“I experienced COVID firsthand when I tested positive for the virus in late March 2020. I caught it while visiting my parents in Providence, RI, but symptoms didn’t flare until I was on a flight home (luckily it was almost empty). No masks were available at that time (and certainly not required), and the gloves I wore obviously weren’t enough. Fortunately, my parents tested negative, as did my husband once I returned. I stayed in isolation, on a small couch bed in my study, for two weeks as I recovered. It was frightening, especially at the beginning. I felt like I might have been given a death sentence, and breathing was such an issue. But obviously I got through it and have since donated plasma through a UCLA plasma study to hopefully help another.
“The most significant part of my life was teaching, as I was juggling five classes when I tested positive, and ALL had to suddenly go online. It was so time-consuming that it distracted me from the fact I was sick and isolated for the most part. But when I felt better, I also began doing weekly art classes with my young nieces in Philadelphia, which was so much fun and a way to feel closer to them.”