Washington, DC


Photo by John Sonderman

“Dear PoPville,

Not wanting to wear a mask? then please read my experience with COVID symptoms. I arrived at the emergency room at 1:30 PM in the afternoon and was told that there were no beds and there was a shortage of doctors due to critical patients arriving by ambulances. I would not get to see a doctor until 12:55 AM; nearly 12 hours later. After describing my symptoms to the doctor, a quick blood test that revealed an issue with my liver, then a CAT scan of my liver showed a blood clot. The conclusion was that I had COVID. I would have to wait several hours for a bed in the COVID unit. During my wait, I was given a COVID test. A bed opened up around 5 AM where I was transported to the COVID unit. Six hours later the COVID test showed that I was COVID negative but that I did have COVID anti-bodies meaning somewhere along the line I was exposed to COVID.

Inside my body, some infection had gone wild and the source of that infection has yet to be found. Though I was COVID negative, I did possess some of the COVID symptoms which I wish to share with you readers so you’d understand the experience I endured. When you read about COVID symptoms, there will be a mention of headaches, body aches, chills, fever, and sweats all of which I possessed. When you read the list, it sounds routine as if one had the flu but now let me described what those words actually mean:

1. Fatigue: I could not sit up, stand up, or left my body in any kind of way. I had no strength. It was as if I was too tired to exert any effort.

2. Body aches: much worse than the flu. Every movement was agonizing.

3. Headaches: it was as if somebody put a car lift inside my head and begin to ratchet my skull open. There was a shooting pain that darted along the right side of my skull. The mere opening of my eyes brought pressure to the front of my head so I kept my eyes closed as much as possible.

4. Chills: my body constricted into the fetal position, my body stiffened, and shuddered violently with coldness. My body shook nonstop for nearly 45 minutes.

5. Fever: over 100 on average. The medical team would provide a prescriptive dose of Tylenol which helped bring the fever down generally within 30 minutes. During this moment, I craved nothing but ice water.

6. Sweat: I experienced hot flashes that poured water down my head, down my face, down my back, and down my chest. These hot flashes last several minutes nonstop. When it stopped, the bedsheets had to be changed, a new gown issued, and a new pillow. Behind the sweats came severe dehydration. The medical team would connect me up to an IV fluid bag that remained constant forcing me to go to the bathroom nearly every two hours.

7. Here’s the kicker. Everything I described here above repeats itself nearly every four hours nonstop day and night. At most I would get maybe one and a half hours of sleep before the cycle would wake me up.

8. No visitors allowed. At my darkest moment, there was no family member in the room to provide comfort. I could not help but tear up for those in the COVID unit whose moans I can hear piercing through my door when I was on that unit.

Though I was battling an internal infection, the symptoms I experienced mirrored those of COVID and I’m here to tell you to protect yourselves. Protect yourself against those who do not care or do not believe that this is real. Protect your family, protect your friends, protect humanity. We in my family take all the precautions. We cover-up when we run. We yield the way to anyone who is in front of us. And yet I got exposed. The medical field believes in part that COVID lingers in the air and can be transmitted through the mucous of your eyes; the part I never protected. Though I did not have full-blown COVID, I did experience some of the symptoms which I’m here to tell you is horrific.

If you don’t want to wear a mask, that’s fine only stay away from everyone so as not to hurt anyone. Folks this is frightful. You read and hear about it but there’s nothing like experiencing it.”

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