I Survived COVID-19. Here's My Story

Interviewer: Grace Xie Editors: Tiffany Chen, Joyce Hai, Demi Leng, Shannon Tan, Cynthia Zhang, Molly Zhao, Leon Zhou

Interviewee: Kun Zhao

Question: What are some symptoms that you feel? a. At first, I didn’t realize that I had the coronavirus because I’ve always had a cold during the period between spring and summer. I felt fatigued and had a headache every day, but I attributed these symptoms to the overuse of my computer. I didn’t pay much attention to my illness until I had acute diarrhea, as well as persistent pain in my chest. When looking back now, I think it was foolish of me to do so. After I was tested positive, I was immediately hospitalized and was soon transferred to the ICU, since I was unable to stay awake. I had trouble breathing only after one hour in the ICU and was hooked up to a ventilator. I experienced mental confusion in the following days.

Question: Were there any feelings of panic? And how did you deal with that? a. Of course! At that time, I even questioned whether or not I would make it. I was isolated in an ICU room without any contact with people, except medical workers in full protective clothing. To be honest, I was in such a panic that I felt desperate every day. However, my doctors were amazing. They comforted me, assured me, and also brought notes from my family, and food I like to keep me relaxed. With the help and support from the medical workers and my family, I gradually felt more confident in my ability to beat the virus.

Question: When did you start feeling better? a. After being treated in the ICU for a month, I regained consciousness, and I could carry out basic movements such as going to the bathroom, instead of remaining in a paralyzed-like state on the hospital bed.

Question: Did you have any kind of financial burden after your recovery? a. I didn’t experience a financial burden at all, thanks to the government's policy. The Chinese government paid for the entire process of the coronavirus treatment, including testing fees, medicine fees, and nutritional costs. Question: Can you talk about the overall experience with the treatment process? a. Aside from my worries, the overall treatment process was nice and comforting. From the first day I entered the hospital, the medical workers gave me so much encouragement. They ensured that my mental health was in good shape and kept assuring me that I was not alone in dealing with the illness. Daily diets were specifically designed by a nutritionist to help me recover, and the recipes changed every day. The government provided us patients with necessities such as tissues, shampoo, pajamas, and clothes. Most importantly, all these treatments were free. When I was discharged from the hospital, all the medical workers embraced me and even gifted me with a bouquet.

Question: Do you think there is enough support from the hospital and the government? a. Yes! As I mentioned before, the government and hospital have provided a lot of help and support during the entire recovering process.

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