go. Nowadays? It’s anything but no big deal. Wash your hands after you touch this or that, stand six feet apart and actually sneeze into your elbow this time. Is the mask enough? Does anyone really know what’s going on with this thing?
September 14th was a strange day. It felt as if life stopped for 24 hours. My roommates and I called all the health professionals to report our tests. We emailed all our professors saying we’d try our best to make it to class but weren’t sure how we’d be feeling. The weirdest part about it all was that we were letting a test tell us how we should react. At this point I had no symptoms. I had a bad headache three days before, that was it. One of my roommates had a 24 hour fever two days before, and the other two girls had minor cold symptoms. The next few days is where it turned – it felt almost as if a positive test was causing us to feel this way, not the virus itself.
The next two weeks we were stuck within the parameters of our house and yard, spending lots of time on the roof and in the sun (yes, the roof) which I’m sure helped a lot, ate lots of meals together, and bonded in a way that was very unique. We saw the best and worst sides of each other, as well as the delusional and sleep deprived sides. Let me remind you – just because your professor tells you to get rest, it doesn’t mean the assignments go away. They have to happen at some point. It was a very special two weeks that I sometimes wish I could go back to just so that I can have an excuse to be lazy and sleep a lot, but I’d be okay without those first moments of “how do we react to this?” Oh, and the isolation. Not fun. covid long term effects
Recovery took just as long as expected, 10 days. I had lost my senses of taste and smell around the seven-day mark. Oftentimes you lose your taste and smell because of congestion…but I was not congested. They just vanished and it was awful. I was hungry but I couldn’t taste anything, so I didn’t want to eat. The craziest part is that we are still experiencing some symptoms now. One roommate says she still has difficulty breathing sometimes. My sense of taste and smell has changed twice since having COVID; it started to come back at the 4-week mark after our 10 day quarantine, and now I can really only smell things if I am close to them, and my taste buds seem to be operating in neon. Aka, no dynamic range. For example, if I cook something with onion, what I taste most is the onion. If I make coffee, it tastes burnt. Always. If I eat an apple or anything that is supposed to taste at all sour, it is extremely sweet. For someone who loves food, I 10/10 do not recommend contracting COVID. covid long term effects
All that said, I am grateful to have experienced only minor symptoms, and luckily we are on our way out of this! I don’t know about you but I cannot wait to smile in the grocery store again, to give people high fives, not be afraid to pet stranger’s dogs, and not have to pause to let someone pass by me on the sidewalk. Though we have to keep in mind that this virus is not yet completely eradicated, we can indeed walk with the hope that this year will bring good change. Here’s to 2021, the year that we keep growing and learning together! covid long term effects
Are you a COVID survivor? Are you still experiencing any side effects? Let us know in the comments below!
About Holly Beeler
Holly Beeler is a student studying Spanish to be a bilingual teacher in language immersion elementary schools. She recently married her husband, Matt, and is loving the journey of building a home and family together. In her spare time she enjoys gathering with and serving her church and going on long nature walks.
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