I admit this thought had often crossed my mind in 2020, ever since first watching the SARS-CoV-2 virus rapidly spread in China. Before in the United States, I remember telling my husband that people weren’t paying attention. He may have thought I was being a little paranoid, but as someone with a at the time was debating whether to start taking immunosuppressants, it felt important to keep an eye on it.
That was over a year ago, and though a part of me had wanted to contract the so I could hopefully get past it and treat my rheumatoid arthritis (which is not on the ) without so much fear— nothing could have prepared me for the reality of experiencing “moderate” COVID-19 symptoms for myself.
Some may think getting this virus is inevitable, and we’re all experiencing major COVID-19 fatigue. In my rural community, I still hear is a hoax or “just the flu.”
Many argue they don’t need to follow safety protocols because this coronavirus “only affects those with preexisting conditions and the elderly” (as if they’re ?). People me express more fear over the vaccine than of getting COVID-19.
These attitudes are pervasive in Utah, where we’ve made headlines over , demanding access to ICUs; to keep schools open; and .
Unsurprisingly, cases in Utah have soared, and oursince November.
Though some people are blessed to have mild can still be terrifying and traumatic, and severe symptoms are an emergency. I have never thought that COVID-19 was like the flu and have done enough research for health articles I have written to know of the damage it can do to the body, including , and that the virus may cause psychosis in some individuals.
I’ve also had a lot of disease progression with my RA this without treatment, and my body has begun to show signs of permanent joint damage, which cannot be reversed. some of me has wanted to “get it over with,” hoping it wouldn’t be severe for me.
Ultimately, I hoped that was I to contract it, would feel flu-like because I am in my 30s and not considered high risk.
Although I was careful and doing my best to follow safety guidelines, I in mid-December.
was utterly different than I had imagined because the symptoms were unlike anything I had ever experienced. Yes, there was a fever, a cough that felt deep and ominous, and extreme muscle aches and fatigue, but it was so much more than that… and it was nothing like the flu.