OPINION

JUST SAYIN'...This virus is no joke!

Barbara High
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Barbara High

Having pre-existing conditions, a weakened immune system, and nothing short of bad lungs, COVID was the last thing I wanted to get. Yet that is exactly what I got.

I have been scared to get COVID from the moment the pandemic hit. I was one of those people who in the beginning watched and fretted over the news and spent many sleepless nights worrying about getting it. I have been warned by my doctors that with my lungs, getting COVID would be really bad.

I stayed home, constantly sanitized, and worried. I missed Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family. I did all I could do.Yet near the end of the first year,  COVID hit my family. My mother was positive and she was not doing well. She ended up in the hospital and she struggled badly. Then my daughter caught COVID and then my son. I was in full panic mode. They were quarantined to their rooms for longer than required and even when I let them back out of their rooms, I sprayed them with Lysol, because I panicked. Yeah, they said it was child abuse (remember these are my adult children), but I felt spraying them was acceptable.

We managed to get through that time without anyone else getting it in the family, including me. As the time passed, my panic began to subside, and the vaccine came out, and I was ready to take it as soon as it was offered to me.

Getting the vaccine was a game changer for me. I felt more secure and started to not feel so scared. Then they lifted the mask mandate for those who were vaccinated. I held onto mine, for awhile. Yet over time I  began to relax; not always wearing the mask on quick trips into the store. Summer was spent more hanging out with family and friends. Unlike the summer before, this one was more normal. Life seemed to be finally getting back to normal.

Then we began to hear about the Delta variant, and how the vaccine didn’t protect against it. Yet I guess a part of me did not want to go back to living so afraid. I did go back to my mask and normal precautions, however.

School year came around and I decided to send Jasper back to school this year. Last year I kept him virtual the whole time. We had a vacation scheduled and life was truly feeling normal.

Two full weeks into school and Jasper comes home saying he had a headache. The next day I didn’t send him. The following day he was stuffy and said his head hurt. I called the doctor and was unable to reach them; that night he had a low grade temperature. The following day I was still unable to reach the doctor and I reached out to other parents and asked if they were having issues with their kids being sick. I was told they had children with the same symptoms and that it was a head cold. I was told there was a flu going around. I wasn’t too worried. Everyone said they were having sinus issues and he seemed to be feeling some better. Then my daughter seemed to be coming down with it, but we left for vacation.

After I drove for almost eight hours we arrived and I was suffering from a migraine headache. It was horrible and I was in tears and went to bed. I awoke the next day to a sore throat and a stuffy nose. Great! I had caught their head cold.

The house had a pool and we all just hung around it. The beach town was small without many shops, so we never went anywhere. We rode bikes and swam in the pool. Within two days I felt horrible and I wasn’t the only one. The others lay around and caught up on some seasons of their favorite shows. I tried to enjoy my trip, walked to the beach, rode my bike and tried to enjoy my time. Towards the end for the week, though, I walked down to the beach and found that I was too tired and unable to breathe. I literally couldn’t make it back alone. I called the family for someone to get me.

The following day I lay around. I was stuffy one minute and my nose was running the next. My throat and ears hurt so bad. My head was killing me and I literally struggled to breathe.

On the final day I was able to breathe a little better, but my head was still messed up. I made the drive back and I was feeling better and I was glad the worse part was over.

Once we got home and began to unpack, I realized that a bottle of bleach had spilled in my brand new car. I was less than thrilled. I had noticed that my nose was burning all the way back. I began to clean it up and was surprised that it didn’t smell strong or anything. After cleaning up the bleach, I went inside to put some stuff away.

I began to spray my room sprays throughout the house and my bedroom. I have a White Barn scent that I love, “Marshmallow Fireside.” to be exact. Jasper walks into my room and immediately said, “Wow Mimi, that smells strong, You sprayed a lot.” It was at that moment that I realized I couldn’t smell. I could taste, but I had no smell.

I knew I had driven eight hours with a car full of bleach and my nose was on fire; I figured that was why I couldn’t smell.

The next day I awoke to a horrible headache again and I called a doctor. I was told that they were on a freeze and I would have to wait until 12 to register. I drove down and registered and there was 47 ahead of me on a Sunday. They said there was so many sick people waiting to be seen.

After seven hours waiting in the car I was taken inside, and they told me that my symptoms were all COVID symptoms. I was tested and it came back positive. I was shocked to say the least.

The following day Jasper was tested and came back positive too.

We both still had headaches and our ears were hurting.  Fast forward a week and here we both are with severe headaches, and tired beyond words. We have many moments where we feel short of breath. I know that I still have to nap everyday, and I don’t know how to survive these headaches. I feel rough, but I am getting through.

After all the warning about my lungs, I was surprised that I wasn’t worse. I truly feel that having that vaccine helped me handle having COVID and kept it from being worse than what it is. And trust me, it is bad as it is. I have an infection in many lungs, I am wiped out, and at times I cry from the pain. I still have ear issues and feel unstable. I am on meds and trying to just keep going until I heal and to be honest I am not sure that will be anytime soon.

So trust me when I say if you experience these symptoms, don’t just assume it’s a sinus infection, or a head cold. Get tested and everyone stay safe.

Because this virus is not fun and is no joke.

Just saying….