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First-person account: I got COVID in Boise. I’m fine, but here’s what I went through

Tamarack Summer
COVID-19 Idaho

Editor’s note: A few weeks ago, we hired new reporter Autum Robertson. This spring, she contracted COVID-19. We thought her perspective as a local positive case would provide value. While nearly every case is different – from asymptomatic to fatal, this is one account of contracting COVID-19.

I was in the middle of moving houses, carrying a box to my car when I noticed I felt sick. I felt fatigued and had a sore throat. I sat down next to my boyfriend and noticed something else— my toes were peeling (later I found out that was a symptom of COVID-19).

Four days later we were in the St Luke’s parking lot with swabs up our noses and a nurse telling us we were probable cases of COVID-19.

The nurse who administered my test told me that if the test came back positive they would call and if it was negative I would not hear back. Sure enough, two days later my phone rang with “Maybe: St. Luke’s” directly below the number.

I tested positive. Later, Central District Health called and told me I was required to quarantine for ten days.

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Tamarack: Thrill, Grill, Chill
The Sundance Company

[Idaho doesn’t meet metrics, will remain in stage four of COVID recovery plan]

‘Worst headache I’ve ever had’

My first three days in quarantine were spent with one of the worst (and most persistent) headaches I have ever had. The pain was throbbing, so for three days I laid in bed and stared at my ceiling.

With the headache, I had chest pain and a runny nose. On day four of quarantine, those symptoms were gone, but it did not get better. That day is when my gastrointestinal symptoms kicked in. I was nauseous at all hours of the day and I was vomiting every time I tried to eat or drink.

My GI symptoms lasted until day eight of quarantine. I lost weight and was extremely dehydrated.

On day eight I was sitting in my living room FaceTiming my friend, who also tested positive. She was telling me about losing her taste and smell. In that moment it dawned on me that I no longer had taste and smell.

I could not taste or smell anything (unless it was super spicy). On day nine food occupied my thoughts. Most foods turned me off because of the texture, so on that day, I refused to eat anything besides yogurt.

Symptoms worsen – then quickly improve

My last day of the quarantine, day 10, was surprising. The night before I went to bed with body aches and nausea it felt like I was getting sicker, but somehow, when I woke up I felt good for the first time in almost two weeks.

Later that afternoon I got a call from the person at CDH who was dealing with my case. They told me that I was free to go back to my normal life.

My experience with COVID-19 was a lot different than what I read. I’ve never had a cough, my temperature never broke 98.9 degrees and I never was sick enough to go to the hospital. I was sick for 14 days and showed symptoms for 10.

Though I still can not smell or taste anything (unless it is spicy), I am fine.

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