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The COVID Chronicles

An archive of personal stories centered around STLCC students, faculty, and staff experiences of the 2020 pandemic

Anthony Clark - Professor of Economics, Wildwood Campus

Since the pandemic started I’ve been surprised that I didn’t know anyone personally who’d had the virus. I knew people who knew people who’d had COVID, but I wasn’t acquainted with anyone personally who had tested positive for the virus. So I was surprised when, sometime in late July, I contracted COVID 19 myself.  

 

At first I just thought it was a regular flu or heatstroke, or something relatively ordinary. I spent a day and a half in bed, feverish, soaking my bedclothes. Then I realized that I had completely lost my sense of taste and smell. I even conducted an experiment. I took a can of Febreze air freshener—which has a very strong smell—and sprayed it right across the end of my nose. Nothing. I could feel the wind from the aerosol spray, but there was no scent at all! 

 

I tested positive for COVID 19 and the county placed me under an isolation order. I consider myself fortunate because I never developed serious breathing problems. However, in addition to the fever and muscle aches, I did experience some neurological symptoms that I’d never realized were part of the COVID experience. These symptoms are mentioned the COVID literature, but they’re not the most frequently cited symptoms. I’m no longer under an isolation order, but some of my COVID symptoms persist. I suppose that officially makes me a COVID “long hauler.” 

 

The worst part about having COVID 19 was the uncertainty about what was going to happen to me. I recall sitting there on Day Four, feeling relatively well, but knowing that my situation could change quickly. A number of people had alerted me to articles stating that Week Two is when COVID becomes dangerous. There are many stories of people showing almost no symptoms the first week, then landing in the hospital, struggling to survive, the second week. Imagine how nerve-racking it would be to head into your second week as a COVID patient after having read those kinds of stories! Even after the second week, my lingering neurological symptoms became very concerning at times.  

 

Today, as I write this, I’m feeling much better, but I’m not completely out of the woods. I can’t yet complete my old workout routine—my lung capacity is not yet one-hundred percent. Some days I experience serious fatigue, another COVID 19 long hauler symptom. The best part about having gone through this experience is getting to see firsthand how much support is available all around me. I can’t even count all the people who offered to bring food or other items to my house while I was under quarantine. A number of the individuals who offered such help were STLCC colleagues, including the president of my campus. In the long run, well after all of my COVID 19 symptoms have finally disappeared, it’s the memory of the generosity of others that will remain with me.  

 

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000