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Angela is a young mother of three living in the San Juan County of New Mexico on the Navajo Nation. Through all of the precautionary COVID-19 prevention measures she and her family has taken; alas the COVID-19 virus spread within their community and within their household. Angela a mother, juggling home, a full time career and college studies keeps her fully engaged in her life. In November 2020 she contracted the virus.

Being a mother, employed and a student is challenging, but adding COVID-19 to that mix had Angela working a lot harder to get back to her normal self.

“My first symptom was a migraine, which I assumed was from stress, the pain radiated down my neck and back. The days coming I was burdened with extreme fatigue, continued migraine and body aches, along with new symptoms such as loss of taste and smell, chest pain and lack of oxygen.”

Angela’s illness began November 20th and lasted until December 14th. Self-isolation during this time was difficult for her. The holiday season had just begun, a time for gatherings with family and friends, Angela avoided interactions with others in order to keep everyone safe.

“Thanksgiving holiday this last year was an unusual experience for me and my family. Missing that interaction with my kids was hard for myself and them as well. They were in school and I was also taking classes, it was just hard trying to get everyone on the same page”

Her husband also contracted the virus, but recovered much quicker. He stepped in and took on additional responsibilities, and filled in the void. On December 5th, Angela’s illness escalated and ended up in the emergency room where she was treated for lack of oxygen. She would go back one more time. Both visits to the emergency room, doctors administered medication which helped her breathe on her own.

“My schooling during this time was hard. I think the COVID-19 symptoms that was taking a toll on my body, also affected my ability to concentrate on my studies. I am grateful my professors’ understanding, they let me make up my work and discussions, and received an A in my classes”

“The side effect of losing one’s taste and smell, caused us not to want to eat or drink anything because there was no satisfaction in eating. We were experiencing the same thing, forcing ourselves to eat and drink warm beverages to keep our strength up. We took over-the-counter cold/flu medication to help with the phlegm build up and dry cough, especially at night. We drank a lot of fluids, such as hot tea, coffee, water and Pedialyte. We did breathing exercises, and treated the virus like how we treat a flu.”

“I think it important people understand how this virus can bring your life to a halt, be devastating, and it has taken many lives across America and throughout the Navajo Nation.”–

Having a support system, a doctor’s care helped Angela overcome her illness from the COVID-19 virus. “Try to avoid being around people, always wear your mask, wipe down everything and don’t be out when you don’t need to be, everything else can wait”

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