My Experience with Covid (It’s serious)

The first section of this blog is a post I made on Facebook just as I was overcoming Covid.

The second section is a talk I gave in sacrament meeting. The bishopric wanted me to share my experience with Covid to the congregation.

Facebook Post

This is a picture of my worst day, so far, with #Covid. Trying to be positive with heart issues. I think my red eyes captures that burning viral feeling under my skin. It wasn’t a good day and I hope to avoid anything like it again for myself and others. I was down most the day in bed worried if I should go to the hospital. Thankfully, that was days ago.

Here’s my #covid19 report for anyone interested. For reference, I’m 36 and overweight. Three of my friends got Covid at the same time I did, and our symptoms were very different. Hopefully this post warns people to take this virus more seriously.

I’m on day 15 since infection. I feel like it’s subsiding and hopeful it’s pretty much over with. However, for the last four days I get minor “heart pounding” attacks about a half hour each day. And I expect this to continue to happen.

Here are my symptoms over the last 15 days:

Days 1-6: Minor Cold symptoms such as light cough, light fevers, light sneezing, light sore throat. Compared to the other three who I got Covid with, I was doing much better. On day 3 I tested negative, while the other three tested positive. I was told it’s rare to feel symptoms so early.

Day 7: I had a 15 minute “Heart pounding” attack. Not sure how to explain it or what it really was. Diarhrea too. This is when I took another test, which came back positive. I had some pretty strong dizziness that night. This was when I changed from cold symptoms to heart symptoms.

Day 8: Tightness in chest, and the feeling of “acid” under my skin or throughout my body. I don’t know what it was and can only vaguely explain it. Kinda like that feeling after tanning at a salon, and it smells like UV tanning, and feels like UV tanning under your skin. This stayed with me for days, on and off.

Day 9: Felt amazing! Better than I had for a while. Which was weird. But all four of us noticed how the virus seemed to attack in “waves”. You feel good one day, bad the next.

Day 10: This was the worst day captured in that picture. Diarrhea, then down half the day with continuous “heart pounding” and wondering if I should go to the hospital. It was a tightness in the chest, around the heart. I had to calm and control my breathing for hours. It was almost like my worst symptoms in the past were extended for hours. After it subsided, I could fill my lungs as if they were stuffy, congested, or inflamed.

Days 11-15 were nothing like day 10, of which I’m thankful. But they were full of the same symptoms, just less. They’d only last for an hour or so. I could feel when the “attack” was coming during these days, so I knew when it was time to go lie down in bed and wait it out. The acid feeling slowly turned into muscle aches it seemed.

And now I’m on day 15. I’m assuming, and hoping, that the heart pounding episodes will subside, happen less often, and go away. But we’ll see. It’s a weird virus so who knows what’ll happen.

That’s my experience. Which was so different than the others who I got covid with. One guy just had muscle aches, headaches, and no taste and smell (still no taste and smell). The other had fevers, no taste and smell, and a ton sore throat coughing. The other had similar issues to me, but with more lung/breathing issues.

The four of us who got it didn’t wear masks when the infection was introduced and spreading. Three others around us at the same time of infection did wear masks and haven’t seen symptoms for two weeks. Masks worked for them during times of infection. So I definitely suggest wearing a mask in public to be safe. It worked. And please, don’t go out, or be extremely careful, if you are feeling even minor cold like symptoms. That’s how we got it.

All I can say is it’s a weird virus and affects everyone differently, likely depending on their health and age. My conclusion is I’d rather have the cough of a cold, or the fever of the flu, than the heart issues of Covid and the #coronavirus. Please don’t assume this is just a flu for everyone, it’s definitely not. And if you don’t care about the virus, please care about the many people who will have similar issues, or worse, than I did.

I discovered new things about God during this time. I relied and prayed more on the administering of angels, who I considered faithful ancestors who have passed on. I started praying more for every cell in my body, which is a new way of thinking of our bodies as a system of cells working together. Most of all, I relied more on the atonement of Christ, which involves him taking upon himself not just our sins, but “our pains and sicknesses.”

I relied on your prayers too! Thank you everyone for the kind words and thoughts!

Sacrament Talk

As was mentioned, I recently recovered from Covid. I had one day with scary heart and breathing problems, and other days with minor heart problems. But I’ve been cleared for over a week now according to CDC guidelines so there’s no worries about getting infected. My family is safe, no symptoms, but they are still on quarantine just to be safe. My talk is going to be about my experience studying Come Follow Me, personal daily devotion of study and prayer, while dealing with Covid. And the bishopric wanted me to mention some of the procedures you go through with Covid. I hope you’ll be patient with me telling my covid experience and I promise it’ll lead into spiritual insights.

So, I got infected with the coronavirus along with three other friends. All our experiences were so different. We were recording someone in our studio. And in just one hour, a visitor infected one of us, and then within only twelve hours, our friend infected the rest of us. It spread super fast. And there were no obvious symptoms to warn us of this. We seemed perfectly normal. I will also say that the four of us didn’t wear masks. We did have three other friends around us during this time who did wear masks, and they never got the virus. So I definitely recommend masks, especially because you never know how infectious someone might be without any symptoms.

I was tested twice at the Springville Instacare near the Smiths Grocery Store. You call them up, wait on the phone line, sometimes for an hour, and talk with them about symptoms and contact with people who had covid. Then they’ll invite you to be tested there.

As far as when to get tested. Basically, the health people recommended getting tested when you feel symptoms or have come into contact with someone with Covid. This may change in the future.

But if you feel no symptoms, they did recommend waiting seven days to be tested. The reason is because the test might not catch the virus. I was actually tested twice. On day 3 I was negative, but on day 7 I was positive.
So back to the story, all four of us started feeling symptoms around day 3, like minor coughs or sniffling. And we all got tested separately that day. They all tested positive except me. Like I said, I tested positive the second time on day 7.

When I tested positive, I actually had several government or health organizations call me to give me general guidelines, and to help them locate outbreaks. They recommeded talking to your family doctor for specific details.

This is when I learned about the difference between quarantine and isolation. Quarantine is a precaution, isolation is if you tested positive.
So if you come into contact with someone who had Covid, then quarantine for about two weeks. If you feel symptoms, get tested. If no symptoms, still try to quarantine for two weeks just to be safe. My friends who were with us, who didn’t end up getting the virus, still quarantined for two weeks just to be safe.

But if you test positive, then you isolate yourself for ten days after the first day of your symptoms. You can leave after ten days, as long as you have no fever, or serious issues. So it was a bit interesting. I only isolated for 10 days, while my family quarantined even longer. I was able to leave the house before my family was. And actually, the school wanted my family to quarantine for 1-2 weeks on top of my ten days. Just in case if I was to give covid to my family on my tenth day of isolation.

So my family has actually been quarantining for 3-4 weeks now, and you can ask Angel how that feels with four kids. But luckily my family never got any serious symptoms. Most of this might have been because during my first few days of covid, when the virus is very infectious, I was good at distancing myself from them. The CDC actually recommends you isolate yourself in a separate room.

Since lot’s about this virus is still unknown, the science is changing to keep up with new data. I’d double check CDC guidelines, or other locations, just to look for mistakes I may have said, or updates.

So, I had covid along with three friends. And all of our experiences were so different. For reference, we are all in our 20s and 30s. One guy lost all taste and smell and had bad muscle aches, fatigue, among other things. He was probably the healthiest and youngest of us four. It’s been 3-4 weeks and his taste and smell was still partly gone, but he’s free to go out. A second guy lost taste and smell and had extreme flu like symptoms such as fevers and coughs. It’s been four weeks, his flulike symptoms are gone, he’s free to go out, but he still looses his taste and smell and has an itchy throat. The third guy has asthma, he had similar symptoms to the others but he suffered more from having stressful lung and breathing problems. We all talked about how the virus would attack us in waves. We’d feel good one day, think we were better, then we’d fill sick the next day.

I had very light coldlike symptoms the first week, but then it suddenly changed to heart problems the second week. There was one day that was especially hard for me. I’ve experience heart pounding and deep breathing issues in the past, but this time it lasted for almost five hours. This was my worst day, lying in bed, worried if I should go to the hospital. I also had a burning feeling throughout my body for a few days, among many other symptoms. Gratefully, this passed. But for days afterwards, I would have similar episodes of racing heart and deep breathing for about an hour each day. And still experience heart fatigue now.

It was during this time that, for Come Follow Me, we were reading about Samuel the Lamanite. This is probably silly to say, but at that time, I wanted to warn people like Samuel did. Covid was not just a flu for me. I’d rather have the cough of a cold, or the fever of a flu, than the heart problems of covid that I still experience lightly to this day. I hope all young people are careful for their older people.

So here are some spiritual thoughts I gained from my experience. We’ve been reading about the Nephites this past week, the three days of darkness at Christ’s death and then the glorious light of his coming to the Nephites. The Book of Third Nephi is amazing in how it contrasts darkness and light. After the destruction and darkness, the Nephites experienced the light of Christ. Last General Conference, president Russell M. Nelson said, “The increasing darkness that accompanies tribulation makes the light of Jesus Christ shine ever brighter.” I wanted to share some of the light I got during my dark days of Covid.

The first was while editing a video by BYU professor John Hilton. It’s actually a video for a future Come Follow Me lesson when Jesus teaches the people about ‘turning the heart of the fathers to the children”. He said that this scripture suggests that our ancestors, who are dead, have their hearts turned to us, who are alive. His point is that we have ancestors in the spirit world who want to help us. Earlier this year I had been regularly praying for the Aaronic priesthood, and it’s power of the administration of angels, to help my family. After editing this video, while going through some tough days of heart problems, I got into the habit of taking this further, of praying to Heavenly Father for the help of the administration of angels from my righteous angelic ancestors. This helped me get through a lot of my fears during covid.

A second thing that helped me was while editing a video about a lady named Becky. Becky served a mission almost 60 years ago. While on her mission, she got in a car accident, and was thrown out of her car a hundred feet. While on the ground, she heard a voice tell her to not move, that her neck was broken. Several people tried to rest her head on something, but she would tell them not to move her head. She ended up being paralyzed from the neck down. For almost 60 years, she’s relied on the help of others to get her out of bed, feed and help her. You’d think that such an experience might leave you bitter. But when we filmed her, we found the most silly, optimistic and faithful lady we’ve met. And her experiences with the Savior were even stronger. We’ll hopefully publish this video in a week or two on Book of Mormon Central’s youtube channel. But while editing her video, listening to her testimony, I came to realize something personal about Christs atonement.

When I used to think about the Atonement, I thought of it as just having the power to cleanse me of my sins. But the Book of Mormon says Christ’s Atonement is more than just cleansing us of our sins. Alma 7 says, “and Christ will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” Infirmities can be anything from old age, to sicknesses, to injuries.

Something new about this clicked for me. Even though I knew that Christ suffered our sicknesses and infirmities, I never thought about asking God, in prayer, that through the power of the Atonement, Christ will help me in my sickness. I realized that it’s not just a nice thought that Christ knows our infirmities, but we have a “right” to ask God to help us with our sicknesses through the power of the Atonement of Christ. I’m not saying that Christ will always take away our infirmities, he didn’t take away Becky’s paralysis, but that scripture says he’ll know how to succor us. In my opinion, to succor means he’ll know exactly how to help us on a personal level. And Becky’s testimony was just that. Christ helped her personally, in profound, spiritual, and revelatory ways, as she sought his power. We can seek his presence as well, not just for our sins, but for our sicknesses too. The scriptures say this is appropriate.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks said last conference, “as part of our Savior’s Atonement, He took upon Him all other mortal infirmities. This allows us to receive divine help and strength to bear the inevitable burdens of mortality, personal and general.”

Lastly, this week for Come Follow Me we read about how the Nephites had to deal with darkness and destruction at the time of Christ’s death. The Book of Mormon suggests it was at least an earthquake and a major whirlwind, probably something like a hurricane, that caused their chaos. This reminds me of the earthquakes we recently had, here in Utah. Or the hurricans that have lately happened in the United States. But the Book of Mormon also says that there were three days of darkness. We’ve experienced a bit of darkness here with all the smoke covering the sun from all the fires recently. The Nephites had this, but way worse. LDS researchers suggest that this earthquake triggered a volcanic eruption, with ash filling and darkening the sky. These Nephites mourned for three straight days in darkness and fear.

In a sense, the year 2020 is a bit like this. While it’s not as intense as in the Book of Mormon, we are experiencing all types of fears with Covid, earthquakes, and fires. The Nephites also dealt with tons of politics and violence before their days of destruction, similar to events happening today. I’m not saying that Christ is going to come this year. I believe as Elder Jeffrey R. Hollad suggested last General Conference, that we will conquer Covid and it’ll pass. Several other prophets suggested this as well. I don’t think our days are as dark as the Nephites, but these are dark days. I think these can be dark days that can lead us to a stronger testimony of the Savior, as it did for the Nephites, if we let it. I’ll repeat what President Russell M. Nelson said, “The increasing darkness that accompanies tribulation makes the light of Jesus Christ shine ever brighter.”

The Nephites experienced intense darkness, but they also experienced intense light when the Savior came and visited them. He may not visit us physically, but I believe spiritual impressions from God can be almost just as powerful. The only reason I believe in this gospel is because of spiritual experiences that helped me feel God’s love. Some strong experiences, but most of them sweet feelings that have added up over the years. We can all feel the Saviors presence, just as the Nephites did.

President Russell M. Nelson, just a week or so ago posted this on social media. “As a special witness of His holy name, I testify that Jesus is the divine Son of the living God. He will love you, lift you, and manifest himself unto you, if you will love him and keep his commandments.”

I’d like to close with what has helped me feel the closest to the Savior. My biggest comfort is when I wake up early and study the gospel. I call it personal devotion. I read a general conference talk, or the Book of Mormon and Come Follow Me. Anything about the gospel. Then I write something down. Then I try to go to a secluded place to get on my knees and pray out loud. For me, daily personal devotion is the first step to finding God, to getting direction in your life, to feeling God’s influence, and to getting through dark times. I’m not perfect at this, but I know it works. My hope, is that while we go through our days of darkness and our days of light, that we’ll remember to always have daily devotion to God some time in the day. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.

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