On June 2, 2022, I unfortunately tested positive for Covid for the first time. I had managed to escape it for over two years, from when we first went into lockdown on March 13, 2020, until this point. I frequently read up on the latest medical research and developments with the pandemic, was vaccinated, boosted and never really stopped masking indoors, especially as new and more contagious variants continued to emerge. My family and I also only dined outdoors when going to restaurants and continued to socialize with friends and family outside in backyards, at the beach and at outdoor events and gatherings.
But somehow I got Covid and didn’t see it coming. My husband, sons and I took at-home tests the Tuesday morning after Memorial Day weekend before the kids went to back to school, and we were all negative. And on Thursday of that week, I taught a morning dance class at the gym (with my mask on as I always did), was on back-to-back work calls from my home office after that and felt perfectly fine. Then suddenly after my last afternoon work call that day and before I was going to pick up the kids from school, my throat felt a little scratchy. So I told my husband, who was also working from home, and he gave me another at-home Covid test. We were both shocked when it showed I was positive.
I immediately put on my KN95 mask, grabbed my laptop, phone, some clothes and toiletries and went to our downstairs guest room to isolate, while my husband went to pick up the kids from school for me. I cancelled, rescheduled or got coverage for my work meetings, calls and fitness and dance classes for the rest of that week and the following week and got in touch with all of my close contacts over the last week to let them know I had Covid. I called my parents and told my extended family as well.
The next four days were a blur. I had a persistent fever and a temperature of 100-101. I was experiencing cold and flu symptoms and felt dizzy and completely exhausted. I didn’t sleep well, because I kept waking up in the middle of the night with my heart racing, wondering if I was having any additional symptoms. A few days in, I lost my sense of taste and smell to a certain degree, though it thankfully didn’t completely go away. Over the next six days, my fever finally broke and my symptoms started to diminish, but I continued to test positive. On day 10, my Covid test was finally negative, and I was able to come out of isolation, but still wore a mask around my family on the last day to be safe. It was a scary and unpredictable experience.
The other major challenge I faced, which most people don’t always talk about, was how incredibly difficult it was to be isolated for 10 days, especially for an extrovert like me. I was thankful I was able to isolate at home and didn’t have such severe symptoms that would require me to be hospitalized. Also, my wonderful husband and kids, who thankfully stayed negative, texted and FaceTimed me throughout each day, talked to me through the window from outside and brought me food, water, extra clothes and medicine whenever needed. And my parents, extended family and girlfriends called, texted and even sent me get well gifts, for which I was so grateful. However, it was still very, very hard.
Having Covid and being in isolation for one to two weeks, can take a huge toll on not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. I tried to think positively, pray, meditate, journal, read books, work, watch movies and documentaries and stay virtually connected to my loved ones. But nothing quite prepares you for this extremely lonely experience. I missed spending quality time with my husband and kids, especially with the start of summer break, being able to put 100%+ effort into my work, being active and outside, being social with friends and family and just living my life.
However, I focused on getting better and taking it day by day. Also, as a health and wellness professional, I tried to use some of my favorite natural remedies during this time, including the following:
- Drinking hot water with lemon and honey every day to ease my sore throat and congestion and ward off any coughing or asthmatic symptoms, since I do have seasonal allergy-induced asthma.
- Doing a daily saline salt and water nasal spray to keep my nasal passages and sinuses as clear as possible.
- Eating healthy meals, including lots of fruits and vegetables each day, while also allowing myself some treats and comfort foods like ice cream every once in awhile.
- Taking my multivitamin every day, plus extra vitamin C, D, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which helped to strengthen my immune system and brain health.
- Taking Tylenol when needed for my fever and heaches.
- Practicing self-care when I was feeling a little better, including doing some light yoga and stretching, taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths to stay calm and centered, putting a skincare mask on my face, deep-conditioning my hair, painting my nails and doing a vitamin C body scrub in the shower.
All of these things made me feel better each day, and I highly recommend doing them if you’re in a similar boat.
At the end of the day, I’m thankful to have survived Covid. I do worry about the possibility of long Covid symptoms, getting it again and having my family and friends get it or get it again as well. However, those things aren’t in my control, and I have to move forward and live my life. That said, what I can control is getting my second booster shot when I’m able, continuing to mask indoors while cases remain high and new variants pop up and socializing outside as much as possible.
This was quite a learning experience for me, and I hope that sharing my experience can be helpful to you. Take care, and please stay healthy and safe!