COVID-19 healthcare
Corporate Culture

I Had COVID-19!

Ed Oleksiak
Ed Oleksiak
Sr. Vice President, Employee Benefits

Just as President Trump is experiencing now, I gained a different perspective from having COVID-19 this summer.

At the end of July, I tested positive with the coronavirus. While I gained another perspective, I am not sure I understand it any better now than I did before I had it.

The COVID-19 Testing Process

On July 27, I had a fever. The next day, I went for a rapid COVID-19 test and found out I was positive within hours.

This time, it was a much smoother process than I wrote about in my prior blog in May when I had a 6-day fever that kept me in bed almost the whole time. I was sure I had COVID-19 in May, but both my test, which took many days to get the result, and my antibody test both came back negative.

This time it was positive, so I could quickly respond. I was with my family and, because of their work, two of my adult daughters were tested. One was positive but asymptomatic, and the other tested negative. My asymptomatic daughter moved in with my wife and me to avoid giving it to her roommate.

What Being Quarantined Was Like

In quarantine, I gained experience with many of the service businesses that have had explosive use because of COVID-19. We used Uber Eats and Door Dash — services my daughter used frequently but that I had never tried. Generally, they worked well.

The grocery delivery service was useful and allowed us to stay stocked up with food during our quarantine. I have to say the produce selected for delivery was generally not what I would have selected myself. There was an occasional quantity or brand alternative provided, but otherwise it worked well.

I couldn’t help feeling how blessed we are to have these types of services to allow those of us who have had to quarantine, and others who aren’t mobile enough, to shop or purchase meals.

At the same time, we had just moved into a new home. Again, I realized how fortunate we are to have so many timely services available to us. My appreciation grew as I had to wait for my quarantine to end before a technician could come out to the house to hook up our internet service. Thank goodness for mobile phones and their internet capabilities!

The COVID-19 Recovery Process for My Family

I recovered quickly, with only a 2-day fever and loss of smell for about three weeks. My daughter never had any symptoms other than a headache. Unfortunately, my wife ended up getting it from us and had a fever for about 10 days. She had it the worst.

It is such a strange disease that we really don’t seem to know much about. We aren’t sure why some people get it and others who are exposed don’t. On top of that, the symptoms vary so greatly from person to person.

Fortunately for us, either through pure luck and/or because of regular exercise, trying to eat healthy, and genetics, none of us had a chronic condition that complicates the ability to fight the disease. The CDC has reported that, on average, those who die from COVID-19 have 2.6 additional health conditions, including many that often (but not always) are brought on by lifestyle choices such as diabetes, circulatory diseases, and smoking-related respiratory issues.

We Still Don’t Understand COVID-19

My final observation on COVID-19 is that with or without having the virus, we really don’t understand it.

Political leaders, the CDC, WHO, medical experts, and others have tried to use the data they have available to make decisions on how to combat it. Wearing masks and social distancing seem to have helped.

However, I recently read a study that couldn’t identify in any of the data that the lockdowns had any significant impact on containing the virus, but we know they surely had a significant impact on the U.S. and world economy. Just think about the small businesses that probably will never recover from this — dry cleaners, food street vendors, shoeshine stands, and many other businesses that need people moving about to survive.

Just as our leaders have created an abundance of different lockdowns, limitations, etc. on businesses and individuals, businesses and individuals have also created their own interpretations on these restrictions. Unfortunately, it leaves many of us frustrated, angry, lonely, and depressed.

COVID-19 will not go away…just like the flu, common cold, and other viruses don’t go away. Some of us get them; some of us don’t. And interestingly enough, we all have a variety of symptoms. My hope in the end is that we are all able to get back to regular social interaction soon or take part in new kinds of social interaction. It just makes us all happier, right?!

Follow our COVID-19 Resource Center for regular updates.

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