I was sitting in the kitchen within close proximity of my mom on July 21 when she told me to check on her COVID-19 test results while I was finishing up my psychology assignment.
After two days of waiting, we were both speechless and stared at each other as we began to cry.
Her symptoms had begun on July 18 all the while I was scared and worried that I might be infected too.
So many thoughts were racing through my mind and in a matter of seconds my life changed.
The following day myself, my two kids, brother and dad went to get tested for COVID-19. I still had to continue finishing my assignments online as the spring 2020 semester was concluding.
During those days I was depressed, discouraged and defeated. I couldn’t concentrate on my school work.
After what seemed as the two longest days of my life, I got my results along with everyone else living under the same roof.
We were all negative.
I was crying a lot and was still in fear that my mom could die as she had underlying health conditions (diabetes and high cholesterol) that could potentially result in further complications.
There was no time to waste; myself and my family had to pull ourselves together. My mom walked to her room to begin quarantine as she excluded herself from any social interaction for 17 days.
I became my mom’s care taker and little to no room for social distancing could be offered as her life depended on mine — family.
We were all using the same restroom and there was still the possibility that any of us could get the virus.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, “COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person, including between people who are physically near each other (within about 6 feet).”
I would sanitize the house every 30 minutes and outside my moms’ room. I had set-up a table, where I would place her food for her to grab.
Every time she would open the door to her room to grab her food, I was already hiding in my room until she would close her bedroom door.
I would serve her food in foam plates, plastic wear and styrofoam cups.
If I thought she had touched something, it would automatically go into the trash.
I was consumed with worry, as my mom’s breathing seemed to get worse. The notion that she felt isolated killed me as it did her.
I was falling behind my class work, with many times I thought of just dropping the class altogether because the whole situation was mentally, physically and emotionally overwhelming.
After 17 days of excruciating and exhausting moments, my mom finally came out of quarantine.
I was still scared that my mom might be contagious, however the doctors assured my family and I that she was not.
Before finding out that my mom had COVID-19, I was skeptical that anyone in my family would contract the virus and didn’t take any precautions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website “COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising across the United States. We all must remain vigilant.”
COVID-19 is no joke.
My sister-in-law spread it to my mom and my mom unknowingly spread the virus to my uncle and my aunt.
On July 21, my uncle and aunt began to feel symptoms. Three days after my mom, they tested positive too.
Both my aunt and uncle were mad at my mom and stopped talking to her for months; they accused her of being irresponsible and putting them at risk when she went to their home.
Ultimately, we have learned our lesson. “We never thought we would be witnessing a pandemic in 2020, especially that it would happen to our family,” my mother said.
It was a horrible experience filled with tension, fear, guilt, and anger. I am thankful that my mom and our family overcame COVID-19.
Staying at home is the best thing for us to do in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Luckily, my El Camino College psychology professor Amy Himsel was empathetic towards my situation and allowed me to catch up on any missed coursework and finish my final.
I urge college students and members of our community to please stay home. Being a student is hard enough and we need to take care of ourselves and the ones we love.
Editors Note: Punctuation error fixed on Dec. 9.