What’s it like to have COVID-19? Here are some firsthand accounts

News Journal

The News Journal recently asked on our Facebook page for people who have had COVID-19 (or are close to someone who has) to share their stories with us via email so we could then share those stories with our readers. As we said then, we are not using names or other identifying information.

However, emails from anti-vaccination residents and those who have not had COVID-19 far outnumbered the stories that we were seeking.

Below are eight of the stories that we received from locals who have had COVID-19 or are close to someone who has:

• In November of 2019 I lost my sense of smell and sense of taste. Didn’t think anything of it; no one was testing for the virus. January 31st, 2020 my husband called me and asked me to come get him, he was very sick. We had just gone to the gym the day before so I was very surprised.

I picked him up and that started an 80-day nightmare. In 60 days he lost 45 pounds and nobody could figure out what was wrong. Again they were not testing for Covid-19, and the doctors were pretty much dumbfounded. He would scream in pain, rolling on the floor, asking God to please take the pain away. This is a man who went to work with two broken thumbs; he doesn’t feel pain, I cannot imagine what he must have been going through and I didn’t think he was going to survive. He could not eat because he could not taste or smell, or even have the desire to eat.

During that 80 days, I got deathly sick and could not breathe. When he was in the hospital the nurse politely told him he should get out of bed because I was the one that was very sick. My friend Janie told me later she didn’t think I was going to survive. That’s how bad I was, but my job was to save him. I finally got him to eat by threatening to tell our grandkids he died because he didn’t love them enough to eat.

After that, he got to feeling better but yet still had chills and they couldn’t figure out why. I begged for them to give him an antibiotic, and when they did, he was fine. His residual effect has been he can eat anything he wants up to 5,000 calories a day and not really gain an ounce after he reached 220. He’s 6-foot-4 so that’s not that bad. I, on the other hand, can’t lose weight to save my life and there are times when I can’t breathe, times when I can’t taste anything and sometimes my taste is off. Sweets will taste super sweet and salty things will be so salty I gag.

I have off and on battles with no appetite and sometimes I feel if my lungs are going to explode. I do not smoke, but there are times that I do just so I can breathe — it sounds strange, but it honestly helps. I am tired all the time and I fear I will never feel normal again. I convinced my husband that him and I should get at least the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — it had to be that one because I’m so allergic to everything it was the only one that I felt I could take. We haven’t had any adverse reactions to it and I am so glad we took it.

This Delta variant took the life of my uncle’s wife who was vaccinated, took the life of a very sweet woman who was 65, and has taken more people in the last two months that I know, or I know someone who knows them, than all of 2020. They range from the age of 40 to 74.

This is nothing to shrug off. I fear what these children who get the virus now will face in the future. It is such an unknown that I think will be fighting the residual effects of this virus for years to come, if not decades.

If you do anything at all with your article please make it so that people feel free to tell others that they have the virus that it’s nothing to be ashamed of because it’s such a hush hush thing around offices and businesses because they don’t want to close that they don’t care that they are putting others in danger.

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• Around the 21st of August, my unvaccinated wife, who works in a large retail outlet, began feeling ill as if she was coming down with the flu. She lost taste and smell sensations, was very weak and couldn’t eat. Two days later she tested positive for Covid-19.

Fortunately it didn’t effect her breathing, but she was so sick she couldn’t do anything other than drink ice water and sleep. By the end of the month she was finally able to eat small portions of egg, cottage cheese and a few other light items.

During this time I remained near her in the event she became worse or needed something.

What I was very thankful for was Brett and the staff at the Wilmington V.A. Clinic who made sure I was vaccinated last winter. I can attest firsthand that vaccines work well.

My wife, a former non-vaxxer, is now an ardent supporter of the vaccine and masks.

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• I felt rundown, like I had a bad chest cold. I made myself breathe deep and cough every hour so I didn’t get pneumonia. I also took vitamin C every day. The cold symptoms lasted about two weeks. I had fatigue and felt rundown for about a month. I also lost my taste and smell for six weeks. My husband and five out of six kids did not get it. I am not getting the vaccination.

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• I’m 28 today; I was vaccinated (I am immunocompromised). I currently have covid — I caught it after having surgery, and my husband has it as well. He’s been to the ER twice now for breathing problems and has had to have some assistance with his oxygen. He was not vaccinated.

Symptoms were the same, full body aches, cough, migraine and runny nose. He has lost his taste and smell. His symptoms are worse than mine. I believe the vaccine has helped my symptoms be less severe than his.

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• Mine started as what I thought was a head cold. Drainage, congested, ears hurting, dry throat. No fever, no chills, no cough, no body aches. It went on for five days before I lost my taste. I got tested after I lost my taste because otherwise I would have continued on with life as normal, just like any other cold. The week after testing positive is when I started having a cough and some fatigue. I’ve not had the vaccine and definitely won’t now that I’ve had covid and have natural antibodies. My husband never got it; two out of my three kids got it. It was basically just a mild cold for them. They didn’t even get a cough.

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• I had Covid In February, I was just super tired and I didn’t have an appetite. I’m not vaccinated and don’t plan to be — it didn’t feel any worse then when I had the flu and no I’m not vaccinated and I don’t plan on getting it ever

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• A relative recently spent days on a respirator. Her husband just got to talk with her; she is starting to recover but still at CMH.

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