A new notification pops up on the screen, and our eyes start to glaze over after we read “COVID-19.” With a quick flick of our pointer finger, it disappears into a void of information on a distant, invisible enemy that we fail to fear...until you or someone you know becomes a number in that rising toll.
It hasn’t been very long since we first heard the word “coronavirus,” but in the short span of time since it first entered our lives, it has completely rocked our world and transformed daily life. At this point, it almost feels like we’ve become desensitized to it. Unless it’s something affecting you or your family, it’s pretty much become something we disregard.
I think most of us are guilty of the same things, like wearing those unbearable masks right below our noses, so we don’t have to suffocate for any longer. So many of us take daily risks without even realizing it. We expose ourselves and others to potential danger without even a second thought. We continue to go out and continue to gather. We act unafraid because this enemy cannot be seen, and we fail to remember that any given person could have been infected. They could’ve touched the door you opened or stood behind you in the grocery store.
The rules we break bring risks.
It doesn’t seem like something that’s really a big deal or affecting the world until it happens to you. In my case, it did happen to me. I was lucky enough to get a case that didn’t take my life. Some people aren’t that lucky, and those are the type of people we need to try and protect. My heart does go out to those families that have lost someone from this awful illness, and I also think of those who are currently suffering from it.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to know who will get those cases. I woke up one Sunday full of energy and ready for a new day. I ended that day, barely able to move from bed. The truth is I still intended to work the next day. I felt lethargic, and my body hurt, but I didn’t think the worst. My mom and boyfriend encouraged me to stay home and get some rest just to make sure I felt better, and thanks to them, I did.
By the next morning, my symptoms were even worse. The body aches were so severe I hardly wanted to move or get up from the bed. Despite my protests, my mom insisted that I get tested at a COVID-19 facility. I was certain I didn’t have it, but I humored her. The process was pretty simple. There was a medical team set-up outside, and you stay in your car the entire time.
I was approached by a triage nurse that asked me questions about my symptoms and exposure. In less than five minutes, they had one of those terrifying arm-length swabs headed straight up one of my nostrils. I received a rapid test, which meant I got my results the same day. They made me park in a spot nearby the site. I had sat on the phone with my mom while waiting for the news.
I distinctively remember telling her I didn’t think it was coronavirus. I told myself it couldn’t be, but the doctor who approached me ten minutes later said differently.
So what do you do when your coronavirus test is positive? You go back home, get in bed, and hope you have somebody who’s going to be brave enough to bring you stuff without fear of infection. It was a couple of weeks full of Lysol and other cleaning agents. The four walls I was stuck within felt like a prison from which I’d never escape.
The day after I was diagnosed with coronavirus, I completely lost my sense of smell and taste. I also became convinced that I would never be able to get over the severe pain I felt all over my body. Nothing made it feel better, and no position could lessen the pain.
It definitely wasn’t a cure, but I was thankful for anything at that point. The CBD provided me with relief from my symptoms. I don’t really understand it, but every person experiences it differently with cases ranging from mild to severe. Some people might not even know they have it. My boyfriend got it at the same time as me, and he didn’t experience any symptoms. The only thing he had was a runny nose, and, at the time, it wasn’t even considered a sign of coronavirus. He was still positive.
I’m generally concerned about the state of affairs in our nation. I’m in disbelief every day of what we now consider the “new normal.” Life has changed in so many ways, but I think we’re missing the biggest change that our world needs. I think it’s time we stop turning against each other and remember how far a little bit of kindness can bring us. I think we’re being given the opportunity to look more closely at ourselves and the kind of people we want to be.
I think I want to be someone who thinks more of others, so I’ll suck it up and pull my mask back over my nose. I’ll suffocate myself for just a little bit longer and hope that our country can come out of this with each of us caring about others just a little bit more.