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What It’s Like to Have COVID-19?

By Sandra Pajovic

With COVID-19 being at the forefront of all of our minds and still so little being known about it, it is helpful to understand how the virus affects people. The Buccaneer spoke to two students who had very different experiences with the virus, the first being junior nursing student Lauren Llauro.

Graphic Credit to CDC

Llauro and her family had a horrific time healing from the virus, having dealt with a long recovery process and barely any attention from medical professionals. The second, Maria DeFabio, revealed that her mother only lost a sense of taste and had a slightly higher than normal body temperature when she was infected with the virus. 

“We all got sick at different times, which made it difficult for us to fully recover,” said Llauro.

Her mother, a nurse practitioner, had to take a seat from bringing her family back to health and Llauro instead had to step up and take care of her mother, father, and sister all while beginning to show symptoms herself. 

Photo Credit to The Economic Times

Llauro also mentioned how intense the headaches, coughing, and fevers were, saying that “most medications did nothing to help.” 

She described her recovery process as a game of “tug of war,” with one family member healing while the rest fought their way back to health. 

Her family went to a hospital for help, and Llauro explained how intense protocol was. “They had tents set up outside and all the nurses were in full gear.” 

Unfortunately, they were not able to do much. 

Since so little is known about the virus and how to treat it, they inevitably had to wait it out and simply let the virus pass through their systems. 

Photo Credit to MarketWatch

She described it as a “waiting game,” but as far as handling the illness while quarantining, they did the best they could. Staying inside the house for six weeks and not being able to see family and loved ones was a struggle—but on a more positive note, Llauro mentioned that she and her family discovered new hobbies to help pass the time, and of course, built up strength during the course of their battle with COVID-19.  

Their symptoms cleared up after a few weeks, but Llauro still has a loss of taste, even though it’s been almost a month since she recovered. 

“I can barely taste sweet stuff which is so weird!” she said.

Conversely, DeFabio offers a whole different perspective to the virus, her story a bit of a refresher compared to the harsh experiences we usually hear about. 

Photo Credit to The Economic Times

After flying back to her hometown in Brandford, Connecticut for summer vacation, her family all got tested. The results revealed that everyone tested negative except for her mother, so they all self-quarantined with her mother in a separate room. She lost her sense of taste, that being the only symptom for a while. Eventually her body temperature became a little warmer than normal, but she ended up healing completely within a week, despite being 60 years old and within the “high risk” age group. 

“It was not bad at all,” DeFabiosaid. “There are worse illnesses out there. Coronavirus seems to be a little exaggerated in the media.” 

The Llauro family likely would disagree. 

These two differing viewpoints from the Barry community are quite eye-opening when it comes to the many possibilities of how the virus can affect someone. One side wonders whether the media has been dramatizing the virus’ effects, and the other gives insight into the dangers that COVID-19 poses to humanity. 

Luckily, both students and their families are doing well and moving on quite impressively, despite the virus killing thousands every day. 

During this time, it is important to question everything, while staying mindful of our environment. With consciousness and awareness, our communities can not only bring the numbers down but heal and get stronger, on a literal and an intellectual level. 

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