This week’s post is different from what I usually share on this blog, but I figure I would share it with you regardless, as COVID-19 does *somewhat* relate to travel. With the world opening up– and remaining open– to travel, it’s important to keep in mind that the pandemic is still going on, and it’s essential to stay safe and mindful of the impact that we have on each other with the spread of this inescapable virus. Even when we’re having fun.
Let’s cut to the chase: I got COVID. After managing to evade it for almost two years, I couldn’t believe I got it. I was even in denial for a couple of days, because I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that, despite being cautious, I still caught it. But I suppose it was going to happen sooner than later, just because my country (the US) is absolutely incompetent when it comes to handling the pandemic.
When, where, and how did I get COVID? I got COVID in late December, although the symptoms didn’t explode until New Year’s Day. What a great way to start off 2022, eh? It took about 11-12 days to fully recover. As for where and how I got it, I can’t be 100% sure, but I’m pretty certain that I caught it at work– I work in an office, and I can’t think of anywhere else that I could’ve gotten it.
I’d like to share the day-by-day breakdown of my COVID symptoms. Granted, my experience will be different from others, but I’d like to show you how I went through it and recovered. This is coming from a woman in her late twenties, fit and healthy, not immuno-compromised, and who has had both vaccines and the booster shot. Also, I believe I only caught the Omicron variant, so I wouldn’t know (nor could even imagine) how it could be with the original COVID-19 or the Delta variant.
That was my disclaimer to you. Let’s get started:
I woke up the first morning with a thin layer of mucus in my throat. It was strange, but it didn’t alarm me as I figured it was allergies and dry air in the wintertime. But the mucus didn’t go away, even as I went on with my day. I was also feeling a bit…hazy as I went about my daily chores, as if I was drugged up on cough medicine. Still didn’t think much about it, and I believed it would pass. Second day was similar symptoms, but again, I wasn’t concerned (yet).
Still feeling about the same as Day 1 and 2, but I also started developing a cough. But I still went throughout the day and was otherwise fine. Day 3 was also New Year’s Eve, and I stayed up until midnight talking with my friends online to ring in 2022. I should’ve known something was up, as my voice was becoming increasingly-scratchy and not enough water would satiate it.
I woke up on Day 4 (New Year’s Day) with a full-blown stuffy AND runny nose and a hoarse voice. The symptoms I had that night before completely exploded, and little did I know I was experiencing the worst of COVID. I was scared, but I was in complete denial that it could be the virus– I was convincing myself it was just the common cold. My dad, however, did not want to take the chance, and we drove all over town to find a COVID test. However, everything was shut on New Year’s; we would have to wait the next day. Until then, I quarantined in my room to stay away from my dad (who had no symptoms) and to rest up.
We woke up early on Day 5 to head to the neighbor clinic for a rapid Antigen test. Considering that appointments were all booked up at COVID testing sites (AND self-testing kits were all sold out), we had no choice but to do a walk-in. Even though we arrived two hours early before the clinic opened, it still took us almost two hours to get through the line and get our Antigen test. Any case, I got the results within 15 minutes confirming I was positive for COVID. Exhausted, we returned home where I subsequently isolated myself in my room again. Still felt stuffed up and hoarse voice, which I didn’t find pleasant at all.
I woke up that morning feeling significantly better, which came as a surprise considering that I was feeling like trash on Days 4 and 5. Not to say that I was fully-recovered as I still had mucus in my throat and nasal congestion. I also had to call into work to inform them that I couldn’t go in, as I had tested positive. I was informed to quarantine for that entire week and report to the office the following week, whether I tested positive or not.
Basically, I stayed in my room all week resting, watching a TON of Netflix, and spending too much on food delivery. Took Dayquil and Nyquil to help with the congestion, although the side effects of drowsiness and fatigue weren’t great.
I also had to go out on Day 8 for a PCR test, to get a more-accurate reading and to see if I was still positive. Even though I’d booked an appointment, it really didn’t matter, as I still had to wait over 2-1/2 hours with folks who did walk-in and/or had appointments. It took six days to get my results back, and they were positive– by then, I already recovered and had returned to work. Crazy times we live in…
To be honest, I was already feeling better on Day 6, but it was over the course of the week that the mucus and nasal congestion disappeared. While it was great that I didn’t have to work, I was also pretty bored staying at home. Can’t complain, though!
All recovered! Enjoyed the last of my freedom before I was to report to work the following Monday.
…and there you have it. My adventure with getting COVID. You could say that I was feeling like myself again by Day 6…but it took until Day 11 to feel 100% again. I’m very fortunate that the symptoms felt like nothing but an annoying cold; I might’ve gotten a slight bit of chills during Days 2-3, but that was about it. And I never lost my sense of taste and smell, although I will say they were slightly muted during the worst of it on Days 4-5.
If there’s anything that getting COVID has taught me about myself and society, it’s that the whole situation is clearly messed up. While I’m lucky that my symptoms were mild, I can’t imagine how much worse they could be if I hadn’t been vaccinated and boosted. And to see just how broken the US system is with even getting people tested (e.g. long queues, exorbitantly-pricey Antigen/PCR tests), I just hope I don’t have to go through all of that again.
I’d also like to add that, during these tough times, it’s important to support each other. I’m finding the pandemic has caused nothing but contention and grief, and not a lot of empathy for those who get COVID. Not everyone who gets COVID was being reckless or careless, and we shouldn’t judge or be afraid of those who have the virus– heck, you see a ton of healthcare workers getting it because of their job, so why shame them? No one should be stigmatized for getting COVID, because it isn’t necessarily their fault for catching it in the first place.
I am grateful that all of you have been nothing but caring and supportive to me throughout all of this, and I am truly grateful for your well wishes. Also knowing you’re healthy and you can get through this really makes a big difference on getting better soon, and knowing you survived it makes you even stronger and more thankful for the life you’re living now.
Get vaccinated, stay safe, and have a beautiful day! 🙂