‘I was hoping that it was a seasonal cold’: Morgan State sophomore opens up about contracting COVID-19

Sophomore+Ashlyn+Wilson+poses+on+Morgan+State%27s+football+field.

Courtesy of Instagram

Sophomore Ashlyn Wilson poses on Morgan State’s football field.

Ashlyn Wilson, Contributing Writer

I woke up on Wednesday, Nov. 4 to an autumn breeze. I ate breakfast, attended a virtual class and stretched out on my blanket underneath an apple tree outside of my home and studied.

It was a normal day and I didn’t have a warning of the pain I was set to experience.

Early the next day I wrestled in my sheets, tossing to find comfort and relief from intense muscle aches. I woke up with only one hour of rest and a migraine that made opening my eyes difficult. I could barely reach for my phone to check the time, so I decided to take the day off from school. 

It didn’t click yet that I was experiencing the beginning stages of COVID-19.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, the body aches and migraines persisted accompanied by nasal congestion but I was hoping that it was a seasonal cold. 

Several days before laying in bed with agonizing pain, I attended church, went to work and went home. That was my routine since the pandemic began in March and I practiced social distancing, used sanitizer and wore a mask.

On Nov. 7 at 9:39 p.m. my father received a text message from a minister at my church. The message said that a couple of members tested positive for COVID-19. 

The reality settled in that the virus was not only something I heard about on the news but that I may be experiencing. As the day progressed, my symptoms worsened—It was the peak of my sickness. I was extremely tired but I couldn’t sleep. I had severe chest pains and a frightening depth of labored breathing. 

My sister, a certified nursing assistant, advised me to sleep in the fowler position to alleviate discomfort.

Although I was not completely sure I had COVID-19, I began to isolate myself inside my bedroom.

Sunday, Nov. 8 around noon, there was a gentle knock on my door. My mother left a bowl of chicken noodle soup and vitamin C outside my door. Her behavior indicated that the quarantine was real.

Later that evening, my father attempted to schedule an appointment for me to get tested but every timeslot was full. 

Fortunately, my father was able to schedule an appointment for Nov. 13th at a local CVS, a self-testing site.

As the week continued, my symptoms persisted but less aggressively.

The most challenging part about battling the virus was being a full-time student, trying to manage classes and meetings with a heavy workload. Nevertheless, I was determined to finish the semester strong. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, I noticed I couldn’t smell my soap while showering. Later, when I brushed my teeth, I couldn’t taste my toothpaste. It was terrifying to know that I lost my senses, but even more terrifying that my senses may never return. 

That evening, my pastor hosted a virtual conference to inform the members of the church that he tested positive for the virus. We began to pray. 

Friday, Nov. 13, I prepared to take a COVID-19 test. My appointment was scheduled for noon and the line was extremely long. I didn’t get tested until more than one hour later and my body aches were intolerable. 

Three days later, my father received a text message with my results. He called me into his room and I sat at the foot of the bed with my mask on, anxiously waiting for the results. The automated voice message stated my results were positive. I remember hearing my father gasp and my eyes began to water. 

That night my home was still in disbelief.

It was Sunday, Nov. 22, more than one week later, that I woke up feeling a little normal. My taste and smell began to slowly come back and I was grateful.

Through it all, I managed to overcome the virus while managing my classes thanks to God, my family and friends. 

As positive cases continue to surge, it’s essential that everyone wears a mask, social distance and stays home for the holiday season. It has been a rough year for people across the globe, but I’m certain better days are before us.