EDITOR’S NOTE: In April, 12-year-old Nadia Irfan and her whole family contracted COVID-19 in Burlington, Ontario. CBC Kids News asked Nadia to say what it looked like, in her own words.
My experience with COVID has been difficult.
Most of the time I lay in my bed and couldn’t move at all because my body was sore and I felt like I was tied up.
I had headaches while looking at books, papers, computer screens, and even talking.
How it started
I received COVID-19 from my mother in April and had it for two weeks.
My mother is a nurse practitioner and she had to go and help in a retirement home where people were sick.
Although Nadia’s mother wears head-to-toe personal protective equipment, there was an outbreak at the nursing home where she worked, and she caught it anyway. (Image submitted by Nadia Irfan)
My mom caught COVID-19 and passed it on to my dad.
At first there were only two of them who were sick in the family.
For two weeks my little sister and I had to stay in our rooms all day.
If we needed food we had to call our parents and tell them we were coming down.
My parents made sure they had disinfected everything and were back in their rooms before we went to the kitchen.
The virus has spread
Eventually the virus passed from my parents to my older sister, then to me and my younger sister.
From left to right: Nadia’s sister, Sophia, Nadia’s father, Yassar, Nadia’s younger sister, Ava, Nadia’s mother, Nora, and Nadia. Every member of his family contracted COVID-19 in April. (Image submitted by Nadia Irfan)
My symptoms were fever, upset stomach, no taste or smell, stuffy nose, shortness of breath, muscle pain and I was very tired.
There was a day when I almost had to go to the hospital because I was having trouble breathing.
I was scared because I thought I couldn’t have a relative with me in the hospital, since that was my older sister’s experience.
When I was in my bedroom, I spent most of my time calling my best friend and having sleepovers online with her, watching TikTok, and sleeping.
Fortunately, my breathing improved with medication.
I had to go to the hospital at some point to take the COVID swab.
The swab was quick and easy. I had water in my eyes when they put the swab deep into my nose, but it wasn’t painful.
Nadia’s dog was one of the first dogs to be tested for COVID-19 in a University of Guelph research study. Her dog has tested negative. (Image submitted by Nadia Irfan)
Everyone, especially the nurses and doctors at the hospital, were super nice and made me feel comfortable.
What I learned
In the end, I learned a lot about how people can come together when times are tough.
Throughout this experience, my cousins went grocery shopping for us, and our grandparents brought hot meals and flowers for my mother’s garden.
The neighbors also brought us meals three times a week when we were really sick, including freshly baked pastries that I had always looked forward to.
Everyone in the community who did this put a smile on my face.
TOP IMAGE CREDIT: (submitted by Nadia Irfan)