NOTE: The Dunmorean invited Dunmorean Dawn McGurl to write an account of her experience, along with her husband, Brian, with the COVID-19 virus, which they were exposed to in early March in New York City.. The couple has made a full recovery.
By Dawn McGurl
The “luck of the Irish” was not with us in early March when my husband Brian McGurl and I traveled to NYC to attend the opening performance at Radio City Music Hall of the 25th Anniversary Tour of Riverdance. The show was spectacular, but the souvenir we brought back was not what we expected. Approximately five days later we both developed initial symptoms of COVID-19 and subsequently we both tested positive for the coronavirus.
We can trace where the exposure happened to an event we attended after the performance where the majority of those attending eventually became ill and tested positive for the virus.
While we were away, we realized we were in the epicenter of this virus that was about to explode in our country.
When we returned home, we immediately self-quarantined, because although we were healthy and, to our knowledge, had not been in direct contact with anyone with the disease, we had been to an area that appeared to be an upcoming hot spot. We canceled our family “Parade Day” party and hunkered down.
My husband Brian and I began to show signs of the virus about a week after exposure. The onset was rather mild for both of us. Actually we thought we were just being paranoid.
My symptoms were worse than Brian’s were. He had a low fever for a couple days and felt like he had a cold – runny nose, slight cough, sore throat. Initially I developed a severe headache with fever, severe chills, body aches as well as a dry cough.
Then I began to feel better and was fever free for three days and then “it came back”!
I redeveloped the fever and chills and lost my sense of taste and smell. We both have had some respiratory effects that have lingered for a few weeks now – tightness in the chest, fatigue and getting easily winded. The course of our virus journey lasted approximately five weeks. We are grateful that we were both able to fight this at home and consider ourselves fortunate when compared to others that have ended up in the hospital with much worse outcomes.
We are spending a good deal of our time at home praying for those who are sick and their families, praying for all the hospital workers, praying for those who are providing essential services at pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, banks, police, fire, public works and elsewhere. We cannot thank our personal doctors and healthcare providers enough for their care and concern throughout this event.
We debated making our personal information public. We did so in the hope that it would impress on our community and our friends how important it is to STAY HOME!
We know social distancing and staying home is a financial and personal hardship. I have lost all of my upcoming Costume Design contracts and Brian has had all of his band gigs canceled. We had a death in our family during this time and were not able to have a proper, normal funeral. We miss our children and friends too!
We have been asked for advice as to what we can tell people about the virus. The best advice I can give is prevention and preparation. This virus is incredibly contagious and spreads quickly. Anyone can get it.
Assume anytime you leave your home and enter a public place that someone probably has it. Wear a mask! Protect yourself and your family. Wash your hands. Sanitize. Social distance and be patient. Prepare yourself and your family in the event you do contract the virus.
Make sure to have a working thermometer, Tylenol, Gatorade or other electrolyte rich beverages, and household disinfectants to keep your home as clean as possible. Keep your lungs healthy now, exercise and eat well.
This too shall pass and you need to be alive to enjoy the future when “happy days are here again! “
We want to thank all of our family and friends for the cards, messages, gifts, meals, prayers and love and support during this difficult time.
We have both had follow up medical tests and are fully recovered. We plan to donate our plasma, if we have antibodies, in the hope of helping others fight this virus in the future. Our prayers will continue that we will soon see healthy and happier days! #DunmoreStrong