PHOTO: Sutter Health has housed COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic.
By Lucie Chedin,
Brushing off his cough as a common cold for weeks, Davis High junior Bryan Cruz was taken aback when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in May.
Due to his condition worsening, Cruz’s family took him to get a COVID-19 test and he ended up testing positive. “I didn’t really think much of it. I thought it was a dream, and then I got worried a bit,” Cruz said.
Cruz suffered from COVID for about two months, and felt the real toll of isolation. Not only did the virus take away his physical ability to do the things he loved, like skating, but it prevented him from seeing his friends.
“COVID affected my life so much, I felt so dead; I felt like I could do nothing and I really couldn’t,” Cruz said.
Cruz’s family struggled with anxieties with his diagnosis. Cruz said his family was fearful that his condition would continue to deteriorate, but always made sure to stay positive throughout his recovery.
Sophomore Angelina Cripe shared a similar fear.
Cripe’s mom was diagnosed with COVID-19 on July 21. She is a healthcare professional and most likely contracted the virus during her job as a doctor.
“It was hard for me to believe that she had it because I didn’t think COVID would actually get that close to me,” Cripe said.
Cripe worried a lot about her mom’s health over the course of her condition. “It honestly also made me scared that it could have possibly killed her,” Cripe said. She considered her mom lucky to only have a more minor case of the virus.
She suffered from fever and congestion, but her health recovered quickly. After Cripe’s mom recovered, the family had to stay in quarantine where Cripe felt the toll of isolation as well.
“It made my life extremely boring after because I couldn’t leave my house,” Cripe said.
She and her mom made direct contact in the days Cripe’s mom was displaying symptoms. Once they received the news, Cripe assumed she had the virus as well, due to her bad immune system and exposure. However, she ended up never contracting COVID, something she still doesn’t understand.
“It kind of seems random, whether you’re going to get sick, and that was very unexpected for me,” Cripe said.
Cripe’s mom continued to work from home by doing video visits.
The stress of having a parent or a kid with COVID-19 can really impact family dynamics.
“Parent(s) do their best to keep everything in balance. Food is cooked, kids go to school, bills are paid, etc. When a family member is sick, this balance gets out of balance,” said Steve DeBenedetti-Emanuel, a Sacramento marriage and family therapist.
DeBenedetti-Emanuel says the pandemic has led to a mental crisis in our world. He says depression and anxiety in adults has gone “through the roof.” Along with being surrounded with terrible issues in our world, people have faced isolation and social withdrawals.
“The loneliness set in and once people learned that school would be remote this year, things got really hard emotionally,” DeBenedetti-Emanuel said.
Cruz and Cripe adopted a new personal perspective on the pandemic by experiencing it themselves.
The effects of this pandemic will continue to charge on. “A big part of the challenge people face is that the end point is unknown,” DeBenedetti-Emanuel said.