By Debra Moore
Last Friday I shared the story of “Molly” who had tested positive for coronavirus two days earlier on Nov. 4. Though we sought to provide some anonymity, this is Quincy. “Everyone knows,” she said relating how her friends, neighbors and acquaintances have been calling her and her family.
So 25-year-old Tahlah Willis is using her real name and sharing her journey so that others can learn more about how this virus might or might not affect them since it manifests itself differently in each person.
When we talked this morning, Nov. 9, she was feeling much better than she did Saturday and Sunday. Her first symptom appeared on Nov. 1, and since then she has experienced a cough, sore throat, congestion, loss of taste and smell, a severe headache and exhaustion. Over the weekend she had trouble breathing. “That was pretty scary,” she said.
During last Friday’s interview, Tahlah, hadn’t lost her sense of taste or smell, but that also changed over the weekend. “I brushed my teeth and I couldn’t taste the mouthwash or the toothpaste,” she said. Then she tried to smell a scented candle in her room and couldn’t detect anything. She was worried because she had heard of people who lost those senses for months, but as of this morning she noticed a slight improvement.
While most symptoms are improving, Tahlah said she continues to be plagued by a bad headache despite taking a number of over-the-counter medications. “Advil, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and a lot of Nyquil” have been Tahlah’s go-to medicines.
Tahlah is following the Public Health Agency’s instructions and is isolating for 10 days. If her symptoms continue to improve she will be able to return to work this Thursday, Nov. 12. However, she lives with her family, and they have been instructed to quarantine for 14 days, which won’t end until Nov. 18.
So far, her family members have displayed no symptoms. “They are masked up in the house and open up the windows for an hour every day to air it out,” she said.
During our last conversation, Tahlah said that the virus diagnosis had strained some friendships and she had been told, “multiple times that I’m causing extreme chaos,” as those she came into contact with also had to be tested and quarantine.
If symptom free, Tahlah can return to her office job this Thursday. There is no requirement to be retested, as she would test positive since traces of the virus can remain present for two to three months, though the individual is no longer considered contagious.
Plumas News has been reporting on the Cote family in Greenville for the past few week after five family members tested positive for the virus.
Joceyln Cote and her family are now living through week four with coronavirus symptoms. Joceyln, 78, and her husband Ralph, 82, as well as their two adult daughters, son-in-law and granddaughter all began experiencing symptoms the week of Oct. 12 and were tested and received their diagnosis the following week.
I visited with Joceyln this afternoon and she reports that she is feeling better, as well as some members of her family, but not all.
Her daughter, Michelle, (who had been hospitalized for a time) returned to work today, but her other daughter, Debbie, continues to be plagued with breathing issues. Both women needed oxygen during their illness, as did Jocelyn for a couple of nights.
Ralph has been hospitalized at Renown Medical Center in Reno since Oct. 21. Joceylyn said that he was scheduled to be transferred to a rehabilitation center, but since he has COVID, he remains at Renown. “No rehab will take him until he has a negative test,” she said. “He’s very weak and confused.” None of his family has been able to visit, though his granddaughter (who is also now recovered) was able to take him a care package.
Joceyln, who battled extreme fatigue and body aches, as well as a cough, breathing issues, and brain fog during the illness, said she knew the virus was leaving her body when she woke up in a cold sweat. “This is a soul-sucking illness and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” she said.