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    I Tasted COVID

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | May 22nd, 2022

    I Tasted COVID

    When I checked in with one of my elderly friends, I told her I had not called or visited because I was sick with COVID. She commented, “so you tasted COVID?”. I responded, “Yes, I tasted COVID, and it was bitter.” I am so grateful that I was fully vaccinated and boosted. I cannot imagine what would have happened otherwise.

    Day # 1 – I started with a runny nose and a sore throat. I felt tired but could do most of my activities at home. I chose not to go anywhere because I had cold-like symptoms. I took an at-home COVID test, and it was negative. I went to bed early that evening.

    Day # 2 – I woke up with generalized body aches and was coughing incessantly. I had fever and chills. I had no appetite and was extremely tired. I called my job, and a COVID test was ordered through a drive-through. I could barely make it to the car, let alone drive. My husband drove me to the testing site. Once I came home, I stayed in bed. I knew I was supposed to keep hydrated but had no desire to drink anything. I took a combination of Ibuprofen and acetaminophen to be able to get out of bed to use the bathroom. I gargled with half water/half hydrogen peroxide alternating with gargling with salt water.

    I got my results about 12 hours later. I tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA (the virus that causes COVID) and negative for the flu.

    Day # 3My doctor called me in the morning. He had gotten the results. I described my symptoms. He said it sounded terrible and wanted me to start on medication. I was reluctant initially. I had begun to drink water and even had some soup by this time. Maybe I could get better on my own. This was the biggest mistake. That evening, I coughed and coughed. I could not sleep well due to the coughing. I felt weak and was unsure if it was due to the illness or lack of sleep.

    Day # 4 – I called my doctor, and he prescribed Paxlovid. Paxlovid is a combination of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, and it has been approved for FDA emergency use authorization. You take three tablets in the morning and three tablets in the evening. What a lifesaver. This medication should be taken within five days of symptoms. My symptoms especially the cough got better after being on the medication for two days.

    Lessons Learned

    Get vaccinated. Get at least your first booster. I know some people have mentioned why should one get vaccinated if one can still get COVID. You get vaccinated and boosted to prevent severe disease. You get vaccinated and boosted to avoid hospitalization.

    Wear your mask – Mask decreases transmission. I let my guard down at an event that was outdoors without social distancing. Wear your mask.

    Maintain social distancing – If you are unsure of the company around you, maintain social distancing.

    Take all your medication as directed – Even though you start feeling better with the drug, you want to take the course.

    Keep in touch with loved ones – I am fortunate that I had my husband with me. My throat was sore, and it took all my effort for me to talk on the phone. Do not be upset if the person does not feel like talking on the phone. If you know of a loved one diagnosed with COVID, text them.

    COVID is serious. Everyone responds differently when infected with the virus that causes COVID. I pray that none of you or your loved ones will ever taste COVID. The good news is we have ways to decrease our risk of not being infected. If you do get infected and start having symptoms, contact your primary care physician as soon as possible. This is a reminder to establish care with a primary care doctor while you are healthy so that they are available when you need them.

    For information on the COVID, please visit the CDC website.

    4 Responses to “I Tasted COVID”

    1. Victor Ejims says:

      This is nice and quite thoughtful of you.

      Thanks for being bold enough to publicly share your experience; thus, eliminating any form of extreme fear or stigmatisation that comes with such a pandemic sickness.

      Since faith is not a strategy, I am quite confident that you will be fine since you had earlier taken the necessary steps before ‘tasting’ COVID. It sure looks like something that tastes really bitter by merely looking at it. Lol

      Get well soon and hope to hear from you on how you fully recovered.

      Victor Ejims

    2. Linda K. Jackson says:

      Thank you for your share. I’m so sorry that you had the experience with COVID that you had, and that you’re on this side of it. Everyone’s experience is different. I only had fatigue and diarrhea for a few days.

      • Ngozi Osuagwu, MD says:

        You are correct – everyone experiences COVID differently. The symptoms range from mild to severe. It is important that we all take good care of ourselves.

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