A Young man’s story of contracting covid-19

by Cody Weber

I tested positive for COVID-19 and I am ashamed of myself for it. I disregarded social distancing. I went to house parties. I HAD house parties. I went out and hung out with big groups of people. And, in my mind, I thought to myself that, “I live in a rural area and we barely have any cases at all. I’d act more safe if I lived in a hot bed or something.” And now there are no fewer than eight of my friends that have tested positive (and about a dozen more that are showing symptoms and just can’t afford to go take the test). We have become a little mini hot bed and it’s only going to get worse as kids go back to school and people continue to gather en masse.

I’m not saying this from a point of moral superiority (obviously): we need to do better. We need to not be the laughing stock of the Midwest and we need to protect our most vulnerable. Luckily, I have a semblance of youth and a body that I regularly treat like shit, so I am sure that I will be okay. As of now, the only symptoms I have had is an insane level of lethargy and some labored breathing. I’m confident I’ll be okay. But I struggle with the idea that I’ve unknowingly infected people that don’t have the same luck in their biology that I have. The idea that I could put somebody in the hospital is seriously hurting my heart. I’ve been incredibly reckless and selfish and I know a whole lot of us have been the same way due to our circumstances. Sometimes, most times, misery loves company and we’ve ALL had a really shitty 2020. I can’t judge anybody for their decisions as the year carries on.

But let me tell you: this shit sucks. I live alone in a house far too large for one person. Even with Netflix or music blaring to distract the loneliness, there is still a quiet that washes over me several times a day. You don’t realize how much you value some people until you suddenly can’t be around them for an extended period of time. The next couple weeks are going to be a real test of my ability to be alone. I’m nervous about it because I lean on a lot of these people when my head gets especially dark.Take care of yourself. Please. And if you’ve been within six feet of me in the last week or so, please go get yourself a test. You need to. It’s only going to get worse if we don’t change how we behave.I’m surely going to miss the birth of my nephew over this. And I worry I infected my family members. I just feel like shit. The guilt is far worse than the symptoms (at least so far).I’m sorry for failing my community. And for failing YOU if you’re someone that caught it because of me.

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