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COVID-19. MY Story.

What’s it like to have COVID-19?

We sat down with three people that had contracted COVID-19 as they were recovering to find out what it was really like to have the Coronavirus and what their experience was like.  Their responses were somewhere between surprising and downright shocking. 

But not how you would think.   

First, all three individuals were confirmed as having COVID-19 through both Rapid Antigen (twice verified) and Antigen PCR tests that were verified by the Antiguan Ministry of Health and The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad. All three unquestionably were infected with COVID-19.

First, all three were males age 20, 22, and 46, and all three had been over ten days diagnosed with COVID-19, so they were well past the acute phase of the disease and very close to fully recovered, if not already recovered.

Q.  Tell me about your symptoms.  What have you experienced, and how bad were they?

A.(20yo) – The only symptoms I had was some minor body aches for about a half of a day.  Had I not been really concentrating on my symptoms, there is no way I would have thought I was even sick, and I am still shocked I tested positive.  I have never had a fever or temperature at all.  Other than having a few body aches, I have been fine.  I have been exercising every day, and other than not being around other people, nothing in my life has changed.

A.(22yo) – I had a sore lower back and thought I had just picked up something really heavy.  I have not had any of the symptoms people are talking about with the Coronavirus.  Right before I was tested, I had a fever for a couple of hours, but that is it.  I have not had any other symptoms.  It is very frustrating.

A.(46yo) – I feel like over the past ten days I maybe had a fever twice and felt like I was hot, but every time I took my temperature, it was normal. I took some ibuprofen, and it was gone.  I have not had any coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, or anything else that they say are symptoms of COVID-19.  At the very beginning, I had an upset stomach for part of a day, but I just thought it was something I ate.

Q.  What is the worst part of the disease you have experienced?

A.(20yo) – The testing for sure.  I had my nose raped by three people with like a 6-inch stick.

A.(22yo) – For sure, the testing.  I think they poked my brain.  Even though my tests all came back positive, some nurses don’t seem to really know how to test.  When it is really uncomfortable, that means they are doing it right.

A.(46yo) – Honestly, none of it was bad.  The testing is less than ideal, but it doesn’t hurt, it is a little uncomfortable. The flu is 10x times worse than COVID-19, heck even a cold has a runny nose, I have not had a cough or a runny nose at all.

Q. Why do you think some people are dying of COVID-19?

A.(20yo) – I assume it is because they are old.

A.(22yo) – I think that it probably does really affect older people and people with underlying conditions.  The same reason why people die of the flu when they are old or already sick.

A.(46yo) – There is no doubt that this disease is concentrated around people in high-risk groups.  You can tell when you have it that it is different than a cold or the flu.  You know your body is fighting something, and it is easy to imagine that if you had an immunity issue or were old, or already had problems breathing, that you may get really sick, or even die.  But that’s not us. 

Q. What did your friends say when they heard you contracted COVID-19?

A.(20yo) – Literally, every girl I know called to tell me “goodbye.” They literally thought we were going to die of this.  People in Antigua are clueless.  They listen to all the newspaper and radio bulls**it, and they think everyone that gets this is going to die.  It’s just not true.

A.(22yo) – My Mom still calls me every day, amazed I am still alive. It’s like she doesn’t believe me when I tell her I am not sick

A.(46yo) – Most of them thought I was going to die.  They all kept saying how sorry they were.  I kept saying how happy I was to get it over with.  Plus, after it is over, I can’t carry it or contract it for at least nine months to a year, as I will have built up antibodies to the disease (it may even be longer, but the doctors don’t know yet)  I won’t have to worry about it at all.  I am actually really excited to get it over with.

Q. Do you know how you contracted COVID-19? Were you following protocols?

A.(20yo) – I am sure I contracted it at work. There was no choice but to follow protocols, my employer is very agressive when it comes to COVID-19 safety. We are not allowed to slack off. We either follow the protocols or we are sent home.

A.(22yo) – Yes, I got it at work or from one of the people I work with. There are visitors coming to the island everyday that have COVID-19. It is just part of our new reality.

A.(46yo) – Yes, I contracted it from a guest at the resort where I work. She was super hot and I would do it again. But seriously, you just don’t know who has it. Over 80% of the people that have COVID-19 have either NO SYMPTOMS or very MILD symptoms. We have got to keep this all in perspective. We have to stop worrying about who we contracted it from and start worrying about making sure no one contracts it from us.

Q. What do you want people to know about COVID-19

A.(20yo) – It’s not what you think it is.  Relax and take a chill pill.  If you get it, you will be fine unless you are old or have a major health issue.  It is fine. We are all going to be okay.

A.(22yo) – People are afraid of things they don’t understand.  Since they don’t understand the Coronavirus, they are scared of it.  There is no reason to be for most people.

A.(46yo) – The people that need to be worried about COVID-19 are the people that are at high risk.  Everyone needs to think about their situation.  If you are young, with no health issues, and you live with your wife or girlfriend, your risks are low.  Don’t worry about getting the disease.  If you live with your parents or grandparents, worry about spreading it to them.  Make sure that doesn’t happen.  Everyone has to stop thinking about this being some deadly disease for everyone.  That’s not what it is.  If people don’t learn about this disease, they are going to be scared about it.  If you gave me a choice of a cold, the flu, or COVID-19, I would pick COVID-19 every day of the week.   

We at the Trumpet would like to thank these guys for their candid responses and can’t appreciate enough them sharing their personal experience with us.  At the end of the interview

I asked if there was anything they were worried about and the only thing they could think of is “How are people going to treat me when this is all over?”, “Are the going to be scared to be around me?”.  It was very hard for me to think about that as unimaginable of a fear that seems, but it is a true worry to them.  In all reality, these guys will be some of the very few citizens of Antigua that have COVID-19 antibodies, and therefore scientifically, they are the safest people you could possibly be around.  The dangerous ones are the rest of us.

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