Lessons From My COVID Experience

On Saturday, July 16th, I awakened to a headache, body aches, and dizziness. That afternoon, I tested positive for COVID-19. During my time in quarantine, I’ve had several thoughts about my experience and I’d like to share a few with you.

It could’ve been worse.
I’m vaccinated but remember, vaccination doesn’t prevent a person from contracting COVID. It gives your body the fighting chance to fend off COVID so you hopefully won’t have a severe reaction that leads to hospitalization or even death. The real danger comes from contracting COVID while being unvaccinated. On August 23, 2021, WSFA quoted the Alabama Department of Public Health stating 94% of Alabama COVID-19 deaths were among unvaccinated people. And still, for me personally, it could have been worse.

I have 3 of the most prevailing underlying health conditions that contribute to extreme COVID responses. These underlying health conditions are called comorbidities. You can learn more about comorbidities on the Macon County Community Partners Task Force website, www.maconcares.org. I felt the effects of one of my comorbidities even though I’m vaccinated. I have hypertension and the first two days of COVID my smart watch repeatedly reported a high heart rate notification. If I were not vaccinated, it could have been worse.

Testing can save lives.
I was scheduled to perform a funeral on that Saturday afternoon but elected to pass on that responsibility to another minister. I’m glad I did because I could’ve turned the funeral into a super spreader event. What if there were people at the funeral that were unvaccinated? It’s possible my presence at the funeral could’ve caused others to become sick and die from COVID-19. I shudder to think about how I would feel to hear someone at that funeral died of COVID after being in contact with me.

Getting tested isn’t for our benefit. It’s for the benefit of those around us. It’s important to know our status so we do not spread sickness and death to others. It’s important to be sure we have a negative test before re-entering our jobs, schools, churches, and public spaces. Be sure to get tested even if you remotely feel you have been exposed to COVID-19.

Rely on your resources.
During my quarantine, Joyce German from the Task Force Health Committee contacted me. I revealed to her my test results. She immediately directed me to the Task Force website. In particular, she directed me to a document shared by Erica Muhammad titled “Keys To Self-Healthcare, Maintenance, and Survival”. That document on the Task Force’s “Get Facts” page is amazing. It details everything a person needs to do to increase their chances of survival. Instead of searching the internet and combing through pages of information on various sites, I was able to get the information I needed, curated and written by people I know and trust in one place.

COVID-19 isn’t gone and I’m living proof. It is surging in our state even though the media isn’t reporting on it. For this reason, it is imperative that we arm ourselves with information and resources to combat the spread of the virus in Macon County. The Macon County Community Partners Task Force is a resource we cannot afford to ignore. Visit the Task Force website www.maconcares.org to learn ways to keep yourself and your community COVID safe.

During my illness I experienced, congestion, coughing, headaches, body aches, fever, chills, runny nose, loss of taste and smell and fatigue. I didn’t have all of these symptoms at once but they occurred randomly over a full two week period. After two weeks, I tested negative for COVID and am no longer in quarantine.

The media isn’t reporting about the deaths and cases of COVID-19 in any detail. But the data is still be collected. If you want the real story about what’s happening with COVID-19 in the state of Alabama, visit the Alabama Department of Public Health COVID-19 Dashboard. There you will find nearly 3 out of every ten COVID tests are being reported as positive and more than 3,140 people have died from COVID-19 between January, 2022 and July, 2022. Go to the Dashboard and use the tabs at the top to navigate and see the statistics for the state and your county.

Alabama Department of Public Health COVID-19 Dashboard

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