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MARY MEAUX — Battling COVID at home was very difficult

Some readers may have noticed my column’s absence for the past few weeks. I can tell you straight up — I wasn’t out on vacation.

It was COVID-19, and it hit me and a number of my family members.

Earlier this month I sat around with a runny nose, hacking cough and sore back and was pretty miserable. But then again I always get some sort of crud around January or February and that’s what I convinced myself it was.

I mean we, as a family, took all the precautions. Masks and social distancing, no big gatherings, disinfectant sprays and wipes. Heck we even wiped down our groceries when coming back from the grocery store and sanitized our hands getting in and out of our vehicles. With my job I am out and about a lot and considering I have close family members with serious health issues I made sure to take necessary precautions.

We didn’t get together for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, our 37th anniversary, Halloween, Thanksgiving or any other occasion.

We saw the same few family members we always did and social distanced. This was our circle.

But even the best-laid plans can derail. While we don’t know exactly where I contracted COVID-19, I can say several family members tested positive Dec. 31 and another on Jan. 2.

By Jan. 4 I was sick but not sick enough to note. Then came the hacking cough, drippy nose and serious backache — I’ll spare you the details. A few people said “you need to get checked,” but I was convinced it was the yearly crud or allergies. I mean, I know my body better than anyone else.

I finally decided to get tested for COVID on Jan. 6 because of the cough and learned I was positive. I remember looking at the lady who gave me the results and saying “no” before furrowing my brow and hanging my head.

I quickly called home to alert the family who then sprung into action and started re-disinfecting things and getting the bedroom ready for me to quarantine to.

I was actually quite bored sitting at home binge-watching TV at first. Then the virus hit me. I know it affects everyone differently. For me it was like a bad cold or the flu, minus the high fever. I coughed so much I felt like I went a round with Rocky Balboa.

The coughing fits would last up to 30 minutes straight. I had a fever that I couldn’t shake and a headache to match, besides other issues.

Even two weeks after the positive test on Jan. 20, I was still having coughing fits, which made it difficult to speak at times. I had a virtual doctor’s appointment set up before all of this so I went ahead and “met” with my doc and he sent me some antibiotics and a cough suppressant, which helped.

I hear people downplay COVID as if it’s a walk-in-the-park, and it very well may be for that person. I also personally know of several people in the hospital right now on ventilators with COVID, their futures uncertain. I was lucky. I’m Type 2 diabetic and know it could have been a whole lot worse. I have a close family member with multiple genetic heart problems and am thankful he did not have a serious case and is recovering.

Please take this seriously.

Take the necessary precautions and be vigilant with it. Your life and possibly your loved ones’ lives depend on it.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at mary.meaux@panews.com