Editor’s Letter: So, yeah, I had COVID-19

Back at the end of March, I thought I might have COVID-19. I had a low-grade fever, sniffles, low back pain, and no taste or smell for a week, which was followed by a few days of fatigue.

I mentioned it to only a handful of people because I didn’t want to cause alarm, and since it never progressed to the cough or lung stage, I chalked it up to flu or a cold. I didn’t think I’d been in contact with anyone who’d had COVID-19 as I was already in isolation mode and wearing a mask.

But it was indeed COVID-19. I got the antibody test last month when I went for my regular checkup. For someone my age and health issues, my doctor says I am very lucky not to have wound up in the hospital.

I encourage everyone to get the antibody test and know your status on this. You, too, could have had a mild case like I did or been asymptomatic and not even known it. The word of health and medical officials should be your guide, not politicians who think it’s a hoax or no big deal. Georgia is one of more than 20 states having a surge in coronavirus cases.

In early June, a friend and I escaped for a weekend to Savannah. I desperately needed a change of scenery after being cooped up in my apartment for months. I’m not a big swimmer, but I do love being by the water. We found an Airbnb that was off the beaten path, but still walking distance to the far end of Tybee Beach.

It was relaxing, but unnerving weekend because Savannah was like the land the pandemic forgot. Other than restaurant workers, I didn’t see a single mask all weekend. The beach was heaving with people and so were Tybee’s bars, restaurants, and shops. Along River Street in Savannah, the tourists were back, the shops and bars were open, and it appeared to be summer as usual. Again, no masks. This is why we’re having a surge in cases.

As demonstrators took to the streets in June to protest against racial injustice, Mayor Keisha Lane Bottoms urged those taking part to get tested for COVID-19. It should come as no surprise that the age group showing the highest number of new cases is 21 to 30.

Look, I understand that wearing a mask is uncomfortable. It makes my face sweat and sometimes I don’t feel like I’m getting enough oxygen. What I don’t get is the people who ludicrously claim that wearing a mask infringes on their liberty, is un-American, and have turned it into a partisan issue. A mask has nothing to do with politics or your patriotism; it’s saving lives – possibly your own.

Gov. Brian Kemp reaffirmed on June 26 that he won’t mandate wearing face masks. It’s up to us as good citizens to be responsible and think beyond our own comfort and misguided ideas of “personal liberty.” We’re in a public health crisis, so do your part.

On a closing note, June was another history-making month not only in Atlanta, but across the nation. The state passed a hate crimes bill, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed federal protection for LGBTQ workers, and impassioned demonstrators took to the streets to remind us that Black Lives Matter.

Thank you to our readers who followed our coverage of the protests on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. We are striving to be your go-to source for accurate community news in these life-changing times.

 

2 Comments
  1. One reason young people aren’t taking COVID-19 seriously is because we don’t calculate and publicize the number of those “wounded” by the disease.

    Even people who claim never to have symptoms are coming up with lung damage. Lifelong complications like diabetes and hypertension are appearing.

    Because these aren’t tracked, we don’t know how common it is, and can’t warn young people. You write ‘my doctor says I am very lucky not to have wound up in the hospital.” But how is your health now compared to before you got the virus? Maybe you’re 100%, and that would be great. But maybe you’re not, and that would be valuable for readers to know.

  2. My health is fine, according to my doctor. There doesn’t appear to be any damage to my lungs, thankfully. I have diabetes and I’m 50 years old, so definitely could have been a much worse case scenario. There are still so many unknowns about the disease. Until there is a viable vaccine, keep wearing a mask and social distancing is my advice.

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