How I Survived COVID-19

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Photo courtesy of Allan Foster

Being sick makes you sneeze a lot

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If you have had COVID-19, you know how miserable it can be. Recently, I tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID, and was out of school for about two and a half weeks. Honestly, it wasn’t horrible, just similar to a bad cold. One of the worst parts of it was how hard it was for me to breathe at times. I would go up a flight of stairs and be completely out of breath, and it would feel like my chest was on fire.

The main symptoms that I had were a sore throat and it hurt to swallow, eat, or drink. I had a little cough, body aches, and congestion, and I also lost my sense of taste and smell. Luckily, I only lost it for about a day or two.

According to NBC Chicago, the symptoms for the Delta variant are a little different: You have a cough, runny nose, but your throat is more scratchy than sore. Both can make you very tired, but the Delta variant is more likely to make you extremely tired.

The big question is, does having been vaccinated make a difference?

I got both vaccines and was scheduled to get the booster shot on a Friday, but two days before I could, I tested positive. Being vaccinated didn’t prevent me from getting the virus. However, I’m so glad that I did because it was not nearly as bad as it could have been. I was very lucky; I only had the equivalent of a bad cold for a couple of weeks, but if I weren’t vaccinated it could have taken my life. So yes, I would recommend getting the vaccines and the booster as soon as you can.

One of the worst drawbacks of having COVID-19 was the boredom. I was on self-isolation for four days in hopes that it would prevent the rest of my family from getting sick. Unfortunately, they got it anyway. But the Center for Disease Control (CDC) requires you to be quarantined for 10 days, and that starts the day you first experience symptoms. So I’m not going to lie: It was a very long period of time that I was in quarantine.

There were a couple of different things that helped me get through COVID-19. It really helped to sit up because I would cough more when I was lying down. Drinking lots of water and Gatorade was important. I got tired very quickly, so Gatorade gave me energy, helped soothe my throat, and kept me hydrated. Something that made a huge difference for me was soup. My dad made homemade chicken noodle soup, which helped with my sore throat and the body chills.

As for medications, I found that taking ibuprofen really helped with the body chills and aches. I also took an inhaler for my cough and that meant that it did not settle in my chest. If you can’t get an inhaler, consider using a humidifier in your bedroom to keep the air moist, or taking a long, hot shower.

Finally, getting extra sleep and just resting in general helped me feel better much quicker than I was expecting. Making a point of getting up, walking around and going outside in the cold air helped my breathing. Taking a two-minute walk from time to time may be just the thing your lungs need when you have COVID-19.