What is it like to have the deadly coronavirus? That depends on whom you ask.
A woman who caught COVID-19 at a Seattle house party said she didn’t realize she had the coronavirus disease until her symptoms were already subsiding, Fox News reported. Thirty-seven-year old Elizabeth Schneider told Fox personality Neil Cavuto that she’s “feeling great” and is no longer in quarantine.
“I didn’t even really know that I had the coronavirus when I had it,” Schneider said.
COVID-19 victim describes experience
The deadly virus known as COVID-19 is now a global pandemic, with more cases and deaths rising all over the world each day. As the virus spreads, stories from its victims have been pouring in — some horrifying, like that of a 48-year-old Ohio woman who described it as “like nothing I had ever quite experienced,” according to USA Today.
Schneider, who lives in the American epicenter of the outbreak, did not learn that she had the coronavirus disease until four days after her fever already broke, and 11 days after she first experienced symptoms. At first, she thought she had the flu. Her symptoms set in just a few days after going to a house party on Feb. 22.
“Three days later [after the party], I felt sick and I basically had all of the symptoms of the flu. I didn’t have a cough, I didn’t have any respiratory distress, tightness in my chest or shortness of breath. So I actually thought I had contracted the flu,” she told Cavuto.
Schneider realized something was wrong when others who went to that party came down with flu-like symptoms, and some tested negative for the flu. (They weren’t tested for the coronavirus.) She and others from the party then volunteered to participate in a Seattle area research study of COVID-19, and Schneider’s at-home nasal swab test came back positive.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include shortness of breath, fever, and coughing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most who get the virus will experience mild symptoms and recover, health experts have said. Older people and those with underlying health issues face a greater risk. In some cases, carriers may not even know they have the virus. A new study estimates that 10% of COVID-19 spread goes through so-called “silent transmissions.”
Schneider’s story, while reassuring, seems to reflect what authorities have said about the necessity of “social distancing.” Around the world, authorities have expressed frustration with the reluctance among young people to stay home and limit social activity. To an increasing degree, however, it is becoming less a matter of discretion as governments crack down on travel and movement.
The Trump administration has urged people to avoid gatherings larger than 10 people, according to ABC News, as a spate of state and local governments have enacted lockdowns of various degrees and closures of bars and restaurants. Americans are now adjusting to new lives led in isolation from co-workers, friends, and family as anxiety looms over a deadly new virus from China.
Adding to the fear is the virus’ novelty in that there are many unknowns, and there is no vaccine. Reports have surfaced of patients suffering permanent lung damage or testing positive a second time.
For her part, Schneider is no longer in quarantine and is reportedly feeling healthy.