Recovered COVID-19 patients react to latest spike in cases

Posted at 5:13 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 19:19:49-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Emma Whitaker and Mara Lovell don't know each other, but they are part of the same club.

Now that club, made up of people who have recovered from COVID-19, is looking on as coronavirus cases spike toward a third peak across the nation.

Earlier this year, when Lovell first came down with the virus, she thought it was a sinus infection.

"Then, I thought, 'Oh, maybe it's the flu,'" Lovell said. "I wanted it to be everything but COVID."

She took a COVID-19 test, which came back positive.

"I would get out of bed and it was like, 'Oh, I can't breathe and now I am ready to take a nap,'" Lovell said of her experience dealing with COVID-19.

She still feels the effects of the virus - fatigue is constant, and she now has to use an inhaler. One of the tell-tale signs of the virus - losing smell and taste - is something she still deals with.

More than 8 million people in the United States have contracted the virus, which seems to ebb and flow.

In October, the number of cases has done more growing than getting smaller, according to a 41 Action News data analysis.

That increase isn't surprising to Lovell.

"We are on month seven of it and it's kind of at the point where everybody just wants to be, 'OK, I haven't gotten it this far. I am probably not going to get it. I can go out in public and not wear a mask or I can go to do this,'" Lovell says of the mindset. "It's still just as bad as it was and it's going to continue to get worse until people start taking it seriously."

Monty Miller is a psychotherapist at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. He understands where people can get that mindset.

"We think, 'Wow, on the weekend we are just going to lay low a little bit and we are going to go out and have a little bit of fun. We are just not going to be so careful,'" Miller says of the line of thinking. "It only takes one time and it's always that one time and then we get sick."

Right after the fall semester started in August, University of Kansas student Emma Whitaker went to a friend's house. She later found out someone who was also there had tested positive for COVID-19.

"None of us (roommates) were experiencing anything, but we felt like it would be best to get tested just in case so we wouldn't bring it onto campus," Whitaker said. "You think it's never going to happen to you, you think it's going to happen to other people. But, the reality is you can spread it to your friends and family very easily."

Miller says one way to fight COVID-19 fatigue is to have a mask everywhere - in your car, your home - and in a place that's accessible and you won't forget it.

It's simple advice that at least two people who have recovered from COVID-19 hope others take more seriously.