Been a crazy couple of weeks – feels like a strange dream or a movie. My husband and I started self-isolating Friday evening after I returned home from work; I took a quick run outside along the waterfront (keeping my 6ft+ distance from others), and grabbed a few essentials like almond milk and lemons from a local bodega. We had been totally careful about not touching surfaces and doorknobs, washing our hands like crazy, deep cleaning our apartment, hand sanitizer and Lysoling everything. We are both fit and healthy thirty-somethings living in Downtown and working in Manhattan, and we love to cook healthy food, go out to local restaurants, and workout regularly. We are self-admittedly clean freaks (way before this Coronavirus reared its head), who don’t wear shoes in the house and spend most Saturday afternoons cleaning our place with a beer in hand post-workout. My husband has knee pads for cleaning our floors, for God’s sake. We had plans to go visit my sister/brother-in-law, parents and grandmothers in South Jersey on Saturday March 14th, which I decided to abort after the Flyers game we were attending in Philly was canceled (and their regular NHL season was canceled due to the pandemic). Things were getting real, and my husband had a bit of a cold and I just didn’t want to bring anything home, God forbid we were carrying anything. Didn’t want to potentially expose my parents and especially my grandmothers to any sickness, just in case.
Fast forward a week, and things have evolved quicker than I could’ve ever imagined. It has been a weird ride, as my husband and I both fell ill. What a very bizarre sickness – and we are absolutely on the mild side. Overall, I’ve felt like it has morphed from seasonal allergies to a flu to a bad head cold, mixed with some asthma. I haven’t ever had mono, but I imagine that this lingering sense of weakness and fatigue must be somewhat similar.
I didn’t think this was Covid at first, as none of the initial symptoms or articles mentioned mucus or anything; they all mentioned a dry cough and sore throat, both of which my husband and I did NOT have. I felt like I had allergies. He had more relatively mild symptoms starting Friday, March 13th – just seemed like a cold. He did appear to have a slight fever, but seemed to feel better Saturday after taking it easy Friday night. We opted to stay local in JC that weekend, and just rest up and try to do our part in “flattening the curve.”
The next few days were a bit of a whirlwind, as we worked from home in our one-bedroom Brownstone apartment, amidst symptoms similar to colds, the flu, and some just totally foreign. My husband lost all sense of taste and smell starting Friday the 13th. I chalked it up to allergies and told him that it can happen this time of year, but I totally underestimated what was happening. Even after his congestion cleared up, he still has zero sense of smell or taste – we’re talking, he could bite into a raw onion at this moment and not have a problem. Bleach? Can’t smell it. We had differing symptoms, as he never had the crazy body aches and chills and fever that I endured on Tuesday, and I never fully lost my sense of taste and smell (although it is absolutely dampened). He started off by feeling sort of numb all over, and that came to me a few days ago, especially on Day 7. It is such a weird sensation – your body just feels weak and tired and you can feel something touching your skin, but it is just…deadened. Very surreal.
On Day 5 of my ordeal (Day 7 for my husband), we finally separately booked e-visits with doctors at Weill Cornell, our health network, after we were unable to get anywhere by calling testing sites and hotlines. Testing sites had no tests, hotlines were busy or rerouted to nowhere. I truly didn’t think anything would come of it, and we were feeling a little bit better – definitely not wanting to barge into a hospital or doctor’s office as our symptoms were manageable. I had been keeping a close eye on Italy and everything happening there, and knew our health system was likely about to encounter a lot more than they can handle, and we definitely are the type to try to minimize doctor’s visits for sure.
Much to our surprise, when we did finally chat with the doctors, they immediately said “yep. You’ve got Covid.” Sounds like they are hearing a lot of odd new symptoms, the main one being that complete loss of taste and smell, as well as skin sensitivity and aches. Testing is mostly being done on the hospital level at this point (as it should be), as patients are being treated with experimental measures since no one really knows a lot about this thing yet. Definitely appears to be changing as it evolves and spreads, and we are all learning new things everyday. That being said, the one thing to take away from this all is to STAY HOME. For us especially, we are under a self-quarantine for three full days AFTER all symptoms have completely disappeared – minus the taste and smell thing, as the docs are hearing and seeing that that can take up to 3 weeks.
The main things I have been trying to do are take Tylenol regularly, monitor our temps (with a MEAT thermometer. YUP. All we had. This is my life now.), drink a daily cocktail of Pedialyte and Emergen-C to keep our Vitamin C and Zinc levels up, have lots of hot water with lemon and green tea and water, and eat a shit ton of greens and other healthy foods. Tough to have an appetite when you really can’t taste anything, but it is so essential for us to stay filled with beneficial vitamins.
As of today, my Day 7, we are running out of fresh essentials like fruits and veggies and other perishables, and Fresh Direct and Amazon Pantry have zero deliveries available for the foreseeable future. Hopefully in a day or so our symptoms will diminish and I can leave the house just to pick up a few things necessary. With the newly-deemed lockdown as of 9pm tonight, it will be a bit more difficult to figure this all out, but I am glad it is happening. People need to take this seriously; this is NOT a drill. Don’t be an asshole. We will get through this together as long as we truly all do our part and take the right steps right now to flatten this curve and kill off this thing. I did NOT think my husband or I would actually catch this virus. I am SO thankful we appear to be getting better day by day, as I know that this attacks people, young and old, healthy and immunocompromised, in all different ways. I know we are very lucky to be young and healthy – I don’t claim to have any answers and this is just my personal journey over the last week, and hope that by sharing this, it can help someone, anyone. Many people who have contracted it don’t show any symptoms at all! I know there is a lot of misguided info out there and people can feel especially alone right now.
Praying for a healthy summer. Looking forward to supporting our local businesses in person, and to travel again. But in the meantime, the Coopers will be here hunkered down in JC, getting better together and keeping the spread down as to not overwhelm our healthcare workers. They need all the support they can get right now. We can get through this, but we need to band together to do it. If you need any Netflix recs, I’m your girl. #stayhome
WE NEED YOUR HELP
We are raising funds to purchase food and necessities to our local hospital workers, homeless shelters, police department and to anyone who may need any help during this time. With the funds we raise we will use it to buy food from local businesses to also help support them during these difficult time. To donate, go to our GOFUNDME page.