• Gena Hardy

Severe symptoms: How a SWOSU student experienced COVID-19

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

Photo: Unsplash. This picture is symbolic and does not show the person that was interviewed.

By Gena Hardy

For The Southwestern

As COVID-19 cases rise across campus and more and more students are getting infected, one Southwestern Oklahoma State University student who experienced COVID-19 firsthand issued a warning to others.

“Don’t blow it off and think it’s no big deal like I did,” said SWOSU junior Katelyn Gartrell. “It was no fun and it was way more of a sickness than I expected. Stay home as much as possible and stop sharing drinks and things of that sort.”

Fifteen days after testing positive, Gartrell was still struggling with the effects of COVID, including a loss of smell and taste, cough, congestion and exhaustion.

“I feel so run down and have not fully gained all my energy back. Breathing at night is a challenge from all the drainage,” she said.

Her symptoms while sick with COVID included dehydration, high fever, loss of smell and taste, severe body aches, lack of energy and headaches.

“The pain was so bad I had to go back to the doctor where they gave me 800mg ibuprofen, Mucinex ER and a steroid pack,” Gartrell said.

Gartrell is certain she caught the virus over Labor Day weekend. “I tested positive a week after Labor Day weekend, I know I was exposed to kids from SWOSU, but also OSU at two different places that weekend,” Gartrell said. “No one wore a mask, and everyone just acted like there was no virus.”

In a recent article by Dillon Richards with KOCO 5, the rise in cases across Oklahoma is a result of school reopenings, prison outbreaks, and effects from the Labor Day holiday, according to Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) and top Oklahoma health officials.

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