"I want to hopefully shed some light amid the confusion. There is a continuum of COVID19 in between 'you die' and 'you get over it and return to normal.' Today is day 31 for me. I tested negative on day 27. Yesterday out of nowhere, I was hit with crippling fatigue and chills. My cough is almost gone, and I've been fever-free for two weeks, but when it comes to COVID19, testing negative doesn't mean it's over. For all who talk about wanting it to spread among the healthy to encourage 'herd immunity,' let me ask you: if you get sick with COVID19, how do you know how sick you'll get? I'm a healthy 50 year old with no underlying medical conditions...devoted to developing and maintaining mental, physical, and spiritual health.
I'm a pediatric physical therapist. I work in homecare with infants and toddlers. Prior to COVID19, I would travel to people's homes and work with up to ten children a day for 30 minutes each. Prior to COVID19, I struggled with insomnia, but I could still get up after a nearly sleepless night and rock my day job. Now, I can get a full night's sleep and be wiped out after doing a couple of telehealth sessions with kids via Zoom.
I talk to other COVID19 survivors who still experience symptoms after 30, even 40 days, symptoms like kidney pain, fevers, coughing, fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, circulation problems, loss of smell, loss of taste, body aches, rashes, back pain...
This is not an all-or-nothing virus. It's not 'you die' or 'you don't die.' When we see the numbers of people who've 'recovered from COVID19' posted to illustrate how it's not that bad, those numbers don't take the lingering health issues and symptoms into account.
Please think about this when you question social distancing. Please think about this when you question wearing a mask in public. Ask yourself, 'Can I be sick for over a month or more? Can I deal with the uncertainty of when or if this sickness will go away if I get it?'
I'm not looking for sympathy or trying to scare anyone, and I don't want to diminish the memories of those who've died or the pain felt by their loved ones. I grieve for them all. What I hope I'm doing is giving you another tool in addition to gloves, masks, and social distancing to keep yourselves, your loved ones, and all of us safe and healthy: knowledge that this is real, knowledge that we don't know enough about it yet, and that the continuum of COVID19 is more complicated than dead versus 'recovered.'
Please stay safe, my friends."