As an environmentalist living in New York, advocating for what I knew was best for Mother Earth had been easier than I initially imagined.
You see, there were already far too many people who owned cars in this concrete jungle. The taxis that littered the streets added to the traffic jams that undoubtedly took place during rush hours. Thus, the most practical decision was for me to bike from my apartment to the office.
I would get up at six o’clock every morning, share a coffee with my husband, and get ready for work. Around a quarter to seven o’clock, I would begin my 15-minute cycle to the environmental law agency that I created. Since I had been riding a bicycle my entire life, the wind might mess up my hairdo a little, but I would not even get winded.
But Then, COVID-19 Came
When the pandemic occurred, I gave my employees a chance to work from home. It was safer that way for their families than letting them come to the office all the time. Some people agreed to do that, but others did not since they had too much work.
I was among those individuals who decided to continue going to the office despite the lockdown rules. My reason was that I owned the firm, and I knew the people who worked for me, so I would most likely be safe from virus transmission. I would wear a mask as I cycled to work every day, but I would take it off as soon as my bike stopped in front of the building.
I thought nothing would go amiss after two months passed, and I was still free from coronavirus. Most of my employees even returned to work as the lockdown in New York had been relaxed. However, everyone became too comfortable in the office. The safety protocols were forgotten until the local hospital called to tell me that one of my employees tested positive for COVID-19. We all worked in the same space, so they strongly suggested requesting a swab test and quarantine at home.
Ordeals Of A COVID-19 Patient
Without any surprises there, I also happened to be one of the people who got the coronavirus. I did not want to believe it at first because I did not feel any symptoms, but then they began to show up the next day.
I woke up with my entire body aching – as if I worked out for more than eight hours the other day. Then, I took a deep breath, but I ended up dry coughing. Sometime in the night, my temperature spiked for a few hours before going back down again.
I endured all those symptoms for almost two weeks. It was a short period, but if you suffered them, two weeks honestly felt like a never-ending cruel cycle. I thought it was over when I did not get feverish anymore, but I dealt with shortness of breath and more dry coughing.
Feeling The Aftereffects
When I called my doctor, she happily told me that I already survived the roughest stage of the disease. “The shortness of breath is normal, considering the coronavirus affected your lungs. You may experience it up to three months, but you should be fine if you take it easy.”
I held on to my doctor’s words, especially the last bit. Still, my brain interpreted the “easy” part differently as I assumed that biking would remain effortless for me. Hence, two weeks after I got cleared of COVID-19, I cycled to work.
Those were the most grueling 15 minutes of my life. After a few pedals, my heart started to thump hard in my chest. When I reached the office, I barely had the energy to set my bike down and sit on the pavement to catch my breath.
Having COVID-19 did not scare me at all, but I broke down right there because it took my endurance away.
My employees helped me get back on my feet and walk to my private office to calm down. Soon enough, our resident counselor arrived, and I told her about the onslaught of fear I experienced as I realized that I could not do my favorite activity anymore.
The counselor explained that my recent illness would affect my biking habits since it pushed my heart and lungs to work hard. I did not notice how much they had been working in the past, but I did now since the virus weakened my lungs. “With more patience and training, there’s no doubt that you can feel 100% again,” she said.
I understood what the counselor meant, but it took me some time to accept it. And she was right – I merely had to be patient enough to strengthen my body. A couple of months passed, and I could go biking without needing to catch my breath again.