For many of us in the U.S., the novel coronavirus is still an abstract (if scary) concept, one we’re reading about and watching news reports of as we follow social distancing orders. As the number of cases continues to grow, however, that’s not going to be the case for long. We got a wakeup call on Friday morning as we read about the experience of mother and creator of the lifestyle blog LemonStripes Julia Dzafic, who believes she, her husband, and their 2-year-old daughter have all come down with the virus this week.
“For the last 5 days, we’ve all been sick,” Dzafic shared on Instagram Thursday night. “It started with a fever for Anel on Saturday night. By Monday morning we both had fevers, body aches, and burning coughs. I also had crippling headaches and it hurt when anything that touched my skin. On Tuesday, Amalia woke up with a fever and cough and slept all day.”
Dzafic, who lives in Connecticut, wrote in further detail about their illness on her blog Friday. She and her family began their social distancing late last week, as most of us did. At first, when her husband Anel started feeling unwell on Saturday, they thought it was allergies, but he quarantined himself in a guest bedroom just to be safe. He didn’t qualify for a COVID-19 test, according to their local hotline. Though Dzafic disinfected their whole house and stayed away from Anel, it was apparently too late. By Sunday night, she too woke up drenched in sweat. Her description of her symptoms is not pleasant.
“By Monday morning I was shaking hard and the body aches were intense,” she said. “Each cough felt like fire in my lungs. … The two worst symptoms for me personally have been the headaches and skin pain which is interesting because Anel didn’t experience either of these. The headache feels like the worst unrelenting hangover of your life x10. Motrin helps for a few hours but it always comes back about an hour before I can take another dose which is a fun little surprise every 5 hours.”
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For the last 5 days, we’ve all been sick. It started with a fever for Anel on Saturday night. By Monday morning we both had fevers, body aches, and burning coughs. I also had crippling headaches and it hurt when anything that touched my skin. On Tuesday, Amalia woke up with a fever and cough and slept all day. She’s already much better (still not eating) but I am still struggling, although I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. Each day gets a little bit better but it’s been really hard. Physically. Emotionally. Caring for a sick child when you can barely stand up is hard enough but we also both had to work to keep our businesses afloat. I honestly don’t know how we powered through the last few days but here we are. Amalia and Anel didn’t qualify for COVID testing but because of an issue in my lungs, I did. It’s disgusting that I had to feel guilty for taking a test but they had to know in case things got really bad for me and I needed more treatment. Spoiler alert: although it has sucked, I haven’t needed more treatment. In CT the results take 3-5 days (don’t get me started) so we don’t even know for sure yet if we have it but we do know it’s not the flu bc that test was negative. I’m writing a full blog post detailing our experiences to share them with you guys once we get the results. But today I have two messages: 1. We will survive this. That said, for us it has been nothing like a regular cold. Neither of us have ever been so sick (That said there is still a chance we don’t have it I guess?) 2. Please stay home and practice social distancing. Sending love and light from our family to yours ?
A preexisting lung condition meant she qualified to get tested at the hospital, but four days later she has yet to get the results.
Earlier this week, Something Navy blogger Arielle Charnas also came down with symptoms and shared her experience of testing positive for COVID-19. So far, however, her family has remained safe from the virus.
Dzafic’s family has not been so lucky. Any parent knows it’s particularly horrible to have to care for a sick child while you, too, feel sick. Doubly so when both parents are laid low. Fortunately, as has been the report for most children with coronavirus, Amalia recovered from it before her parents.
We’re not going to detract from Dzafic’s work by posting more of her story, so you should definitely go and read her full account for yourself. Let’s just say that even if most people recover from this, we do not want to get it.
It would be so nice if this remained something we only read about from afar, but that seems unlikely at this point. But if we heed her warning, and that of officials and medical experts, our chances are better.
“Please stay home,” Dzafic said. “I cannot imagine anyone who is old or sick doing well with what we went through. Please. Please. Please stay home. Please follow the CDC guidelines. If not for yourself then for everyone else.”
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