A firsthand with experience with having COVID


   On April 25, 2022, I got home from school, did my homework, and then went to go watch a show. It was a typical day. As I was watching my show, I started to feel extremely nauseous. I never really feel this way, so I was concerned, especially because we are in the midst of a pandemic.

   Since I wanted to return to school the next day, and to make sure I was keeping people safe and healthy, I decided to take one of my at-home COVID tests that I got for free with the help of an amazing program run by the government. I took the test, but it was negative. I thought “Alright, I’ll just sleep it off and I’ll be good to go for tomorrow.”

   I was wrong.

   The next two days were awful. I experienced some of the worst nausea that I have ever felt. I couldn’t eat anything. The only things that I could get down were water, cups of tea, and Gatorade. 

   In addition to the nausea, I had a really bad headache that wouldn’t go away even with taking excessive amounts of Tylenol. I couldn’t sleep, no matter how much melatonin I would take or how much NyQuil I would drink. If I did sleep, it was very minimal and it felt as if I didn’t get any rest at all.

    Ever since the pandemic started, I have taken so many precautions to keep myself safe. Despite the rules and restrictions surrounding COVID becoming a little more loose, I still have always been the same. I still always wear my mask. I was one of the first 16-year-olds in Illinois to get the COVID vaccine, getting it the day after it was opened for my age.

   On April 28, 2022, I woke up around 2:00 AM and I felt even worse. My body temperature shot up dramatically. It felt like I was inside a volcano. Despite having several fans in my room, I was sweating and it felt like the sun had been beating down on me for hours. 

   I went downstairs and jumped in the shower. “A shower would help,” I thought. As soon as I got in there, I started to feel extremely cold. Even with the water to the maximum temperature, I was shivering. I could feel goosebumps because I was so cold. I was in there for about an hour before I gave up. I went back to my room shivering.

   I fell asleep around 5:00 AM and woke up around 7:00 AM. I had a sore throat. Considering this was a huge symptom for COVID, I was really freaked out. I immediately took another one of my at-home tests.This time the result came back a positive. I didn’t really even know how to react at first. 

   I had so many thoughts running through my mind. “How did I get a positive result? Who did I get it from? Who could I potentially have given it to? How long do I have to be out for?” Being an extremely anxious person during COVID has been tough, and actually having COVID made it so much worse. 

   I was in denial for a bit. “There’s no way! It must be a false positive,” I thought to myself. I booked a Walgreens drive-thru rapid COVID test appointment for my mom and I for 2:45 PM that same day. In the meantime, my mom made me quarantine in the basement. I texted a couple of people that I had COVID, emailed my teachers about it, and then sat in my basement.

   Being quarantined in my basement wasn’t the worst thing in the world. It was cold, quiet, and I could watch all the movies I wanted to because I was too mentally and physically weak to do anything else. 

   At 2:45 PM, my mom and I went to our drive-thru COVID test appointment while wearing masks in the car. We got home and I went into my basement. I got the email twenty-five minutes later telling me that I tested positive for COVID. 

   My mom tested negative. “How in the world is this possible? I am fully vaccinated and I have my booster. I wear my mask all the time, even outdoors,” I thought to myself.

    The next day my nausea went away completely. I was having more cold-like symptoms than anything. My fever would not go away for the life of me though. Throughout the day I would either be wrapped up in a blanket shivering, or drinking so much cold water to try to stop sweating. This was the first day I was able to eat something. To celebrate, my mom ordered Chipotle and had it delivered to the house. 

   I rarely, if ever, get excited about food. This was different. I was so happy to eat something. I happily ate my burrito and watched Vanilla Sky before getting some more awful sleep.

   Over that weekend, I continued to get worse. My nausea came back and it hit me pretty hard. I still had a fever and a pounding headache that felt like a fast heartbeat. I couldn’t stop coughing and my throat hurt pretty bad. I drank so much cough syrup, and I took a lot of medicated throat lozenges. I always felt dizzy and lightheaded. I don’t know how to describe this feeling, but I felt like things that were happening to me weren’t actually happening. Either I was in a dream or I wasn’t a real person.

   On Monday, things were back to normal. My symptoms were really mild. I coughed quite a bit, but that’s it. Around 10:00 AM the Illinois Public Health Department called me and asked me about my symptoms. They call everyone that has a positive test result. I told the person on the phone that I felt fine, and they said that I could return to school the next day. I was already planning on doing so because the school nurse called my mom saying “If he has a fever on Sunday, don’t send him, but if he does, wait until Tuesday.”

   Tuesday May 3, 2022 was the first day that I was back. It was very odd. I’m not sure if it was being around people again, or the cough syrup, but it was very weird being back. In my first hour I felt very lightheaded and I was questioning whether or not I was even there. Around fourth hour, though, I felt normal again. I have felt normal ever since.

   Having COVID was one of the worst experiences of my life. It was definitely the sickest I have ever felt. I have always heard that because I am vaccinated then my symptoms would be less mild, or that I wouldn’t feel it at all, and that was definitely not the case. If I were unvaccinated, I couldn’t even imagine what the symptoms would be like because mine were so bad. Despite getting COVID, I’m still thankful that I got vaccinated, and I think that everyone should be vaccinated.

   In short, I wanted to write this to say that COVID is still around. It still exists. It still affects a lot of people, and even if you’re young, you can get it and it may hit you as hard as it hit me.