Column: Dreadful dates

TRL’s Lily Bouldin shares her experience of recovering after testing positive for COVID-19


Hannah Gonzalez

TRL’s Lily Bouldin tested positive for COVID-19 on July 9. Bouldin said ” I will forever remember the time I caught the deadly virus that is taking over the world.”

July 7

I was one day away from my birthday, and I started to feel a slight fever coming on. It was a weird feeling, not like the common colds I had had before. I wobbled to the kitchen and poured myself some water. Maybe I was simply dehydrated. I thought maybe I overdid it in cross country practice that evening. That would explain why my body ached. I thought nothing of my mild fever and went to bed thinking all I needed was a good night’s sleep.

July 8

The day I was most excited for. I was praying that my 17th birthday would match the normality of my previous 16. My hopes were in fact, high. This day was going to take me away from the stress and madness of the pandemic that had been dictating the world since March 13 by shutting down businesses, schools and stores. With the thought that the summer heat would kill off the deadly virus, COVID-19, I was not worried. I felt as though I was protected through my blue surgical mask and Germ-X. Other than my daily cross country practice, my days consisted of only seeing my best friend and my family. I felt like I was following all the proper regulations. I was confident I was doing all the right things. 

Contradicting what I thought, my achy body and grogginess did not go away, rather I woke up with a sore throat and a light headache. But that was not going to stop me from the hill workout that was on my schedule that morning. In the midst of everything, I almost forgot it was my birthday. I should’ve been so excited, but I was so focused on the weird itchy and dry feeling in the back of my throat. 

I tried to remain strong and wait it out until I started to notice that I no longer had any energy. I refused to get out of bed and spent my birthday watching horror movies. I couldn’t tell if my goosebumps were from the chilling horrors of “Tusk” or my 100 degree fever. To end my long day of chills, headaches, sore throats and nausea, my mom called me down for dinner. Each year, she prepares a special dinner for me and my siblings on our birthdays, and I had requested my favorite meal: a medium rare burger on a brioche bun with a side of watermelon salad with cilantro, watermelon and feta. My mom’s hard work went to waste when I realized the sight of any food made me want to throw up. 

July 9

I woke up feeling a million times worse. As soon as I opened my eyes I knew. I knew I caught it. I had symptoms for three days now, which was unique to any other illness I had before. I walked to the study to find my dad. I spoke in my cracking and raspy voice, failing to get anything out besides, “I need to get tested.” Within the hour, I was on my way to my local pediatrician.

The Q-tip invading my nose felt uncomfortable, but the result I received in the next 15 minutes felt even worse. The doctor called and told me that I tested positive for COVID-19. Instantly, I broke down crying, realizing this was going to keep me from seeing my best friends that were leaving in less than a month and ruin my cross country season. I took my test results and tried to find a loophole that would explain that the doctors were incorrect, and that the rapid test was inaccurate. There was no loophole. It was time for 14 days of complete isolation. 

July 10: Day one of quarantine 

My mom took the role as my personal assistant and brought me all my meals. Meanwhile, I stayed in my room and rewatched Youtube videos from 2013. I was too weak to even pick up my dirty clothes off the floor. Every time I would try to get up, I would immediately get lightheaded and crawl straight back into bed. I felt useless. I started to feel completely alone.

July 11: Day two of quarantine 

The days started to get slower. The smallest things were the highlights of my day, which included my friends baking me cookies or sitting outside my window enabling us to talk from a safe distance. Being positive was hard, but I tried to look on the bright side of things. I focused on the fact I didn’t have to do chores, and I was brought my own home cooked meals. 

July 24: Last day of quarantine 

I gained strength within the last five days and was starting to return to my hyper and energetic self. I soon completely recovered. With some RNR and compassion from my mom, I beat COVID-19, which, at one point, I thought would ruin my whole life. Although I was extremely out of shape and was behind in my running, I had learned that it was possible to overcome obstacles. In fact, I learned to not stress over situations I couldn’t control.

September 2

I eventually learned to accept that my efforts to prevent catching COVID-19 were adequate and it was a result of an ill fate. I will forever remember the time I caught the deadly virus that is taking over the world. It led me to be grateful for my health and strength throughout the whole thing.