What is it Like Having COVID-19?

Carly Waldman, Staff Writer

As of April 13, 2020, there are already more than 12,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Connecticut. Some people that tested positive could even be one of your good friends. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the people who are at a higher risk of getting more sick are: 

  • people aged 65 years or older
  • people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • people of all ages with underlying medical condition

Symptoms can appear 2-14 days after your exposure to the virus, and the three main symptoms are coughing, a fever 100.0 or above, and shortness of breath. Additional symptoms, such as headaches, gastrointestinal upset, and loss of taste and smell, are also thought to be symptoms of COVID-19. “I had a fever for 14 days.” says Westporter Eric, who caught COVID-19 early on. “I had a cough that wouldn’t stop. And one of the worst things was that I had night sweats. I would try to fall asleep, but I was sweating so much because of the fever that I had to pretty much change my clothes three times every night because I would sweat through them.”

Getting tested can be a long process. Some people, like Eric’s wife, Jen, who’s in her 40s and got pretty sick, got tested at a drive through, while others got tested at nearby hospitals. The drive-by place in Westport that Jen got tested at was run by a doctor’s office. “There were probably only 10 or 12 other cars there at the same time as me,” Jen recalled. “I also went very early on in the surge of COVID-19 in Connecticut, and was probably why it wasn’t very busy. I was very scared because I was seeing all these people in hazmat suits and I was told not to put my window down and so I was just nervous because I hadn’t known anybody that went through this so far.”

So what is it really like being one of Coronavirus’ victims? “It was like I was in a different world,” says Eric. “I felt very detached from what was going on. I was very focused on being sick and I had a fever for a very long time.”

Whether you’re a kid or an adult, being affected by COVID-19 can be problematic. If you’re an adult, it’s hard to take care of your kids if you are sick. If you’re a kid, it’s hard to live without a lot of your parents’ help. And if you’re asymptomatic, you wouldn’t even know that you have COVID-19, and you could be infecting other people in your

family. Most kids that have gotten it have just experienced a slight fever, and maybe a cough. For adults, it could be the same, or it could be much worse. For some people that are 65 years or over, or have underlying medical conditions, being positive for Coronavirus could be more deadly.

When asked if she had any advice for others, Jen said, “I think that the most important thing is hand washing. It’s important to know that you actually can avoid getting coronavirus if you’re very careful, or at least reduce your risk of infecting yourself, if you are really well kept about washing your hands and not touching your face. And, one really important thing: DON’T BE SCARED. Put your energy into doing all these things, like washing your hands, staying six feet apart, and isolating yourself if you have symptoms or COVID-19.” Stay healthy, stay safe, and please share your coronavirus story in the comments below. 

Carly Waldman
Coming into the Norwalk Hospital’s COVID-19 testing drive-through
Carly Waldman
The instructions on what to do when approaching the testing trailer.
Carly Waldman
A testing attendant asks someone for their information through the safety of the car’s window.
Carly Waldman
An ambulance is stationed on site, letting the testing personnel make sure that the info is accurate.