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I Got COVID and This is My Journey

  • Category: Coronavirus
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Brandon Dufrene, Baton Rouge General
I Got COVID and This is My Journey

With 2020 nearing an end, I was hopeful for a better year to come. As a hospital employee, I was privileged to be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and on December 23, I started my Christmas vacation on a high note after receiving the first dose of the vaccine. The vaccine is a two-dose process, so I understood I was not fully protected until I received the second dose. But I took my chances anyway and attended a small immediate family gathering for Christmas, which did not work out in my favor.

The day after Christmas, I found out that a family member at the gathering had tested positive for COVID-19. I had been unknowingly exposed to COVID-19, and since I was around family, I did not take the proper precautions to wear a mask and properly distance myself.

Three days later I began feeling sick, ultimately testing positive for COVID-19. The following days were rough, but I consider myself fortunate for only experiencing milder symptoms. Here is a look into the day-by-day:

  • Day 1 – 2: On day 1, I woke up with horrible body aches, chills, fatigue and a persistent cough, all of which lasted for a few days.
  • Day 3 – 4: On day 3, I also began to experience nausea and a headache that would not subside, and on day 4 I lost my smell and taste.
  • Day 5 – 6: I woke up on day 5 with a feeling of relief as most of my symptoms had improved. I worked up enough strength to do a few chores around the house, but by 3 pm, things began to worsen again overnight and through the following day.
  • Day 7 – 8: My symptoms began to improve again, but I still experienced congestion, cough, loss of smell and taste, and fatigue in the evenings.
  • Day 9 – 11: On day 9, I finally began to feel well and back to normal, but the congestion, cough and lack of smell and taste continued.
  • Day 15: I continued to feel better and returned to work after a two-week quarantine. 
  • Day 17: I received by second dose of the COVID vaccine in the morning. I felt fine most of the day, but woke up in the middle of the night with body aches, chills and a headache. These vaccine-related side effects only left me feeling run-down for about 12 hours. 

While my COVID-19 experience has not been as serious as others’ experiences, it very well could have been. I share all of this in the hopes of encouraging you not to let your guard down simply because vaccines are becoming more available to the public. As hopeful as the arrival of the vaccine is, COVID-19 is still here. Don’t become complacent around family and friends, continue to wear a mask, follow social distancing guidelines, wash your hands, and get vaccinated as soon as it is available to you!

The vaccine is a critical tool in ending the pandemic. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are both 95% effective in providing antibodies, but it can take 10-14 days after your second dose for that to happen. Click here to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine.