We are seeking story submissions!
If you are a Cambria County resident and your life has been impacted by COVID-19, we want to share your story.
“I still cry when I hear a jackhammer. There was construction outside on a day when we lost 5 patients in one shift. I researched the top 40 songs of the patients’ 16th birthday, and played them on my phone…
Here is my two year old daughter, using a mask at the pediatrician for her bout with pneumonia long ago. She also had RSV, a respiratory virus that is very contagious in infants and can cause long-term effects like asthma…
I work for a big box retailer. I heard the warnings from health experts last March and took them seriously right away. I learned to make a mask from a bandana and began wearing one every day. The pandemic was far away from us geographically and from where I stood, not enough were taking the warnings seriously. Mask wearing made you the odd one out and social distancing was ignored.
This past year has been extremely hard for many people. Everyone I know has missed out on something, a special vacation, prom, Kindergarten Graduation, their last sports season. Everyone lost something that we can’t get back. As I watched schools open up this past fall, my heart broke. You see, my kiddo missed out on the end of school last spring like everyone else, but unlike most other kids, he couldn’t go back in August.
Since contracting COVID-19, many people are taking extra precautions to avoid me, despite having surpassed the infectious 10-day period. Despite wearing a mask, some people have opted to not see me. This is fine, but humorous because my symptoms were very mild and had I not disclosed my condition (which morally should be disclosed when meeting people in person), other parties would have no clue.
This morning is the first time, in several months, that I felt hopeful that there is an end to this pandemic. I’ve been a nurse for over 10 years now, and an ICU nurse for the past 5 years. I thought I had seen a lot in those past 10 years. However, in the past 2 months, I have seen and experienced more heartbreak, tragedy, emotional trauma and death than I have over the last 10 years combined.
Wearing a mask is a choice that you make to protect yourself and others around you. Even though masking helps everyone, each of us has our own reasons to mask up—love for family members or friends, concern for public health, wanting to return to a sense of normalcy—the reasons are as varied as we are.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been involved with, or around sports and being active. I’ve experienced some of my fondest memories on an athletic field, whether that be as a player, official, coach, or spectator. However, athletics have also caused me much physical pain—pain that still lingers on my knees today, more than a decade since I played my last snap of college football.
What started as mild congestion for me ended up to be the most awful ordeal I have ever had. I couldn’t taste, smell, or talk for 3 days. My throat was on fire. The coughing was never ending. Sputum of yellowish phlegm was blood tinged. My ribs hurt so bad.
That was only one half the pain.
Back in March, before the shutdown and before all the testing was rapid and available everywhere, my family got very sick. Maya Lys, my then 9-month-old, was turning blue and struggling to breathe. She was sick, and the illness was in her lungs.