Since the news of COVID-19 first hit back in March, all of our worlds have been turned completely upside down. By far, 2020 has been the worst year ever, am I right? With the initial lockdowns and quarantine came a tremendous sense of fear, isolation, and anxiety for many of us. Was this novel coronavirus truly as dangerous as the experts warned? Or, is it more like a seasonal influenza virus, or the common cold? Inevitably so, we would find out for ourselves.
When the pandemic first began, we were very strict on our social distancing measures. We wore face masks out in public, and we even wore disposable rubber gloves out to the market or while pumping gas. We definitely weren’t going to catch this virus. Like everyone else, we were super unsure and didn’t want to take any chances. We ate at home as much as possible, and we limited our interactions with others. We also kept very strict protocols at Sow Eden, especially since we self manufacture all of our products.
As the initial two week shutdown transformed into what seemed like a never ending quarantine, we became more de-sensitized over time to the news of the pandemic sweeping the country. We were beyond ready to get back to our normal lives. Lindsey was just shy of camping out at the eyelash salon. Two months in with no nails, lashes, or hair, she was ready to lose her mind. So was I. On top of it, we are big foodies, and cooking at home or sitting in our cars eating takeout was getting a little old. We were craving our favorite restaurants and anything resembling a social scene. With the eventual re-opening of the economy, we felt more comfortable getting out of the house, attempting to bring some sense of normalcy back into our lives.
Fast forward several months later, we had successfully (or luckily) dodged getting sick. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of moments over the past several months where I panicked and thought we had caught the virus. I’ll be honest, I’m a little bit of a hypochondriac. Lindsey thinks I am a HUGE one. Whatever. So I became a little obsessed with checking my body temperature and watching for symptoms. I suffer from seasonal allergies, so it’s been a little scary thinking you’re always getting sick. My anxiety has been off the charts. Thank heavens for CBD. It’s helped tremendously with that.
So, one night recently out of the clear blue, Lindsey tells me that she is very tired and thinks she could be getting sick. Cue the panic and anxiety. OMG. Luckily, it was a Friday night and she had the weekend to just rest and quarantine. We had also heard of other viruses and colds going around, but we wanted to make sure she didn’t have COVID. The very next morning, she woke up with severe body aches and a little dry cough. OMG. I took her temperature. 100. OMG. No. OMG. At this point, I was feeling totally fine. But I said to her, “I think we should make appointments to go get tested for COVID.” Being tested was important for us, especially because my mom is immunocompromised due to her cancer.
So the very next morning we went to get tested at the free county testing center near our office. We drove up and they told us where to park. The staff handed us our PCR testing kits through the window with a trash picker. We totally had the plague and we felt like societal outcasts. The testing kit includes a plastic bag with a little vial containing testing liquid and a sterile nasal swab that looks kind of like a really narrow Q-tip. We followed the instructions from a video you watch. You have to stick the swab way up into your sinus cavity, swirl it around for ten seconds, and then repeat the process on the opposite side. Once you’re done, you stick the swab down into the liquid inside the test tube, seal it up, and drop it into the plastic bag. Our results were supposed to be ready in 2-5 business days. For me personally, the test was a horrible experience. Lindsey was much stronger than me.
Although the county test was free, we were bummed we were going to have to wait so long for the results, and we were super antsy to know if we had COVID. So we made another appointment at an urgent care clinic offering the 15 minute rapid antigen test for $200 per test. We drove there and waited in our car. Out came the nurse in a full on HAZMAT suit. My anxiety was through the roof. So to my dismay, the nurse was required to do the swabbing of our sinus cavities himself. Bear in mind, I almost died when I did it myself earlier at the county testing center. So, I reluctantly tilted my head back 45 degrees and he shoved that damn swab into my nostril and up into what felt like my frontal lobe. Lindsey said she was embarrassed by my primal reaction. I felt like I was choking and having a lobotomy all at the same time. My vision actually got all spotty and blurry for a few seconds, and it elicited a crying response. I felt like I had gone through an emotional ordeal. I actually almost fainted. Of course, Lindsey took it like a champ and is still making fun of me. Whatever. So once we got swabbed, we just waited anxiously in the car for our results, for what seemed like forever. Finally, the back door of the clinic swung open and the nurse walked out to us waiting in the car and handed us some paperwork. Confirming my suspicions, Lindsey was POSITIVE. I was NEGATIVE. OMG. So did I escape the deadly clutches of the coronavirus? Was I immune? Am I going to get it and die? These were all real thoughts going through my head at that very moment.
Once we got the bad news about Lindsey, we headed straight home and quarantined. Lindsey asked me if I wanted to quarantine away from her in a separate room of the house, or if I wanted to go somewhere else and self isolate. To be honest, part of me wanted to run away and hide, but I knew that because we live together and do everything together, chances are I was going to get it. But the optimist (or perhaps irrational idiot) in me felt I was maybe immune, or that I previously had the virus in January and had some antibodies. I even came up with a stupid theory that because I drink organic Vitamin D whole milk with my espresso every morning, that somehow I was immune to the virus. (They really say Vitamin D is one of the best ways to keep your immune system supercharged). Even though I felt 100% fine at this point, I finally decided to quarantine at home with Lindsey and not go to work when our weekend ended and Monday arrived.
Lo and behold (in the biblical sense), mid Monday I began to feel fatigued and feverish. A dull headache also began at the back of my head and my neck felt a little stiff. The plague had me. I knew it in my core. There goes my vitamin D hypothesis. As the deadly clutches of the virus took me, I lied on the couch with a cold rag on my head trying to bring down my fever. It reached 100.5 at one point. At first I was scared to take Tylenol or Motrin, because I remembered reading about that French doctor who claimed that taking Ibuprofen made the virus more deadly. As I did more research, I settled on Tylenol. By the way, I hate taking pills, because, once again, I am a hypochondriac and it freaks me out. My fever seemed to last about 24 hours and the next day I felt a lot better. I even posted on my Facebook that I survived COVID. Well, my claim to victory was short-lived. My fever came and went over the next few days, but I had wicked sinus congestion (like a bad cold without the snot) and I started to develop a dry cough and my chest muscles felt really tight and constricted. Luckily, I used my albuterol inhaler every 4 hours to help give me some relief. Although I didn’t have body aches like Lindsey, one of the more bizarre symptoms we both experienced was excessive thirst. We couldn’t seem to quench our thirst, and we couldn’t stop peeing! It was the weirdest thing! Both of us also experienced extreme brain fog and fatigue, which seemed to last for days. The worst part for me personally was the fatigue and the high level of anxiety I experienced. Oh, plus I forgot to mention we both lost our sense of smell and taste several days in. We could only taste sweet and salty, but nothing had any characteristic flavor or depth. It was awful to be perfectly honest.
In total, we were probably both sick for about 7 solid days, but I experienced lingering symptoms (so typical) through day 10. Lindsey got her sense of smell and taste back sooner than I did, but I had longer lasting fatigue and a lingering dry cough. The coronavirus is no joke, people, it made us feel pretty lousy. We would compare it with the flu in many ways, but with some added cold symptoms as well, like sinus congestion/inflammation. We can see how people with pre-existing conditions or the elderly could be at higher risk, but if you’re in good health and take care of yourself, you will be ok! One of the major ways we doctored up at home was the extra heavy use of CBD. I had heard that CBD and various cannabis compounds were being studied as potential treatment for severe acute respiratory syndrome associated with severe COVID infection. So we went hard on the Sow Eden goods. We also drank a ton of water and added electrolytes to our water, since we were peeing so much. We didn’t want to get dehydrated. We took Vitamin C and Zinc as well. We actually finished Netflix. Just kidding. But we rested a ton and stayed home and quarantined by ourselves. We took advantage of food and grocery deliveries, so that helped tremendously.
In the end, COVID-19 was quite the experience for both of us, both physically and mentally. It’s hard to isolate from everyone you know, for days on end, and it gets very lonely and depressing. There is a part of you that even feels guilty and wrong for catching the virus. We followed all the rules and wore face masks everywhere. But these safety measures only go so far. Getting sick is a part of life that seems almost unavoidable, unless you never leave your house. But we don’t advocate staying home 24/7, since it’s not good for your mental health. If you have any questions or concerns about getting COVID, don’t hesitate to reach out. We have firsthand experience.
Stay safe, everyone!
- Jacob & Lindsey