What it’s like to be sick during the COVID-19 pandemic

If you’re young and can’t get tested, you’re still socially responsible


Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should take proper precautions in regards to social distancing.

Christina Bubba, Editor-in-Chief

This year’s regularly scheduled common cold, allergy and flu seasons have been interrupted by COVID-19 panic. Whether it is coming from the CDC, the news or even meme culture, the coronavirus is all anyone is talking about.

We were all cautioned to take our hygiene practices extra seriously and avoid those who are sick at all costs. However, that puts those of us who may be fighting another kind of illness in an awkward position.

Last week, I woke up with a slight cough and my thoughts immediately went to, ‘Great. Now no one is going to come near me.’ I continued to monitor my symptoms, and when I began to feel worse the next day, I decided to go to the university health center. I would normally just ride it out and rest, but I was presenting research at the National College Media Convention the following day in Manhattan and wanted to make the best decision about attending.

I tested negative for the flu and did not have a fever at that time, so I decided to attend the conference. By Friday I became feverish and, aside from my presentation, spent most of the day in bed. I became nervous about my condition because I was splitting my time between two locations in which the virus was reported– Westchester County and Manhattan.

I was supposed to go home for spring break on Saturday afternoon, but since my family did not want to be exposed to me, I ended up staying until Sunday.

I attempted to get tested before returning home to Pennsylvania in hopes of avoiding the 14 day quarantine process, but had no luck. I was told by my local health network and the New Rochelle testing site that I did not qualify for the test.

My family is still afraid that I could have the virus, so I am partaking in a 14 day quarantine. I am limited to my bedroom and one chair in my kitchen. I cannot pour myself water, serve myself dinner or open any doors. In short, I cannot touch anything even though it has been 10 days since my first symptom and I only ran a fever for one day. Even so, I am still coughing.

I am not discounting the possibility that I could have the coronavirus. We are currently in a situation in which there are not enough tests for everyone who is symptomatic, so it is impossible to know the reach of the virus. However, I believe that it is my social responsibility to distance myself from others in case I am a carrier.

To other young people who may feel like their health is not at serious risk: I implore you to think about those people in the vulnerable demographics that you could be exposing. You may not have direct contact with people in this group, but you don’t have to in order to spread the virus. You have no way of knowing who the people you interact with go home to.