While the rest of the world is trying to make sense of the terrifying pandemic that is COVID-19, a 37-year-old woman from Seattle who survived the illness is telling her story.
Elizabeth Schneider hopes her story, which she documented in a Facebook post , will bring peace of mind to others.
The marketing manager believes she caught the bug at a party. No one was sneezing or coughing, but nearly 40 percent of attendees ended up sick within days, she said.
It wasn’t until after recovering that Schneider discovered she too had the virus.
“The media tells you to wash your hands and avoid anyone with symptoms,” she wrote. “I did.
“There is no way to avoid catching this except avoiding all other humans.”
Symptoms appear differently depending on age, she said. For Schneider, those started on the milder side with fatigue and a headache. At its worst, coronavirus gave Schneider a 103-degree fever, which receded the next day, and uncontrollable chills.
“Once the fever is gone some were left with nasal congestion, sore throat,” Schneider wrote.
“Only a very few of us had a mild itchy cough. Very few had chest tightness or other respiratory symptoms.”
The total duration of the illness was between 10 and 16 days.
It wasn’t until after she’d nursed herself back to health that Schneider saw a post on social media indicating several people at the party tested positive for coronavirus.
She enrolled herself in a local research program and was sent a nasal swab kit. She mailed it back, waited several days and sure enough: COVID-19, positive.
“I was a little bit pleasantly surprised, because I thought it was a little bit cool,” she told the AFP, and that she found it interesting from a “scientific perspective”
After self-isolating the recommended 72 hours after her fever went down, Schneider is mostly back to regular life – only avoiding strenuous activity and large crowds, she said.
Health officials say 80 percent of çases are mild, like Schneider’s.
“I also truly believe the lack of testing is leading to folks believing that they just have a cold or something else going out into public and spreading it,” Schneider said.
“And worse folks with no symptoms are also spreading it as in the case of a person attending a party or social gathering who has no symptoms.”
On Thursday, Hackensack Meridian Health unveiled a rapid response test that shortens wait time from days to hours.
Scheider – who noted she is not giving medical advice – believes consistently taking Sudafed, using Afrin nasal spray three times in each nostril for three days on and off, and using a Neti pot with purified water may have saved her from developing worse respiratory symptoms.
“The two could be entirely unrelated based on the viral strain and viral load that I received,” she said.
“Hand washing doesn’t guarantee you won’t get sick, especially when folks without symptoms are contagious and could be standing right next to you in any given social situation.
“You more likely than not will not die, but do you want to risk spreading it to a loved one over 60 or someone with an immunity issue? Stay healthy folks!”
By Cecelia Levine/Daily Voice