Looking back in the journal I kept for 2020, it is surreal how much I was hurt last year from July to November. Last year, I tested positive for Coronavirus days after the Fourth of July. It is still hard to pinpoint how or when I contracted the sickness, but I know it was before the start of July. There was a lot of telecommuting, working from home, so I was able to minimize any exposure to anyone else even though my symptoms were starting to pick up hard. This column is to illustrate to readers the effects and toll coronavirus took on me even with mild symptoms.
When July started I remember my head feeling weightless, at some points throughout the first few days. I didn’t think too much of it then. On July 4th, 2020 I went running and after the run my chest felt bubbly. When I took deep breathes, there was a sticky feeling in my chest like there was phlegm in it. In my journal I wrote that it felt like my heart and lungs were bigger than my chest. I ran out of breath easily when I tried to talk. The rest of the day and the day after I was knocked out by a heavy tiredness and a fever. It was weird. I was very sleepy but I couldn’t sleep well the next few days. I had to sleep while sitting because I was not able to lay down flat.
What really took a toll on me was when I lost my sense of smell. The quarantine itself could have been worse for my mental state, but the isolation was not as bad as not being able to smell anything. I put permanent sharpies and deodorant sticks near my nose, nothing was registering. My taste buds were still able to tell what was sweet, salty, or bitter. Throughout my young life I never knew how demoralizing not being able to smell anything would be. With my smell gone, at least I knew that there was no shadow of a doubt and would focus on recovering.
In mid-July 2020 I made a choice to update my status on social media. For education purposes I posted that I tested positive for CoVid. Ultimately, I wanted people to get a sense of the seriousness this sickness could impose. I was only 25 years of age at the time. I had no health conditions, had good cardio, and a good diet. Luckily I was not bad enough to be put in ICU. There was a lot of love and support given to me at the time. It was rough, and to all the people who reached out or helped me, I can’t thank enough for getting me through that phase. The struggles wouldn’t end there though.
Slowly but surely my sense of smell came back. I made it through my time in quarantine without showing symptoms, so I thought I was in the clear. It sucks that I had to learn the hard way, but for the next couple months I could barely walk a short distance without aches in my chest area. Breathing was difficult and I got tired easily after walking less than half a mile. It was a process to get up to speed with my cardio for the latter half of summer. Thank goodness I got myself in shape in time for hunting season, yet the exhaustion periods would occasionally hit me until winter time.
I learned a lot from what happened to me. The limits of my body and my patience were really tested during the time of quarantine. The perspective I gained on my life and others around me is that life is so precious. This tunnel we’ve all been in for this era of pandemic and sickness has a light that is getting brighter day by day. An ending is coming which then will create a new beginning for everyone to jump start from. Prayers to all and I wish you all well.
Boots Pond is a member of the CTUIR’s Board of Trustees. He can be reached at