One week ago, I woke up, dragged myself to my laptop for a morning filled with online classes and thesis meetings, and then fell back on my bed to sleep for the rest of the day. Every time I tried to get up, not wanting to be lazy in a time when homework and deadlines were towering up, my head ached so much that I quickly decided to crawl back under my blanket and escape into my dreams. The following day was not much different.
My mom was the first one who told me I might have Corona, but I quickly brushed it off. My roommates were ill too, all of them did a test, and all were negative. Also, I could still smell and taste. and probably I was just tired and needed to sleep it off. But when I still felt bad on day two, I did decide to call the health centre to make an appointment. At this point, the self-doubt, testing and running started. Might I have Covid after all? Am I now endangering people? Although I felt better already, I got up the next morning, wore two masks on top of each other and travelled for an hour to get to the testing location. There, I got the little cotton bud stuck up my nose, and anxiously went home to wait in quarantine for the result.
The result came the next day: positive. I fell back on my chair and stared at that one, big, red word for ten minutes. It felt like a cage fell around me, locking me in my room and in my head. I didn't dare to move. Then, I called my doctor, what did this mean? She told me that it meant that I have or have had Covid. Which of the two could only be determined by an antigen test. Having had to go to university by 12:30 that same day for an important presentation, I started running. The first testing location I visited would only give me a result by the end of the day (unlike what it said online) - too late. So, I sprinted to another location. This one would give me the result within 2 hours. Better than nothing. Again, a cotton bud later, I walked out of the testing location and went back into quarantine.
The wait for the result, again, was incredibly nerve-wracking. I started sending e-mails to the teachers of the classes I was missing and would miss, saying that I may or may not have COVID and thus may or may not attend class. It was all very vague. I kept refreshing the webpage that would give me the results - focusing on anything else was impossible.
And then, with one more refresh, the result was displayed. I jumped up and danced around the room. I'm negative! Which means I no longer have Covid, I no longer pose a threat to the people around me, and I'm no longer in danger myself. The cage has been lifted.
Jesler van Houdt