A Local COVID-19 Patient Shares Her Family’s Story

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With talk of the coronavirus finally starting to slow down, we want to make sure all the members of our community are still careful and mindful of their health. While the craziness is finally dying down, anyone could still be vulnerable, which is why we want to continue to inform our readers by sharing local patients’ stories. This Weehawken resident reached out to share their entire family’s experience with having COVID-19. For anonymity purposes, we will only be sharing demographic information — this is the story of a female in her 30s, a man in his 40s, three kids from one to six years old, and two older individuals in their 50s and 60s. Read on to learn their story.

thermometer mask

Where do you live?

I have recently moved to Westchester from Weehawken.

What do you do for work?

I own my own firm.

When did you first feel symptoms?

March 25th. My husband got sick March 16th.  He started to “feel funny.” I took his temperature and he had none, so we watched a movie and went to sleep.  He woke up at 2:00AM with a fever.  I immediately moved to another bedroom and quarantined him from the rest of the family.  I also quarantined the grandparents so in case we got it, they were okay.  We all ended up getting it.

Read More: ‘COVID-19 Hit Me Hardest Neurologically:’ A Local COVID-19 Patient Shares Their Story

What were the symptoms? How severe/mild were they?

All of us had completely different symptoms:
Husband — He had a 102 fever average for 11 days. No cough, no other symptoms.  Just dehydrated from the fever. On day seven I made him go get antibiotics and test of pneumonia. He did have pneumonia, even though he was not short of breath. The fever peaked at night {it was brutal for him sometimes between 103/104, sometimes dropping to 94 {found out this is due to low blood pressure and dehydration}.
Me — The following Wednesday, March 26th, it started with a very mild sore throat {like seasonal allergies}, the next day I felt a burning in my nose similar to the feeling of right before you sneeze, but it didn’t stop, just a constant burning. I took Tylenol to take the pain away and it went away but the pain would come back four to six hours when it wore off.  The burning lasted three days. I had no fever, and no cough and felt fine. I wasn’t tired, or sick feeling at all. I chalked it up to allergies due to an early start of spring.  On day seven, the pain in the nose was gone, I felt 100% OK but I was reading a book out loud to my son and all of a sudden I felt faint.  Just the act of reading out loud made me lose my breath. I told my daughter to run and get the grandparents. Grandma took over and I got diagnosed with pneumonia.  Every day/every morning I checked all of our temperatures. I kept hearing that fever was the number one symptom, so I was very diligent.  That morning before reading to my son, I checked my temperature and it was 98.4.  I read to him to hours later and still felt fine {no fever} except the dizziness. I started to take antibiotics for pneumonia.  Two days after antibiotics I felt fine.  They gave me a steroid inhaler which was the lifesaver those two days. I woke up on day nine feeling 100% better. I was so happy, but then I realized I had no smell.  It was so bizarre.  I couldn’t smell my baby’s diaper, my dog’s poop, the bacon on the pan, nothing at all.  It has been 2.5 months and the smell is just returning.  I can only smell if I put things directly under my nose.
Grandma — Grandma has an underlying condition.  So we were all very worried about her. She is 65, with an autoimmune disease. She was quarantined in her room on March 16th to protect her from my husband in case he was positive. She didn’t come out until April 1st when I almost passed out from reading. During the time she was in her room, she told me she had a sore throat {March 24th – two days before me}. She had a fever in the middle of the night {100.2}, but it was not above the fever of 100.4 that doctors say is a fever. She sweat a ton in that night but woke up without a fever. Her sore throat was gone the next day and she had no fever again after that. She was tired, but not very.  On March 29th, she complained of shortness of breath after walking up the stairs to go outside {she did this daily to get out of her room while the rest of us stayed outside}. I told her to go to her doctor to be checked for pneumonia. She had an X-ray that consisted of COVID and pneumonia and they prescribed antibiotics. After that, she felt fine and lost her sense of smell.  Her smell came back three weeks later.  She had a very mild case. One day of sore throat and mild fever, no smell, and shortness of breath.
Grandpa — He was quarantined with her the entire time.  He is 57. He had no symptoms but confirmed to have antibodies.
Kids — My baby had a mild fever for three days. No change in appetite, activity, or sleep schedule. Her fever was 99 – 100.1 for those days.  ever above 100.4.  Her only symptom outwardly was rose cheeks. My daughter complained that her stomach hurt for about seven days, with no other symptoms. My son complained of “something stuck in his cheek making it hard to breath” {but not hard enough to breathe to stop running around or going swimming}. He complained of this for three days, with no other symptoms.
Five weeks after all three kids had a rash.  All the rashes looked different and would go away and come back. We went to a doctor who said it was seasonal allergies made worse my eczema. The oldest kids lost their rash after one week. The baby is still battling it. It comes and goes.

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

My husband was denied a test on day three for only three days of fever, not over 102 {he started with 101 the first 3 days}. He also only had a fever, so they said that it wasn’t enough to test. On day seven, he went back to check for pneumonia and they tested him then. Five days after the test we found out it was positive. He asked if we should be tested, and they said no. They said there weren’t enough tests, and that if we show symptoms we should assume we all have it.

How do you think you contracted COVID-19?

My husband got it from work in NYC.

Did you have any difficulty getting tested?

I called twice to the health department to let them know I lived with a positive case, the second time they agreed to let me test, despite my only symptom had been nose burning {which was not and still is not on the list}. They couldn’t get me in for my appointment until day 15 of the symptoms. I tested negative. I have since confirmed I have positive antibodies.

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

My husband went to an emergency clinic twice. Grandma and I both went for pneumonia.

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

We have been at home and stayed home until about two weeks after our symptoms were over.  We felt pretty good about going out {with masks} after I tested negative on day 15 and no one showed fever or symptoms after that.

What medications are you taking?

We took Zpacks. I had a steroid inhaler.

Are you still experiencing symptoms?

I still have a loss of smell.

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

No.  My husband began showing symptoms on the first day of quarantine. We had met with friends the Saturday and Sunday before, but no one contracted it.

See More: ‘I Completely Lost My Sense of Taste and Smell:’ A Local COVID-19 Patient Shares Their Story

What have doctors told you since you have to quarantine?

We were told to quarantine until no one showed symptoms of fever for three days and/or it was seven days from onset of symptoms {they did mention it was okay even though I hadn’t regained my smell as long as it was improving}.

How do you feel the government is handling the epidemic?

No opinion. We will continue to get this, regardless of how the gov. reacts. How long should we stay at home without a vaccine is the better question? If we never get one {we still don’t have one for many viruses} when should we all go out again?

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

At this point, I have cared for a bunch of people that have gotten it {my nanny and her family also got it}. It seems it either improves or worsens on days 7-10.  If by day eight you are not improving seek medical help — even if you have a mild case.  You may have something else going on. By day 10, you should start to feel better {if case is mild}.

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

I have now known 11 people close to me {my nanny’s family got it too} and only one had a fever. None had a cough.  All three lost smell. Our kids have been confirmed to have the antibodies, so they 100% had it too. Mild is the norm. Out of those 11, only one you would even think had it {fever lasting 10 days}. The rest on the surface could’ve been allergies. In addition, out of the 11, only two were tested.  The number of infected is way off. Keep in mind it was the health department and the emergency clinic who said that if we had a confirmed positive in our house and we have symptoms there was “no need to be tested.”

Have an experience with COVID-19 you’d like to share? Email us hellp@hobokengirl.com!

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Written by:

Corinne is a Jersey girl who has always loved to write, create, and make people laugh. Always the “comedian” of the friend group, she's a stand up comic and aspiring comedy writer. She studied communications/film and media at the University of Miami, with a minor in both psychology and exercise science, but now she’s living in downtown Jersey City. Singing and playing the guitar and piano are her favorite hobbies when she’s not writing, working out, or going to comedy shows.


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