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Recovering from COVID-19: A Survivor’s story, a battle with ignorance…
Despite it all, shouldering the burden of parenting during a pandemic and being an essential worker, 42-year-old Mariesol Gomez would not let a positive coronavirus diagnosis bring her down.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a profound worldwide shock, with many people believing the virus is not real until it hits home.
It is something Mariesol is all too familiar with.
The Dilley native, who has since moved to San Antonio with her husband and three children, was diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 8 after being misdiagnosed twice.
Facing considerable risks on the food industry’s front lines, Mariesol made sure to continuously wash her hands, wore gloves and a masks. She was confident she had taken all the precautions needed to protect not only her health and safety but the safety of her children as well.
Those precautions failed.
“On March 26, I began with real bad headaches,” she says. “But I suffer from migraines, so I treated them as migraines.”
Mareisol said the headaches would not cease and a doctor diagnosed her with a sinus infection.
“I was going down,” she says. “I had this excruciating headache. I had fever, chills, a dry cough. I took to bed and isolated myself from my children.”
Two days before she was tested, when the medicine had not cured any sinus infection, a
clinic began to treat her for strep throat.
“I remember leaving there so tired,” she says. “I had a fever, it was ninety degrees that day but I had on two sweaters because I had the chills so bad. I also was having such a hard time breathing.”
Mariesol says no sooner did she make it back home, the clinic called her back for a COVID-19 test. By this time her breathing become strained and she had to use a nebulizer.
She said among her slew of symptoms, the headaches were the worst.
As if the physical symptoms were not enough for her, Mariesol had to fight a psycho-emotional battle by isolating herself from her children.
“My daughter is pregnant and my son has asthma; I could not be around them,” she says. “I told them to stay in their room and not to come around me. I had to make my husband sleep in the family room.”
Mariesol feared economic hardship if her husband were unable to work due to contracting the coronavirus.
The woman’s family wore gloves and masks inside their home; they left food and water outside her bedroom door; Lysol and bleach were used daily.
“But no one else got it, thank God,” she says.
As her health began to rebound, Mariesol found herself in a far bigger battle. It was one she had to fight with her boss and with society.
She believes it remains a battle against ignorance.
“My boss would lie to people when they asked where I was,” she says. “Then people think this virus isn’t real, so I posted on social media so they could see that it is real. Look, I was the most cautious person ever. I wore my gloves, masks all the time. So I either contracted the virus through delivery or going to the grocery store.”
Mariesol was cleared by the Texas Department of State Health Services on April 19, after being in self isolation for 12 days.
When the essential worker returned to her job, she says customers began to treat her differently.
She recalls somberly how customers would routinely walk away from her without exchanging a word.
“They act like I have the plague and look at me differently,” she says. “There are some that are sympathetic, then you have those who are ignorant and want nothing to do with me.”
It’s been two months since Mariesol won her battle against coronavirus, and she wants people to know how serious the contagion is.
“Take it seriously,” she says. “No matter what symptoms, it is not just about you. It is about those around you. This real. This is serious.”