Seeing Covid-19 from a New Perspective

The coronavirus pandemic has had a drastic impact on the lives of people across the world throughout the past year and has changed the perspective of many individuals with the experiences that they have endured. 

At first, many associated a stigma with contracting the virus. However, it has become more common over time to know someone who has had Covid-19, and it does not seem to be much of a rare occurrence anymore. Those who have contracted the virus may have learned a lesson or changed their perspective on something, even the students and staff of Libertyville High School.

On the first day of winter break, AP Physics teacher Suzzane Torrence was experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and tested positive for the virus. She indicated that one of her most prominent symptoms was persistent exhaustion.

“In the beginning, I was sleeping 16 hours a night with a 1-3 hour nap during the day,” Mrs. Torrence said. “Each following day, I would sleep about an hour less each night until I hit 11 hours a night but still taking a 2-3 hour nap added during the day.”

It has been five and a half weeks since Mrs. Torrence began experiencing symptoms, and she is still having problems: “I currently have a hard time walking from my car to my classroom, which is a few long hallways and two flights of stairs. I have never had that problem in my past.” 

Even with the virus no longer in her system, Mrs. Torrence is still experiencing miserable symptoms that have affected her physical well-being. She said she would have never imagined this would happen to her because she has never experienced anything like it before.

Despite taking the virus seriously and being cautious, Mrs. Torrence and her family still contracted it. Mrs. Torrence mentioned that she had “barely left the house since March 13, other than quick trips to the grocery store and walks around the neighborhood.”

Mrs. Torrence indicated that her perspective on the virus has changed a bit since being infected. Her fear of the virus was directed more towards others rather than herself.  

“I was fearful of getting it, but once I got it, I was much more fearful of giving it to others,” she said. 

After experiencing the symptoms for herself, she also said that she is “so much more concerned about people contracting it after seeing first-hand how long the symptoms can last.”

While many adults have contracted the virus in Libertyville, many students have as well.

Over Thanksgiving, senior Rebeca Luedtke and her family contracted the virus: “My immediate family all had Covid over Thanksgiving, and we all had pretty mild cases,” she said.

Similar to Mrs. Torrence, Luedtke said she also took necessary precautions to protect herself from contracting the virus and still ended up getting it. 

“I wore a mask before and I continue to do that now,” Luedtke said. “I would even say that I am a little less concerned for my health and getting Covid again.”

However, Luedtke stated that her awareness was heightened after her aunt contracted the virus. “I do have an aunt who got the virus and is immunocompromised, only having one kidney, so after that experience, it has made me think more about the people around me and that although the virus did not affect me that bad, it could significantly harm others,” she said. 

 Added Luedtke, “I would say a few weeks after getting over Covid, I was hesitant to tell people that I had it because people are still quite scared of getting it and people were hesitant to be around me even though I was no longer sick. But now that months have gone by, it is easier to tell people that I was sick without fear of being judged or treated differently.”