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I was recently exposed to someone who had COVID. That person was my caregiver and she didn’t know she had it until later when she learned she also was exposed to someone with COVID. As a patient with Pompe Disease, I am terrified of catching COVID and literally any other virus. I had to stay away from her and literally everyone else.

When she told me she tested positive the first thing I thought was that I may have it now. And have you ever heard someone say your mind can play tricks on you? If you think you are sick then your body will think it’s sick as well. It’s the most unique illusion to feel sick when you’re really not, and yes I did get tested and it came back negative.

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I think the reason I didn’t catch it is that she was wearing a mask around me. All I know is that the same fear I had a couple of years ago when COVID was new and making everyone go crazy is the same fear that came back to me and unfortunately it’s one of those things that can not be prevented. 

While the COVID scare has settled down compared to when it first started, and restrictions have been eased, the virus still lives and I don’t think it will ever go away, but might become more common like the cold and flu. Even though it has killed many people and got others very sick, it makes me question the difference between it and the flu. I’ve seen people get very sick from catching the flu as well. And from those that I know who have caught COVID showed flu-like symptoms. Coughing, sneezing, headache, and fatigue. And I think it’s weird how some people don’t show any symptoms at all.

 I believe my chances of catching COVID are similar to catching a cold or flu or even catching pneumonia. And I know some people that have died from pneumonia. I had it 3 times in my life and each time left me in the hospital for months.

I’m not sure if I ever mentioned the level of my muscle weakness and the things that I need help with daily. But I am one that needs help with literally everything so having a caregiver is not necessarily a choice for me, I will always need someone to help me and that can be nerve wreaking because not only is my health important but my caregiver’s health is also important to me. 

It’s true when it’s said that you can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself. I wish I could have this conversation with someone in a very similar situation and ask them what they do when their caregiver gets sick. 

When the pandemic first came about I stayed away from everyone in fear of catching the virus but I couldn’t stay away from my health aide,  so I knew I was always at risk of getting sick. I was living in a house with 2 other people and I even kept my distance from them. I had no choice but to have close contact with someone who also had to have close contact with so many others daily. Now that I moved and the pandemic is less impactful on daily life,  I’m even more at risk because now I’m around more people who are taking fewer protections to guard against COVID.

With all this being said, I just got the news that my dad who is living in a nursing home has tested positive for Covid. He lives in a different state so I haven’t been around him but that just goes to show that this virus is very much out there. And my dad’s identical twin died last year from COVID so fear and anxiety are also still here within families.