Photo by Marlie Griffith

 We have all sacrificed to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe during this pandemic.

I have turned down a trip to New York City that would have made me a better writer, editor and thinker. I was unable to go to London and Amsterdam with a group of people and professors who I was so impressed by and eager to learn from. I was unemployed for months and was unable to draw from unemployment. I felt immensely responsible for the well being of my loved ones and made sacrifices that would ensure their safety.

I recently moved into an off-campus apartment with two friends. Both of my roommates have been incredible safe and careful in public places. But still, even though we have made sacrifices, two of us ended up contracting COVID-19.

My roommate had visited with a friend, and the next day found out her friend had tested positive for COVID-19. I had tried hard to remain positive. The test itself was not as bad as I anticipated it to be. I went to a local CVS and administered the test myself, in my car, in the CVS Pharmacy drive-through. It took exactly 48 hours to get my results.

          

When I did start feeling symptoms, they were mild and have remained mild. I had what felt like a head cold for the first week. This last week I have lost my taste and smell, which is something I would never wish on anybody.

I started out my senior year at Otterbein feeling very sick and embarrassed of having COVID-19. I was worried that people would find out and think that I was being unsafe or negligent, leading me to put others at risk. I did not want my professors to know and think I would be using COVID-19 as an excuse to skip class (which I would never do, of course).

I was worried for nothing. I have felt such an immense amount of support from my friends, professors and Otterbein faculty. I have people checking in on me every day. My professors are extremely understanding and have fully accommodated anything I have needed. Otterbein faculty have done an amazing job at contract tracing and ensuring the rest of the Otterbein community are remaining safe.

          

The hardest thing about being sick with COVID-19 is the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding my return to society. I have been told different quarantine lengths, I have been told I should get tested again and I’ve been told I shouldn’t. Aside from that, I have been lucky to have rather mild symptoms. Online classes have been an adjustment regardless of having COVID-19. I feel appreciative to be apart of the Otterbein community and to have an amazing support system of family and friends.