Jacksonville, Fla. – I have COVID-19.
Its as simple as that. But it is still complicated.
And writing is difficult.
I am not unique or special. I join more than 4 million people across the country. People. No. People. I feel for them all. And their families. It is not a pleasant process. For some, it is worse than others. More than 151,000 Americans have died. I can’t imagine his last moments; The pain was due to their families not being on their side.
The last several days have been difficult. For the past decade, nothing has stopped me. I have a disease I have injuries I am at a loss. I’ve gotten back and moving forward. It was different. Out of the blue, for lack of better words, I felt like I was hit by a ton of bricks. During the quarantine, I have been healthy. I have eaten well, exercised often, kept my circle small. I had just taken time out, walking several miles a day.
This is the most incurable in my adult life. Fever, body aches, fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, cough. Then stomach problems and sleepless nights. I will leave my complaints to you. Is my case mild? Maybe? But this virus is not of a size. And your health can deteriorate quickly. There is no timeline set when you will experience some symptoms and when you will get better.
Coronavirus has tried to dominate my body. When I think I’m getting better, I reclaim. I get up and go here and there. I hit with a tight chest and cough. I have trouble breathing. One night, it was particularly bad. I questioned whether I should go to the hospital. I called my parents, my brother and my friend, who are ER nurses. I did not go. I don’t want to take a bed or use the time of a doctor or nurse when there are people who definitely need it more than me. It would not be appropriate. But the thought crossed my mind.
This is real. People can say that the number is still small and the virus is not as bad. It is their right to feel that way. It is very different when it comes to you or the person you love.
While the virus has not been fun, the symptoms are not the worst part of the equation. Most frightening? Worried that I inadvertently exposed someone else. That I can help spread this terrible virus and hunt others. That I could instill innocence among my family, friends or colleagues.
I spent time with my parents shortly before I became ill. This was my biggest fear. To this day, I bug them constantly to make sure they don’t have any symptoms. Anxiety has intensified. I could not imagine them being ill and possibly the reason for this.
They have been amazing, but they can support me. They have given up eating and prompted me to check up on me. They have given me words of support. Thank God, they have recovered.
A handful of my friends have been as well. Some actually stand out as angels. I cannot say thank you enough to those who felt that just texting me ‘soon gets well’ was not enough. For those who discontinue care packages and meals. Those who called me, and if I did not answer, called me again. Some sat outside my window and waved. We used the phone to communicate while looking at each other through the safety of the glass. This meant that the world. And it was medicine. Soup, Vitamins, Cards: Priceless. It has taught me a lot about the quality of friends, not quantity. And it inspired me to be a better friend in the future. ‘Sending thoughts and prayers is easy.’ Actions speak louder than words. From now on, I will invest consciously and in others going through difficult times. I know that others have not been fortunate enough to be supported by me. I want to find them and raise them.
When I found out that I was exposed, I immediately cut myself off from everyone! I was going to the office for an assignment. Ok, I called my photographer, who is in close contact with me by all accounts. I told him the situation and I asked him to stay in my vehicle until I could find out the situation. I then called my HR administrator. I told him everything. I listed everyone I saw and everyone I had been in contact with for the past several days. The number was small. Thankfully we have been preparing for this for months. I wore a mask while walking around the station. I anchor on a separate desk and in a separate room from others. In the field, I use a long boom mic and do interviews outside. I live at least 6 feet away from others. I think it helped. My photographer isolated and later tested negative. So was my co-anchor who swells to calm his mind. I am relieved to report that I am unaware of anyone catching the bug from me. Security protocols work. We cannot be relaxed.
I knew when and how I came to the fore. I am grateful that I came to know, because it helped me to know my risk for developing the virus. It also helped me isolate and create appropriate information. To date, I have not received a single call from anyone in the government that has revealed me or who I am potentially in contact with. This bug has become incurable in itself.
I should point out that I initially tested negative. I tested fast for a story, with no reason to believe I was infected. After two days, after experiencing significant symptoms, I tested positive. I did not need a test to know that I had COVID-19. Knew my body.
Vic’s Coronavirus Timeline
Everyone’s body reacts differently to the virus. This is how I reacted.
Life goes on. Birthday’s. Anniversary. Milestones. We are all tired of the epidemic. Some of us are numb to numbers. It is easy to get back into old habits. Turn off the news and stay away from social media, and the virus suddenly loses its priority. This does not mean that it is losing its grip on us. Do not chase those who are living in fear. You do not know their position.
I am struggling with this disease. I’m getting through it. And, statistically, I should be fine. I hope to put it in my past very soon. But I can’t help thinking about people who don’t have such a good chance. Who will not take their breath away? Those who are scared. And dying. Without treatment. alone.
Loneliness is also a killer.
I also think of medical workers and first responders who are struggling with tragedy and putting their lives at risk. My own relatives work in ICUs in some of the world’s largest hotspots. He had so many patients that used to die on him. This hurts them more than they will accept.
While I was sitting in bed, day after day, trembling, I saw the world go on without me. It is polite. It is also disappointing. I saw people I know acting irresponsibly. I saw fighting. I saw anger and hate. It is not my place to tell people what to do or how to think. But I saw it. And I still see it.
This blame is not about the game. It should not be political. I live in self-isolation. Lockdowns weigh on your mental health. It is lonely and going crazy at times. But this is the right thing. Technology makes it easy.
I write it a week at war. I pray that the worst is over. this is my story. And I thought it was time to tell. As a journalist reporting on the epidemic and other biggest issues of humanity, it would not be fair for me to keep it a secret. This is not a publicity stunt. Rumors have been circulating. I live a fairly public life and inevitably disappear within a few hours. I informed the people who needed to know that they could protect themselves and then I focused on killing the disease.
We all like privacy, but it is bigger than this. My story is not unique. But it is also not standard. Coronovirus affects everyone differently.
I had one of the busiest schedules of anyone I knew sitting at home. Hour by hour. Day After day. I hope to emerge from this stronger, kinder, more compassionate, more grounded, more patient. I pray that it becomes more manageable. I believe that a positive mindset is a big factor.
I feel better today from day one. It is a slow process, but I think I am recovering. Most of the symptoms have gone away and I am planning a safe return to society. I want to be productive again. Active. I want to see people from a safe distance. I want to serve our community.
I want life to be as normal as you do. I also know that some things can never be the same.
Most of you will keep scrolling. Other things will come up. We are bombarded 24/7. Your life will go on I am grateful that you have read it.
But maybe only a few will help make a difference. I was careful I could do more. You can also. you know what to do. Do this for your loved ones. Do it for the best. Take this thing seriously. Or, at least, respect others who do. Check on your loved ones. Go above and beyond for others.
we’re in this together.
* I want to use my experience. I want to be a resource. If I can do anything, please reach out via email or Facebook.
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