© Inho Shin
Since the beginning of this year, we have all been listening to terrifying stories about the newly discovered virus and dreading the moment our loved ones show the first symptoms. And in my family, the first person to get sick was me.
The Czech Republic is currently one of the most infected countries in the world. With population counting only 10 million citizens, there are over 15 thousand newly confirmed cases every day. However, unofficial sources expect this number to be growing much faster. Thanks to our poorly prepared government, not even all hospitals and special facilities combined are able to test such huge masses of people. Therefore, no information can be quite accurate.
Prior to getting infected, I was very responsibly quarantined, even at times when it was not compulsory. My biggest fear was that in case I got infected I could bring the virus home and put my elderly parents in danger. After long six months of barely walking out of my house I allowed myself to accept an invitation to perform a few K-pop songs at a festival of Asian culture. Due to all circumstances it ended up being only a small event this year and everyone was urged to wear masks. I, on the other hand, could not wear one since I was singing. And the virus did not hesitate and immediately grabbed this opportunity to colonise another body.
When I started showing first symptoms, I stayed quite calm because I had mostly just a head-ache, runny nose, nothing too dramatic. But after a couple days, my food mysteriously lost all its taste and smell which was enough evidence for my doctor to order me to go and get tested. To nobody’s surprise the results came back positive. Even though my case was clearly not going to be very serious, it still made me a little nervous. I also gained unusual popularity among my family and friends who kept asking loads of questions. I was happy to entertain anybody who would listen to me explaining that whenever I scratch any part of my body, all muscles underneath the itchy area started burning with intense pain.
Less than a week after the first sneeze, my head-ache became quite terrible, I felt nauseous and most importantly I was unbelievably tired. This was simply a whole new level of exhaustion. Having a meal was enough to make me want to sleep right on the table. My body was so weak and limp it was barely willing to carry my own head. The whole system was only focused on its fight and all I could do was support it with nutritious food and enough quality sleep. Nearly two weeks passed and none of my symptoms was getting any better. Normally, I manage to go through any illness with emotional grace and do not appear to be suffering much. My usual go-to plan lies in re-reading the Harry Potter series, which brings me a high level of comfort and soothes my soul. This time, however, I could not keep my eyes open for a longer than 20 minutes, which I found very unsatisfactory.
Now, three weeks after I declared victory, I am able to mildly exercise and study almost normally. My energy levels are still not what they used to be but every few days there is a slight change for the better. Apart from being a little tired, the aftermath of this illness unfortunately affected my feminine side as well. I have been losing hair in clumps. Since I am naturally wavy-haired, it has been going unnoticed by public, although my hairbrush looks mortified.
In conclusion, I must say I am very, very grateful for such an easy recovery. Stories of many patients sound very scary and always remind me of how lucky I was. I wish COVID-19 were soon talked about only in the past tense and that we all learn from this terrible experience. Our population has paid an unbelievably high price this year. I believe the least we can do to honour those, who have suffered and even died, is to join forces and work hard to make the world a better place.