I spent 22 months being so careful. We didn’t take our kids to restaurants, go to concerts, travel much, hang out with unvaccinated people, etc. We wore N95 masks everywhere. We were SO DILIGENT! But I got COVID. Liam came home from school with it and I got it. I remember back in November when my kids first had it (yes, Liam had it twice in 6 weeks) I was SO UPSET. Thankfully they had it very mild. But then we got it again and this time it was worse. There is such a shame with COVID that I feel we all put on ourselves and I want to talk about my experience.
The Shame With COVID
In elementary school, we play a game “circle circle dot dot now I’ve got my cootie shot.” I remember it so well, it was a joke right. I feel like we live in that joke now. I got vaccinated as soon as I could (Moderna) and I also got boosted. I still was extremely diligent, although I did things like go to the gym, go to restaurants with friends, but I always wore a mask and stayed away from crowds. No concerts, movie theaters, big events, etc. We even opted to not stay for my cousin’s wedding reception (I was in the wedding) to avoid crowds of people.
(My at-home test about 3 minutes after I took it)
So to my surprise, I still got COVID, although from my son who was exposed at school. It still felt like a failing. I felt like I had let my family down. I was scared for my husband and daughter and my mom who also ended up getting it. I somehow ended up having the worst reaction to COVID. Even boosted I was incredibly sick. The sickest I have ever been in my life. I would say for months that even if I got it, I was sure I would have a mild case because I’m healthy. I eat well, I work out, I take vitamins, I sleep. Nope, it took me down. There was a point one day I couldn’t even lift up my head. I couldn’t play with my kids, I couldn’t do much of anything. Taking a shower took all my energy. I had ALL The symptoms. Even the ones they say are rare. It was terrible.
(Picture I sent to a friend one night at 7 PM)
While there is a significant shame that comes with COVID and fear, there is also something I have seen talked about almost not at all: Depression. To be fair I am prone to depression and anxiety and take medicine for both. But, I did not expect the depression I started to feel with COVID. It was a combination of things for me: Andrew stayed away from me as much as he could as we didn’t want him getting it, so when he was around me he wore a mask, we didn’t hug or kiss and that’s HARD for 10 days with the person you love. It wears on you, especially when you aren’t feeling well and you want comfort. It was depressing to not have my normal go go go energy. I am someone who wakes up at 5, I work out, I am productive, I get all the things done. I couldn’t do anything. I had to just rest, and that’s something I am not good at. My work suffered, my motivation suffered, I had no appetite. It was just a lot.
I think it’s important to note that while there are so many factors of COVID that can hurt you physically, and hurt your body, it also hurts your mental health.
Some things that DID help me:
- Knowing that it will end, I will feel better, I will be my normal self again
- Listening to my body and doing what it told me to do: sleep, rest, drink water
- Eating what sounded good: mostly soup and fruit
- Taking vitamins (consult your doctor on which ones)
- For my migraines which I got A LOT of during COVID, I used my ice roller, my acupressure mat, and Aleve
- Crying- yeah I cried a LOT. It was just really hard
(trying to get migraine relief on my acupressure mat)
There’s no rhyme or reason why COVID is harder for some than others. My mom is 70 and had an extremely mild case. I’m 37 and mine was NOT mild. Don’t let people shame you either. It’s not a moral failing to get COVID. It’s not weak. It’s happening everywhere and to everyone. Don’t let people gaslight you into thinking it’s not a big deal. It’s a VERY big deal. Even if it isn’t for them it may be for you, if it isn’t for you it may be for the person you infect.
I know this was rambling and long and if you are still with me thank you, mostly this was something I needed to get off my chest and share with you about. I hope you never feel the shame of COVID but if you do, I’m here if you ever need to talk.
What was your COVID experience like?