This article was submitted by M. Crawford.
Coronavirus 2019, more commonly known as COVID-19, is a plague that has impacted individuals and societies in a scope unforeseen—mentally, economically and tragically. According to The New York Times’ Coronavirus World Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak, the virus has infected over 106 million people, killing more than two million.
As a result, many personal stories have emerged to recount how this public health crisis affected people’s lives, either firsthand or through a loved one’s diagnosis. These stories help to humanize and personalize the increasing statistics. The world has been enduring this pandemic for over a year, and while many of us might feel mentally exhausted from the ordeal, especially those exercising best safety practices, it’s important to remain hopeful and diligent.
I share my own story here because I hope to shed more light on the human aspect of this pandemic from the viewpoint of a young person. Never in my mind, did I think I would have this experience at almost 28 years old. Never did I think it would impact me so hard. Never like this. Here is my COVID-19 story:
After spending 19 days in the hospital due to COVID-19 pneumonia, I was released on January 22, 2021. I left with travel and home oxygen. I feel much better now than I have in quite awhile, but I’m still on a continuous journey to recover. I’m eternally grateful to God for His mercy, grace and provision, as well as to the medical staff who saved my life.
We are living in a precarious time, but we must remain steadfast in our health, our safety, and our regard for others. Still, we can take all the right precautions, but COVID-19, as with life in general, isn’t fair. The transmission of this virus is awful—it impacts those living both carelessly and carefully. All it takes is one grocery store encounter, someone else’s afterthought or even an honest mistake for any of our lives to change.
And that’s if we are fortunate enough to heal. For me, it was the latter, but the ultimate price that far too many have paid is the cost of life itself. Currently, the death toll from COVID-19 in the United States exceeds 500,000 with very few signs of slowing down (New York Times, “Coronavirus in the US: Latest Map and Case Count”).
Another fact that’s hard for me to digest is that the odds were already stacked against me to almost land within that mortality rate myself. I had comorbidities prior to entering the hospital, and my breathing capacity was so stunted that incubation was discussed by the medical staff upon my initial admittance to the emergency room. I was nine days into the virus at this point, which is when most people near the rebound stage and one of my doctors could not confirm if I had even reached the “hill” yet (the worst stage of the illness). I had not.
Nonetheless, as with most hardships, this has shifted my perspective on life. I’m more grateful now, more enamored with my corner of the world, more spiritually rooted, and more aware of what it means to be alive. My faith in people has also been restored because of those close to me. As this nation continued to relish in hate, my own sphere was filled with love and community. Friends, family and neighbors coalesced to support me. From meals to hospital drops, prayers to texts and emails, phone calls and FaceTime conversations (even when I couldn’t talk), so I could hear a familiar voice—all of this meant the world to me. In fact, it brings me to tears when I reminisce on this not-so-distant part of my past.
I’m notoriously private and almost didn’t share my experience with COVID-19. However, I chose to tell this story out of gratitude and to continue to spread awareness about the dangers of this virus. Although we already know the numbers, the infection and death rates, the best precautionary measures and the new variants being introduced, my hope is that a personal story will make us more considerate and more careful.
New York Times. Coronavirus World Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak. Coronavirus World Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
New York Times. Coronavirus in the US: Latest Map and Case Count. Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
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