My family consists of my husband-59, my two daughters 19 & 16 and myself 55.

By Ellen

My family consists of my husband-59, my two daughters 19 & 16 and myself 55. We have stayed in our neighborhood since lockdown, not traveling more than 15 miles. On 7/10, the 4 of us went to a virtual reality cafe for my husband’s birthday (he’s a big geek) The place had four rooms set up, the dividers were thick black nylon curtains, the front of the room was just a thick clear curtain. This helped the workers of you needed assistance. We put on tight, thick goggles. The reason I am telling you this is because this was the ONLY place we went, out of town. Also, it was located in a very large mall.

That was Friday, on Sunday my 16 yr old and I went up to Long Island to visit a good friend and hit the beach a few times. The night before we left, I had a small productive cough and my voice was raspy. No discomfort whatsoever. We made the trip in good time. We even had time to drive over to the beach. Before I went to sleep that night, my cough really picked up and I had laryngitis. Next morning (Monday) it hit full force! I never felt worse in my life. I had the worst sore throat, a productive painful cough, dizzy and incredibly weak. By Tuesday my friend took me to Urgent Care. I received 2 COVID-19 tests and a pneumonia test, all positive. I stayed at my friends home an extra week. I am bipolar and depression and packed only meds for the short stay we planned and my friend didn’t know I had those meds in my bag to take. On top of being so ill with COVID and pneumonia I was in full withdrawal from about 5 strong psych meds.

Somehow (foolishly) I made the trip back to PA way too soon. It took 6 hours and I don’t know how I made it home alive. When I came home I was extremely weak, still having paranoia.

The worst part and the one thing I wanted stress the treatment I’ve received from family, friends. I developed a severe toothache, I explained the situation with my dentist and was told I needed a retest before they will see me. I wanted to ask them if they would do the same to a HIV positive patient? Luckily, I am being re-tested on Monday. I’ve had a few friends follow up to check up on my family and I. Family stayed as far away as possible. This illness was a very sad eye opener.