I felt my symptoms after visiting family on December 28-29 it starts out as a cold followed by a massive headache and I felt weary, but it was not enough in my mind to get checked out. December 30 my sinuses had cleared out by now but the realization that I could not smell any candles in my apartment kicked in. I began to worry, and this is where my significant other told me it could still be the cold and I should wait because there is no way we met someone who had it. I kept testing myself for days and if I got the slightest hint of a smell, I used that to justify a negative test in my head. But on January 2nd my significant other woke up and was unable to smell and had similar cold like symptoms I had experienced. We could not book the test until 2 days later for the Monday. During those first few days we constantly tried to reassure each other by saying we did not have it, that these symptoms are a fluke and that we are carful. Going into the center is what made everything feel more real, but we were still in denial. At this point we thought we would go home continue our isolation from when we booked our test and be out in no time. Once our results came back positive it was instant fear and tears. We knew that we had to inform everyone and not wait until we heard back from the nurse to get everyone to test and be sure and safe from infecting others. We both composed messages to our family members who we saw briefly over the holidays. The shock just passed but what followed was fear. Fear of infecting family during our visits that someone else may be put through this. Then fear of getting worse, having thoughts of am I really getting better or is this the calm before the storm, will new symptoms be quick or will it be slow. You try not to over think or make it worse because nothing takes your mind off it. Once you know your positive you think about where it came from and where you took it and if/when you will be allowed to leave your apartment again. It is a revolving door of what ifs and how with no relief. There was no motivation to move and get ready in the morning because we could not do a thing, we both did not have school, we relied on walks and being able to drive around when we felt bored, something that was simple and still isolated us from other people the sudden loss of that wore down the morale of our home. It was not until 2 days later when we got a call from a nurse who asks you questions for contact tracing, that we gained some relief from this constant mental battle of questions and concerns. We were told to monitor our symptoms and to contact people if we had not, yet we also received a release date. But our question to her was about the retesting stage, we were convinced that we could not leave with this, how can you possibly go outside unless your negative? To our surprise we will not be testing negative for some time now. It would take time like any other sickness to pass through us fully, but that if we did not experience more symptoms, we should be fine. We could rejoin work and daily living after our 10 days as compared to the 14, we were always hearing about. This lightened a lot of feelings for us but brought new ones as well. Many conversations as to how it is possible to not infect others or how to feel safe among others due to the volume of asymptomatic people or make others feel safe around us once they found out we had it. Another issue was whether we could pinpoint the person or place where we were affected.
Then everything clicked when we got a call from my significant others grandparents telling us that they were sick when we had saw them but did not realize that sickness was from covid-19 not a typical cold. They felt horrible and at fault for not being tested sooner, but we also made the decision to come in contact which we had to acknowledge. It made it easier in a way to understand the origin but there was that tinge of anger at first to not understand why they had not gone sooner to get tested or said something before we had contact to give the option. We got exposed from someone who we never expected to get sick from but rather feared getting them sick, which was a wakeup call we never expected. Then came my day to leave the house I was first because my symptoms were first which added confusion again to the mix just when I thought it would be done, how could I live in closed quarters with someone who cannot leave but I can leave and be perfectly justified to? I was excited though even with my confusion and hesitation but then came the anxiety where it felt so wrong. You feel physically and mentally dirty. Physically you look fine but so did the person who gave it to us. Mentally you feel like you have an incredibly dangerous secret that is putting everyone at risk. I knew I was not contagious the nurse said so when she called, she told me that the only time I was contagious was 2 days before my symptoms, so why do I feel dirty? It is a huge barrier to climb over to want to fend for yourself once again not to depend on services and family, because you did not realize the luxury of going to laundromat or grocery store or the impact of basic human contact before it was gone or before it felt wrong. The anxiety to walk down the street for the first time was overwhelming especially because the days went by quickly for me. You do not realize how different you are going to feel leaving with a positive test rather than isolating and leaving with a negative test. I had to call my significant other to relay those thoughts and bring some ease to myself walking to the car to get groceries. I still to this day feel dirty and maybe this feeling won’t go away until I can test negative one day, but what I know for sure is this experience was nothing compared to what I expected/ anticipated once I saw those results.