Now I Understand

My Personal COVID-19 Experience

Now I Understand

Painting by Vincent Van Gogh

Elizabeth Houlihan

I believe that all individuals well agree, that it is hard to agree with something until you have experienced it yourself. Being a stubborn person myself, I experience this a lot. I always seem to wonder, is it really like that? This is how I viewed COVID-19. p until about three weeks ago when I saw my mom, and grandma’s health begin to deteriorate. This is when I realized how serious this virus had become, and how it can affect life so greatly. 

My mother caught COVID-19 just two weeks before my grandma. My mother, (being a healthy and young individual) was able to recover quickly. However, with her having it, my whole household and I were scared out of our minds of catching it. We were scared of my brother catching it due to him having immune deficiencies, so most likely, he would’ve died. My grandma as well. Although my brother may have been lucky, my grandma was not. 

My grandma was in ICU for a week, testing positive for COVID-19. What started as two liters of oxygen, grew into ten liters of oxygen needed for her only in three days. By the hour she grew worse and worse. The social workers and the Chaplin began to contact my mom, trying to arrange plans for when my grandma passed. They were 100% positive she was going to die. I remember them calling my mom, asking whether we wanted to leave her in the hospital, or allow her to come home to die. Of course, we all broke down in tears and to what was supposed to be a family discussion, turned into a moment of silence that lasted a few hours. 

My grandma has lived through hundreds of things that would’ve killed anyone else with her health conditions, so, I honestly believed it was her time to go. With this, I realized how stupid I was. How stupid I was for being stubborn, and for not believing people until I experienced it myself. I finally understood what all the news talk was about, and why we were quarantined and put on house arrest. When my mom, sister, brother and I went to the hospital to see her, we made three signs. They spelt out “we love you”. We stood outside her window on the field as her nurses pushed her to the window so she could see us outside. It also wasn’t until then I realized how much she meant to me, and how I wished I would’ve taken more time out of my day to get to know her. 

A few days after seeing her, she was able to come home on Easter. Being a follower of Jesus myself, I saw it as a miracle from the Big Man upstairs Himself. When every single person believed that my grandma was destined to die by COVID-19, God had already planned her to prove everybody wrong. My grandma is doing great so far, and so am I. 

I am spending all my time with her because I never want to feel like I did before again. I also learned many things during the last three weeks. The first being, don’t push a family member away because they’re irritating or rude. Why? You’re going to regret it. Second, don’t wait until disaster strikes to reunite your family, it’s what happened with mine. It made me realize how horrible it was. That we only come together when something bad happens. Be with your family through the good and the bad. Third, don’t be stubborn and refuse to believe someone until you’ve experienced it yourself. In big situations and in little. Always be understanding to all. Lastly, you can’t go through hard things by yourself. No matter how much you believe you can, you can’t. For me personally, I look to Jesus when it comes to needing a shoulder to lean on. Find your person. 

The news and government’s take on COVID-19 are not true in some aspects. The biggest lie I found was America’s testing availability. My mom was rejected to get tested two times. Why? She wasn’t in the ICU, so she didn’t know at the time if she exposed her children to the virus and instead had to just wait and see. Even though her son could die if he caught it, the healthcare system in Colorado did not care. They didn’t care about the well-being of my moms children. They didn’t care about us. 

I am sorry to all those who have been affected by COVID-19, I now understand what you have been through.