I am lucky.

I contracted COVID-19 - how, I’m still trying to figure out, but I’m still alive.

Despite having some check marks against my health, I’ve currently beaten COVID-19.

I understand a lot of people aren’t so fortunate.

According to data from the State of Texas, nearly 30,000 people have died from this virus and almost 500 deaths have been in my age group of 30-40. The other alarming stat (for me) is, of the people who’ve died in Texas, 49 percent have been Hispanic.

Again, I am lucky.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are wide-ranging and so are the effects it has on the body. However, the biggest effect of contracting the virus is one that isn’t shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or shared by any medical professionals.

When I came down with COVID-19, I knew I was going to be in for a rough time, but I never really thought it would affect as much as it didt

Mentally, I wasn’t prepared for the isolation, the loneliness and the monotony I’ve experienced over the past few weeks.

If you’ve ever heard “Every Day Is Exactly The Same” by Nine Inch Nails, you understand a little bit of my problem. If you hadn’t, here are the opening lyrics.

“I believe I can see the future

‘Cause I repeat the same routine

I think I used to have a purpose

Then again, that might have been a dream”

Without sounding melodramatic, my life is one great big Groundhog Day. Every day is exactly the same.

I kicked the symptoms, which were extreme fatigue, chills and a loss of smell and taste, the same week I got them. But then I was still testing positive, still quarantining and still confined to the 500 square foot or so garage apartment that I currently reside in.

I was left staring at the walls of my apartment which became a prison cell that I pay for monthly.

This was no vacation. Yes, I watched a lot more TV, I’ve been playing some video games, I even did work, but that’s all I did. I’m happy to be alive, but man it’s frustrating, I was essentially considered radioactive.

I still talked to people on the phone and every once in a while I’d go pick up some food through contactless services. However, the human interaction I took for granted the first 36 years of my life, I was missing more than ever.

Outside of my family, I hadn’t had a face to face conversation with someone lasting more than 15 seconds.

I understand I’ve kept others safe by not being around them, but I won’t lie, it’s been one of the bigger challenges in my life. Especially when I felt 100 percent.

All I wanted to do was break free and get back to some sort of whatever a regular life might be nowadays.

Last Tuesday I got re-tested and thought Lord willing I would get the good news and I could resume life. However, I feared and worried about re-testing positive again. I’ve heard horror stories of people testing positive for up to three months after contracting COVID-19.

You may think you can handle COVID-19 and maybe you can, but if you contract the virus, be ready to do nothing for the next week, two weeks, maybe even months.

Stay safe out there and please wear a mask and use hand sanitizer, keep others safe.

This isn’t a political statement, just be a good citizen and do your job at keeping others safe.

 

– Joshua Reese is the sports editor for Wharton County Newspapers. We’re happy to report he tested negative and returned to work late Friday completely cleared, 23 days after experiencing his first symptom.

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