Home COVID-19 ‘Today Marks My 33rd day in Self-Quarantine:’ A COVID-19 Patient Shares Their Story

‘Today Marks My 33rd day in Self-Quarantine:’ A COVID-19 Patient Shares Their Story

by Hoboken Girl Team
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As each day passes, the number of positive COVID-19 cases grows. As the numbers increase, things can feel incredibly overwhelming. Naturally, many of have questions as to the virus manifests itself in the human body, what the symptoms are, and what exactly the experience of having COVID-19 is like. One anonymous patient reached out to share their story with Hoboken Girl and, hopefully, answer some of those burning questions. The individual, in their 30s and wished to remain anonymous, so we kept all of their other demographics private. Here is their story.

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Disclaimer: This is one person living locally who had a specific experience with COVID-19. This is meant to be informative only and not a medical opinion or advice by any means, as the severity varies from person to person. All should be practicing social distancing at this time. If you or a loved one are experiencing any symptoms, especially shortness of breath, cough, and fever, please contact your primary physician and call the hotline numbers listed here.

Where do you live?


What do you do for work?

I work for one of the top three social networking sites.

When did you first feel symptoms?

I first started to feel under the weather on Wednesday, February 26th. I had a mild fever, sweats, and a cough. After a clear chest x-ray, the urgent care office diagnosed me with an upper-respiratory/bronchitis infection. I tried not to assume the worst, but I began to exercise social distance protocols and self-quarantine at home. I began some oral antibiotics and steroids, and I treated my fever with Tylenol {e.g. Acetaminophen}. I consulted with my primary physician’s office every three to four days via video conferencing and we treated the symptoms the best we could.

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What were they? How severe/mild were they?

My symptoms got ugly on Saturday, March 14th. I woke up in the middle of the night with a high fever {105.3° F}, chills, vomiting, and extreme shortness of breath. Being stubborn and hoping I could beat the fever on my own, I ignored my primary physician and family’s advice to go to an emergency room.

By Sunday, March 15th, I could hardly talk more than a couple of words without gasping for air. I relied on leaning on furniture to walk to the bathroom, and even then it felt like I had just walked a marathon. I also lost all sense of appetite, taste, and smell. By Monday, March 16th, I couldn’t get my fever below 101°F with Tylenol, I no longer could keep water down, and I was severely light-headed and dizzy. Just logging on to my insurance provider’s website to find an emergency room was exhausting.

Zap Fitness

See More: ‘I Started to Lose My Sense of Taste + Smell:’ A COVID-19 Patient Shares Their Story

When did you decide to take a test? What made you decide?

After consulting urgent care on Monday, March 16th, I was advised to immediately go to the emergency room. My pulse was very high and my blood oxygen was very low, so the emergency room staff quickly escorted me into an isolation room. While I had made many excuses in my head not to go to the emergency room, I was suddenly relieved to be there. They gave me IV fluids, multiple IV and oral antibiotics, covered me in ice to bring my body temp down, and did a CT scan of my chest. The rapid flu test came back negative, but the CT scan results immediately raised the suspicion of severe acute respiratory syndrome {SARS-coronavirus-2}, pneumonia, and COVID-19. I was transferred to the main hospital for a week of treatment — focusing on raising my blood oxygen and keeping my fever under control. During the week, my COVID-19 results came back positive.

How do you think you contracted COVID19?

There’s really no way of knowing. I likely contracted COVID-19 through the community in early March, while I was already in self-quarantine; either during a trip to the pharmacy or grocery store.

Did you have any difficulty getting tested?

Up until I was admitted into the emergency room, I was never eligible to be tested for COVID-19. Despite obvious symptoms, I never met the required criteria — I’m generally a healthy 35-year-old that had no known exposure to the virus.

When did you test positive? How long did it take for results to arrive?

Urgent care told me it would take over five days for them to get results if they ran the test, which is why they referred me to the emergency room. I was tested upon my admission into the emergency room, and it still took 48+ hours for us to get the results.

Did you need to go to a doctor or hospital? Where did you go?

On Monday, March 16th, urgent care referred me to the emergency room. After a plethora of tests, I was admitted to the main hospital for a week of care. Now that I have been discharged, I am working with my primary physician’s office and the Department of Health.

What have you been doing to recover? Are you home?

After being discharged from the hospital, I still had extreme shortness of breath, was coughing up blood, and battled a constant 103°F for nearly a week. I took Tylenol and laid in ice to keep my body temperature down, and relied on generous family, friends, and neighbors to drop things at my door.

Read More: COVID-19 Testing Sites in New Jersey + Your FAQs Answered

What medications are you taking?

Tylenol for the fever, antibiotics for the pneumonia, and I have been approved to take Aleve for the body aches. I was taken off Aleve + Motrin for most of my treatment because there’s evidence that it could exacerbate COVID-19.

Are you still experiencing symptoms?

My fever has finally subsided, my breathing is improving, and I am getting more energy every day. I still have severe fatigue though — any physical activity like walking across the apartment leaves me utterly exhausted.

How long have you been quarantining for? 

Today marks my 33rd day in self-quarantine.

Before you found out you were positive, did you go anywhere locally?

Only to the local pharmacy and grocery store while wearing a mask.

What have doctors told you since you have to quarantine? Is there a timeline?

My primary physician and the Department of Health believe I can step outside {with personal protective equipment, a mask} in the next few days. At this time, the Department of Health has not discussed a need for re-testing.

How do you feel the government is handling the epidemic?

I will withhold my government sentiments to keep this op-ed as non-partisan as possible; however, I would like to applaud the medical professionals in NY + NJ. I have had, and continue to have, the best care under the pandemic circumstances. There’s no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and countless other professionals that helped me recover. They are real-life heroes!

Do you have any advice for someone who thinks they’re positive?

Stay home and self-isolate. Drink plenty of fluids and treat your symptoms with Tylenol. But do listen to your body — if things suddenly get worse {e.g. take a nose dive}, seek emergency medical attention. The virus doesn’t discriminate, and attacks regardless of your age or health.

Is there anything else you can share to help ease our readers’ minds or inform them of at this scary time?

Do maintain social distancing. It’s helping to flatten the curve. In the unfortunate event that you do contract COVID-19, you won’t likely need to visit the emergency room or require hospitalization. Those who catch COVID-19 can generally be placed in four broad categories. Some may have the virus but have no symptoms. The largest group are those who show minor flu-like symptoms. The next group seems to be those who suffer severe symptoms. While the last, fourth, group develop severe illness and need breathing assistance to treat their COVID-19 pneumonia.

Do you have a COVID-19 experience to share? Email us at [email protected].


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