AND NEITHER ARE YOU.
Growing up, parents always tell their children, if you have nothing good to say, don’t say it at all. This mindset really should be reinforced especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yes, I tested positive and I’m living on a college campus. No, you shouldn’t look at me differently.
The world is so insane right now that people continually are pointing fingers at those who are “spreading the virus more.” But what people are failing to remember is that this is highly contagious and anyone can get it at any time, even if you are using correct safety precautions. And even then, these safety precautions aren’t fool proof. The imposed safety precautions are specifically to help slow the spread. The masks are used to combat spreading your germs to other people. People who have been extremely safe could still get this disease. When people act as if I brought this upon myself and my friend group, I don’t feel anything telling them that they are wrong.
I’ve been hanging out with the same people since coming back to my campus, I’ve been limiting my exposure to the outside world, yet I still tested positive with no symptoms. I still sit around all day and get asked “how are you feeling?” when my temperature is completely normal and I’m still doing my everyday routine.
“Isn’t it lonely?” Yes, it is extremely lonely, but you have to remember that my friends are pretty much going through it with me. When I had to be moved out of my apartment and into an isolation dorm, so did they. “Oh my goodness, are you okay?” Yes, I feel completely fine, thank you for the concern. “Do you feel guilty?” No, it was my choice to come back to campus and to possibly expose myself to the dangers of the world. If you weren’t willing to take the risk, you shouldn’t have come back to college.
People can think what they want, but just because I tested positive, doesn’t say anything about who I am as a person. Going and getting tested for precautionary measures shouldn’t be frowned upon and being an honest person shouldn’t get certain looks.
So why is this such an issue? With the uncertainty of how this virus is spread and what goes into getting this virus, there’s no real way of knowing how I contracted this, or even if I’ll ever actually get symptoms. Looking at someone a certain way during this pandemic should be frowned upon. Maybe the issue is the demographic or maybe the issue is that people are too judgmental. If you are judging a person based off of their COVID testing, that makes you the issue. There are plenty of people who are in a similar situation as I am. Plenty of people have been as “safe” (safe meaning following guidelines and hoping for the best) as possible but still can contract this sickness.
If you’re reading this, I want you to know that you are not alone. As much as people will try to make you feel a certain way about your diagnosis, you know yourself better than anyone else. I’ve lived it, I’ve been with you through it, I was just as surprised when I got the call. Just because you tested positive, it doesn’t make you a bad person. Take this time to really decide what and who is important to you. Work on things that you wouldn’t normally have time to do. Watch that movie that’s been on your list for so long and you couldn’t get around to. Listen to new music.
The hardest part about this pandemic is the uncertainty, and although you don’t have as much once you’ve tested positive, it’s still an issue of what could come next. And if you’re reading this and haven’t tested positive, don’t feel a certain way about being tested as a precautionary measure. If you want to get tested and have the means to do so, do it. It doesn’t hurt to get it done, especially if it doesn’t cost you anything given your insurance plan.
At the end of the day, I’ll share with you the best advice I’ve ever been given. You know yourself and you know your habits. Someone looking at you from the outside will never fully know you. You are the one who decides how safe you’ve been in the situation, and you’re the only one who can decide how you feel about it. Someday, you’ll look back at this situation and laugh. Although that day seems very far away, I promise it’s right around the corner.