A UCM student’s experience with COVID-19

Written by Meah Copeland

Symaria Fisher was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26. She has recovered and is now doing well. She is currently living on campus and agreed to share her experience with the Muleskinner and on Facebook.
Fisher has a complicated medical history. In 2015, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She also has a history with year-long allergies, congestion issues, pneumonia and bronchitis. But her experience with COVID-19 was different.
Fisher went home to Kansas City, KS, for spring break to visit her family. She saw her brother and his wife and two children while she was at home.
Fisher’s father started developing a cough which concerned her. She had little contact with him, and the next day she went back to campus. Both her parents were not tested for the virus. Although, if they were, then Fisher thinks that they would have tested positive for it.
She spent March 17 with her friends from out of town. There were three of them who spent the whole day with her. They went to different places around campus and the park at Pertle Springs.
“Two of my friends got pretty sick as I did,” she said, “and the other had a head cold. So I’m sure that I infected them all.” One of the friends got tested for the virus, and the results came back positive.
She felt fine until March 18 when all of the symptoms showed up at night. She had night sweats, was sleep-deprived, coughing, and she was short of breath and unable to think. Fisher thought it was a horrible cold, and this continued the next day.
She says she might have gotten sick from someone at home and was concerned about her lungs, so she contacted the University’s Health Center. Fisher contacted them on March 19, after the symptoms started to set in.
On March 20, a Health Center representative reached out to her asking her to fill out a form with all of the symptoms. Then she was told to get a flu test, and if that was negative, she would be tested for COVID-19. By this day, all of her symptoms had subsided, but she lost her sense of taste and smell.
The next day, March 21, Fisher drove to Missouri Western Medical Center, where she went through the drive-thru testing. She was tested for the flu and strep. When those results came back negative, she was instructed to go into quarantine for the next 14 days.
She slowly got better over the next couple of days, and her senses started to come back. She took care of herself by taking Mucinex Fast-Max, Tylenol, and ibuprofen. She also drank hot tea, and took hot showers, and used saline spray and saltwater rinses. She also got plenty of rest.
Sodexo delivered meals to her daily, and housing was kind enough to bring her cleaning kits. They made sure to check to see if she remained isolated. These deliveries started on March 19.
The University Health Center kept in contact with her every day to see how she was doing. Diana Herman was the primary contact at the Health Center, and “she was incredibly helpful and kind,” Fisher said.
She was the person who helped Fisher with the whole testing process.
On March 26, Fisher got the results stating she was positive for COVID-19. She didn’t think she had the virus because her symptoms did not match what had been described by the CDC. She wanted to share her story to make sure others didn’t think similarly.
Fisher thinks it is good that all non-essential businesses have been closed and that citizens are ordered to stay at home, but she also believes some companies are open that are not essential. It could be encouraging citizens to go out when they shouldn’t.
“The government still needs to do more to support those who are being impacted by not being able to work,” she said. “The jobless benefits can help so many if the government doesn’t find additional funding and more support related to the spread of the virus.”
She thinks that the US should issue a full-on national shut down for a while, or else people will continue to leave. Also, the government should do more to fund the hospitals that are over-packed with patients.
Fisher wanted to give you an important message.
“Stay at home unless you need essential supplies or are working. Follow the guidelines for [the] CDC, and check for new updates to stay informed,” she said.