By Riley Cable
Like most teenagers, I consider myself practically indestructible. When the Coronavirus first came around, I felt pretty indifferent. I was scared, obviously, but I wasn’t terrified; I didn’t plan on it stopping me. When everyone was told to stay home, it sunk in more, but I still believed I would be fine. Thousands of people died, and the numbers are still growing, but I continued to tell myself that, “I can’t get it. I’m young and healthy.” Well, fast-forward to September 2020, and here I am accompanied by a positive test-result.
I began feeling a bit off on a Sunday. I was colder than normal, had some muscle aches, and developed a headache with congestion. In order to ease my mind, I came up with countless excuses: the air conditioner was blasting, I was just really sore from working out, I had allergies. With plans to meet my family for dinner, I erased any concern and carried on. After sitting in the restaurant for 15 minutes, I basically freaked out. I knew I was sick.
Sunday night was definitely the worst of my symptoms. The chills and aches were intense, and my head felt like it was going to explode. By Monday morning, I already was less achey, but a pretty intense headache persisted, along with congestion and a slight fever. At this point, it felt like a bad flu, but I was already better. I decided to get tested because I really wanted to make sure I couldn’t get others sick.
When I got tested on Tuesday morning, I felt alright. The test itself wasn’t nearly as horrible as I expected. I went to CVS, they handed me my kit, and I shoved the infamous swab up my nose myself. It was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t painful. Luckily, my case was really mild, so at this point, I was already starting to doubt it was Corona. That was until I lost my taste and smell. Because that is such a prominent symptom, I began to face my reality. I haven’t had my smell or taste for a week now, and that has been the hardest part of my experience. I’ve had a complete loss of appetite; it’s extremely hard to make yourself eat when you taste nothing. I know that in order to get better, my body requires nutrients, but food is currently repulsive.
I woke up Friday morning to my results saying “Positive,” and even though I expected this, it took me a minute to grasp it because a piece of me hoped I was wrong. I was in shock that I was the first of my friends to get it when I really haven’t been anywhere crazy. I can’t sit here and say I’ve been perfect and don’t go anywhere, but I really have tried to follow the guidelines.
Since receiving a positive, I’ve done what is asked. I haven’t seen much more than the four walls of my bedroom except for the occasional trip to my backyard . My parents bring everything up to me, and I’ve done a lot of nothing. This has given me plenty of time to think and reflect on the choices that I’ve made during this pandemic.
Like I said, I haven’t been completely perfect. I definitely do things that aren’t necessary, but I can say with full confidence that I didn’t contract the virus while I was out doing something wild. From the first day that I felt sick, my main concern was not my own health. I was terrified that I would infect my family or friends. I wouldn’t want to put my loved ones in danger because of my own carelessness. I stand by the fact that most people my age are surviving this, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others to worry about. There are the older people and immunocompromised people that are at higher risk. Just because they may have pre-existing conditions does not mean that their life is any less important. Everyone needs to try and think of others a bit more because even if you can survive this, someone else can’t.
I’m a senior, so I understand wanting to just live my life and ignore it. I understand being so mad that everything has been taken, but that doesn’t mean I should go out and risk other people’s health. Having Corona hasn’t been fun because I’m confined to my room for two weeks, but it’s become so much more than just my own health and boredom. This has really put into perspective that I need to do my part to keep others safe.
I’m not saying “stay home.” I realize we need to keep businesses open and help the economy, but maybe just think before going to a large party. At the moment, it might hurt to turn down an invitation, but in the long run, it’s for the best. Everyone needs to do their part if we ever want to see “normal” again. I’m just as over hearing “unprecedented times” as you are, so let’s get out. Wear your mask, social distance, wash your hands, and hopefully we can see an end soon. Don’t stop living your life, but try and live a bit more considerately.
Thanks!…this is brilliant, imaginative, and effective…this should be an Op-Ed in every newspaper/publication in the USA…Congrats…!!!…Hopes this finds you Covid-clear, back to your fam, and safe…rooting for you,
Saundra & Dale, Bloomington, MN
Thank you very much for the kind words.
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