HELENA — For many people, the thought of getting a positive result on a coronavirus test is daunting and unknown. One young woman not only tested positive and had severe symptoms, but she says there’s a stigma surrounding the virus.
Caty Gondeiro of Helena is 23 years old, and the last thing she expected was to test positive for COVID-19.
Gondeiro remembers thinking, “'I’m young, I’m 23, I’m not going to get it.' I just wasn’t being as careful as I should’ve been.”
Not only did Caty get coronavirus, she then endured a long three weeks of severe symptoms. She recalled, “I was super, super tired, the chest pressure just started intensifying a lot, feverish, body aches, headaches, the headaches lasted the longest, I still get headaches, but definitely feverish, chills.”
But perhaps the most surprising part of testing positive was the response she received from friends and acquaintances.
Caty said, “It was puzzling for me to tell people, 'Oh you know, I tested positive’, and rather than their response being, ‘Oh my goodness like how are you feeling, are you okay?’… People would say, ‘Well where did you get it, what were you doing when you got it, what were you doing because obviously, you were somewhere you shouldn’t have been.'”
Caty said there was no way for her to know where, when, or even how she contracted coronavirus.
She added, “We’re past that point at the level of community spread we are at right now, where I don’t really think it is a matter of pointing fingers, and it was just really kind of disheartening to see how many people were more worried about who could I blame for this.”
After three long weeks, Caty is finally starting to feel better, but she is concerned the virus will have lasting effects: “I am more worried about the long-term effects from this because it has been three weeks and I still get winded walking up and downstairs and doing very simple everyday tasks.”
Caty shared her story with MTN News because she wants people to know this is a dangerous disease with a lot of uncertainty. She’s urging everyone to take steps to protect themselves.
She said, “Masks, masks, masks, I know people are so sick of hearing about it, but I wish I had been more diligent about it beforehand, and I wasn’t.”