‘This is Day 14 That We Haven’t Left the Apartment:’ A Couple with COVID-19 Shares Their Story

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With each passing day, more and more COVID-19 cases are coming to light. Unfortunately, Hoboken + Jersey City’s total cases have hit the hundreds, and with that comes lots of questions — how are so many people getting it, how severe the symptoms are, and more. Two local residents in their 20s + 30s who wish to remain anonymous, are answering those pressing questions + sharing their stories of having COVID-19. Here’s what they’re experiences were like.

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Disclaimer: These are two people 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?

Downtown Jersey City.

What do you do for work?

Sales and finance — in NYC.

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

When did you first feel symptoms?

He got sick first. He had a light cough at the end of last week but on Sunday, March 22nd is when things took a turn for the worst. I did not feel anything until Tuesday, but I only got a light cough/headache/sore throat.

What were they? How severe/mild were they? 

He was severe and wound up in the hospital. He has asthma and does not have the strongest of lungs, he was fine all day and then woke up in the morning on Sunday and could not breathe, he had severe chest pains. Originally, he didn’t want to go to the hospital in fear of getting sick if he did not have COVID-19, but he was starting to gasp for air and I got really nervous. Once the gasping started, we called the hospital to let them know we were coming in so they were prepared. Then we drove to the hospital and I had to just drop him off and leave.

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

He was tested at the hospital. I was tested the next day.

How do you think you contracted COVID-19?

Zero idea. We both travel to the city for work and live in a high-rise building. We were inside except for needing to get food since Friday, March 13th, that was the last time either of us had any social interactions outside of just the two of us.

Did you have any difficulty getting tested?

Neither of us had difficulty getting tested. At the hospital, doctors could see on scans that the virus was present, and because of this, I was told to get tested and given an appointment. He was tested at the hospital.

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

Three days for each of us, but the doctors knew. He had it just based on the results of the CT scan. There was pneumonia and the virus was present on the scan, so they were able to start treating him instantly. I don’t have any prescribed meds.

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

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

He did and went to JCMC.

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

He is taking prescribed medications and Tylenol for aches. I am just taking Tylenol and some cough drops when needed.

What medications are you taking?

Not going to list these because they should be administered by doctors and too many people are going out and trying to gets meds without symptoms and they’re seeing shortages!

Are you still experiencing symptoms? How long have you been quarantining for?

He still has fevers but his cough and breathing are so much better. I still have a sore throat but nothing crazy. We’ve been quarantined for six days since mandated, but really this is day 14 that we haven’t left the apartment.

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

No, we didn’t. We had any food delivered if needed and then CVS to pick up medications but wore masks and gloves.

What have doctors told you since you have to quarantine? Is there a timeline? Will you need to get tested again to leave your house?

Not much, honestly. The main thing was if either of us got worse than the way we felt before coming to the hospital to call them and let them know you were coming back in but come immediately. There are two “timelines” either no fever for him for three straight days which hasn’t happened yet or the full 14-day quarantine. We will both have to get tested again even though I’m not sure where just yet. We both plan on donating blood for plasma treatments for very sick patients if our antibodies are good enough.

Because we live in an apartment and both were feeling sick, we did not quarantine from each other. We needed each other’s support to get through the first two tough days.

How do you feel the government is handling the pandemic?

I think everyone is doing the best they can. It’s clear this disease spreads quickly and also there are many different levels. I don’t think anyone expected it to be like this but I also don’t think playing the blame game is good for anyone in times like this. We have a problem now and how can we fix it? We cannot look back now and focus on what we did in the past, save that for after this pandemic is under control. People need to work together more and try and beat this together!!

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

Don’t go to the hospital unless you can’t breathe or have extreme chest pains. It’s clear the hospitals are understaffed and running on low supplies and are taking it day by day. There were a lot of people with just panic attack symptoms. Stay calm is my first advice. Call your doctor and try and get to a testing center then take it from there. My heart goes out to all the health care workers during this time.

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

Don’t read all the bad news stories out there and try and focus on either not watching the news at all or reading some good positive ones!

One frustration is the fact that so many people did panic bulk buy things that now if someone is sick they can’t get. I have been trying to find Lysol and Lysol wipes all week and can’t anywhere. All over the counter meds are out online and vitamins. Also, thermometers. These are things that people were buying in such bulk that now some people really do need. We can’t go to stores and online stores are backed up until April. So if you are coming down with any cold please have someone you know drop off {with no contact} vitamin C a thermometer and Tylenol.

We are at ease knowing that we are on the road to recovery and the doctors have said you build almost a complete immunity to the disease afterward so since they are saying everyone in the Tri-State area will be exposed at one point to this, we got it early and can hopefully go on with more of a semi-normal life after this!

Finally, it was beyond scary to not be at the hospital with him. That was the hardest part of all of this and I cannot fathom how families are dealing with loved ones being on ventilators and not being able to be there. It was truly one of the most heart-wrenching experiences knowing he was there sick for almost 18 hours and I could not be there with him. I am thankful he came home and we could take care of each other and that the medications he was prescribed worked almost instantly.

Do you have a COVID-19 experience to share? Email us at hello@hobokengirl.com.

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