As of March, 2020, when the news broke about Covid 19, I made the decision to temporarily move from my nine-person, four-generational home to a three-person home with friends who were as careful as I was about remaining free of this deadly virus. We all were careful to follow CDC guidelines to wear masks when going outside, to practice social distancing and to avoid super spreader type situations. I felt this was a safer environment for me, as I suffer from severe Diabetic complications. Along with my age, this puts me in the category of the most vulnerable. I was really fearful that if I caught Covid 19, I would not survive.

However, as careful as I was, I still became infected with this virus. One person in our three-person pod went to a meeting with a couple of friends. As careful as we always were, none of the three were wearing masks during their meeting. A few days later, one of the friends called to say they’d tested positive for Covid 19. Within a week’s time, this one little incident of not wearing masks led us all to become ill with Covid symptoms. I think mine were a little more severe than the others, and I wasn’t even at the meeting. My symptoms included headaches, sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, aching over, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Two of us have the same doctor. We were told they were only seeing patients with even more severe symptoms than mine. However, if we started having trouble breathing to go to the ER, or call 911.

We lived with our symptoms, treating them as a really, really severe case of the flu. Thankfully, after about a week and a half, we started feeling better. However, we are still recovering and dealing with a few lingering effects of the virus, such as mild headaches, some dizziness, periodic coughing and nausea. We are still wearing masks, sanitizing and practicing social distancing in the home so that the third person in our pod doesn’t become infected.

During my recovery, I am keeping as busy as I possibly can and am continuing to work on the Warmline. This has been a source of encouragement for me, and also allowed me to have more empathy with callers who are afraid of catching the virus. Many of them have friends who are sick or in the hospital on ventilators, some of whom have died.

I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to work on the Warmline. This and continuing to lean on a whole lot of prayer is helping me through this pandemic. I look forward to the time when we all will have the opportunity to be vaccinated against this deadly disease.

Brenda J.
Warmline Peer Support Specialist

The P.E.E.R. Center