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My Experience with Coronavirus by Natasha Wynnyk

31 March 2020
by Natasha Wynnyk

My Experience with Coronavirus by Natasha Wynnyk

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Hi all! This is Natasha with Team Giadzy. I'm not sure how many of you saw our Instagram post stating that one of our teammates had Coronavirus, but that person was... yours truly, me. I'm feeling MUCH better, so I thought I'd take the time to write about what it was like.

My partner, Christian, got the virus about 2 weeks ago after coming back from a work trip to Toronto. I picked him up from the airport when he got back and he had a very slight dry cough, but we didn't think much of it-- it seemed like it could be allergies or just a slight irritation. Then, the next day he woke up with a fever and we looked at each other worried-- with all of the news circulating, we knew what a fever could mean. I went to the store to get him some soup and juice, but the shelves were empty and that's when I began to panic, thinking, "What if Christian has coronavirus and we can't get the things we need?" I began to tear up in the market, afraid of what the future held.
I returned home empty handed, and we decided to call his doctor. His doctor said that since he got his flu shot this year, we could rule out that it was the flu, and also given his recent travel, he could definitely be a candidate for Coronavirus. He suggested that he immediately get tested. Christian drove to Urgent Care and luckily, he got tested pretty easily, but only because he told them that he just had traveled internationally and he had a fever and slight cough. To test him, they stuck a long q-tip so deep into his nostril that he said it felt like it was touching his brain (no thank you!). It took 5 days to get his test results back, which was super surprising to me. We're in the middle of an international crisis-- why was it taking so long? Finally, a nurse called and sure enough, he tested positive.
At that point, I had begun showing symptoms too-- I suddenly got a fever of 100.5 and bad chills about 4 days after Christian first showed symptoms. We asked the nurse if I should get tested, but she said it wasn't necessary since Christian was positive-- we could just assume I had it as well. They say for every 1 tested case of Coronavirus, there are about 5 other untested cases and I believe it...I AM it. We frantically talked to the nurse for a few more minutes, begging her to tell us everything we needed to know. Her response was rather underwhelming-- she said to treat our symptoms as though we had the flu. Rest and stay inside and if our fevers got too high, take Tylenol. She said NOT to go to the hospital unless we were feeling short of breath and we would know if we were short of breath if we couldn't walk up and down stairs or talk without breathing heavily (this was helpful knowledge when we were feeling anxious about when to know if the virus was getting bad enough to go to the hospital). And then like that, our conversation with her was over and we were left to see where this virus took us.
Although we're both young, healthy and have no underlying conditions, knowing we had the virus was pretty scary. I mean, the world had basically shut down because of the very virus that was in our bodies! I have to say though, I think the anxiety about actually having the virus and what might happen ended up being worse than the virus itself.
We immediately called all of our friends and family and told them the news. We were the first people of our entire peer group to get the virus. In fact, Christian was number 149 to test positive in LA County! We went "coronaviral" as we coined it and the outpouring of love and help was unimaginable. Since we couldn't leave our house, countless friends brought us groceries and fun snacks (shout out to my friend Lizzy for the taquitos!) and we had many conversations through our window with masks on. Never could I have imagined that in 2020 I would be legitimately quarantined and friends would be scared to get near me, but here we are!
Symptom-wise, Christian had aches in his legs for the first few days and then a fever that lasted for a full 10 days. 10 DAYS! 10 days of a dazed fever dream existence. Luckily Christian's cough went away after the first few days, so we weren't too worried about respiratory issues, although with an unknown virus like this it was really hard to know when to worry and when not to worry.
I had a fever for about 2 days, but for me, what was worse than my fever was debilitating body aches. It hurt to walk or even be touched- I felt the aches in my bones, even in my fingers, and they would keep me up at night. I took Tylenol for a few days to deal with it (and sleep!) and then finally after about 5 days the aches went away. After they subsided, I thought I was getting better so I tried to be a bit more active (nothing crazy-- I'm talking about doing the dishes. Wild, I know.), but suddenly I was congested and developed a slight cough. I had to take it easy and rest, which was really hard for me as I'm such an active person, but it was absolutely necessary. A takeaway to note about this virus is that it LINGERS. You think you're through it and then it comes back again...and again.
Speaking of which, one scary moment for us was the "day 8/9 turn" as doctors call it. Apparently on day 8 or 9 of the virus, symptoms can take a turn and start to get really bad. Christian's fever shot up the evening of day 8 and I became really worried. I am absolutely not a hypochondriac-- I could break an arm and chalk it up to a strained muscle-- but Coronavirus broke me down a bit. The virus felt so scary and powerful and truly anything, good or bad, seemed possible. Could a high fever on day 8 mean hospitalization on day 9? We called Christian's doctor who told us the same thing as he had before-- Was he breathing ok? Yes. Did he have respiratory symptoms? No. Ok, then take Tylenol to get the fever down and STAY HOME. And so we did.
Today, we're both fever free and ache free (hooray!), but the one symptom that still lingers is the complete and total loss of smell. As a part of Giada's team, I have to say that the loss of smell, and therefore taste, has not been easy. Let's be honest, cooking is one of the main things we're all doing during this time! Christian and I played a quarantine game the other day to test our sense of taste: one person would close their eyes while the other person fed them something and that person had to try to guess what it was. I closed my eyes and Christian fed me a spoonful of applesauce with pickle juice (a monstrous move, I know) AND I COULDN'T TASTE IT. It was only after I opened my eyes and learned what had just happened that I got upset and mayyybe shed a few tears, but only by the idea of how disgusting that should've been, not by the actual taste itself. Anyhow, all this to say that our sense of smell and taste is shot, but I'm hopeful it will come back soon. Once it's back, you'd better believe I will stop and smell the flowers from here on out (and give Christian the payback he deserves!).
That just about sums up my experience, but know that we are OK. We were extremely lucky to have somewhat mild cases and not need to be hospitalized, so I'm very thankful for that! We're almost out of quarantine too - doctors say we're no longer contagious 7 days after our symptoms subside, so that marks just a few more days for us before we're released into the wild and can do our own grocery shopping!
Wishing all of you healthy months ahead. Don't forget to love those closest to you and appreciate the small things <3 And wash your hands!!!


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