It’s no secret that in recent weeks Pullman has been hit by huge numbers of cases of COVID-19. In fact, it only took one weekend for Pullman to more than double the number of confirmed cases in Whitman County. With the number of cases rising, I have seen the call for masks become louder.
I spoke to someone who experienced COVID-19 after being diagnosed with it early in pandemic. The person said the transmission was linked to roommates. All the roommates ended up getting COVID-19. I am sharing the following information based on our conversation.
The age range for the victim is between 40 and 59 years of age. The victim is a full-time Pullman resident. The virus was brought to Whitman County by a friend of the roommate who had traveled by airplane. The victim got it from the roommate who got it from the guest. It is important to note that they had not cohabitated with the guest prior to their diagnosis.
I asked about the victim’s social habits prior to that person getting infected. I was told, prior to infection, the victim was a firm advocate of washing hands and practicing social distancing. I gathered that the victim was not cavalier in heir actions and tried to practice safety.
I asked about the symptoms the victim experienced. I was told the fever wasn’t static. It fluctuated for days between being normal and being a little on the high side. Although there were no breathing problems, other symptoms were very obvious. These symptoms included muscle soreness. It was described as cramping and very painful.
The victim would get fatigued very easily. When that happened, there was a complete lack of energy that lasted the whole day.
This was the sickest the victim had ever been, I was told. In addition to those symptoms, the victim experienced a loss of taste and smell. There were also sharp headaches.
It took about four or five days from when the symptoms first appeared to when the victim was feeling really sick. It was almost two and a half weeks before the victim no longer had fevers and almost felt normal – not 100 percent. The victim was able to report back to work on the third week.
The aftereffects of COVID-19 are still being felt nearly five months later. The victim estimates that their sense of smell is only about 40 percent of normal. Taste is still not back to normal. Many times food will leave an unusual aftertaste.
When doing normal daily activities such as shopping or working in the yard, the victim will be hit by fatigue. Once the fatigue sets in the victim loses energy and is done for the day.
I asked about the treatments received. There were no magic medications. I asked about the controversial hydroxychloroquine medication. The victim said that was not discussed but did laugh at the idea that it would help. The victim was told to drink warm fluids. The victim also chose to sleep upright. The victim believed that sleeping upright helped to keep the airway open. Ultimately, the victim had to ride it out. It sounds like the ride is still happening.
An article in the Washington Post outlined a number of autopsies performed on COVID-19 patients. It was a lengthy article but one takeaway was the prevalence of tiny blood clots in various organs, including the brain. These lead to the lack of oxygen in surrounding tissues. It is unknown how that will affect those who have been infected down the road.
At the end of the interview, I asked, what was the one thing the victim wanted everyone to know?
“You may come out of it (COVID-19 infection) alive, but you may not come out whole.”
Scotty Anderson is a computer programmer who enjoys serving the community through various community-oriented service jobs.