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I cannot say I expected that I would contract covid-19, nor was I surprised that I did. It is just the flu, right? There are similarities and difference when comparing to other flus, but the hardest part about Covid-19 is the unknown. It experienced so differently among people – how is it going to affect you? Here is my personal experience with Covid-19 as an employee of Engrity Service Inspection.

I started losing the ability to concentrate at work. All sudden, I was hit with body cramps and exhaustion. That night, I had a fever. Now, I really knew something was wrong. I took my covid test the next day, within hours I received my positive test result.

One of the worst parts about getting covid was making that first call to my manager. Telling him the results, knowing full well that everyone I worked with would be affected by having to get that uncomfortable test. I was relieved when he responded calmly, even calling at the end of the day to reassure me not to feel bad for this situation and offering to help in any way he could.

I was relieved to learn everyone’s covid-19 test from my office came back negative. That was a burden lifted from my shoulders. They worked harder so I could rest and heal. My co-workers would call me every other day to check-in, and my Manager would text me every day to see how I was doing and if there was anything he could do to help. I had only been working for my company for a month and a half and this situation made me realize that this was my new family. I have never been so cared for by a professional group of people.

What I did not expect was the symptoms to be a rollercoaster of feeling “okay” to feeling like a zombie. I felt ill for 8 out 10 isolation days. Throughout the day, I felt incredibly sick with body cramps, fever, loss of smell/taste, exhaustion, sore throat, stuffy nose, diarrhoea, shortness of breath, dry cough – you name it, I had it. These symptoms ebbed and flowed, getting my hopes up thinking I was getting better, only to be met with a severe fever hours later. It was unpredictable.

My hopes only had to be disappointed a couple times for the negative mentality to take its toll. I started to wonder if I would ever get better – My Manager, reminded of the important of trying to keep a positive mindset, this would not last forever. It was hard to stay positive, I will admit. The loneliness of isolation was something that came on stronger than I thought it could. Generally, I like my time by myself – but when that time is mandatory, my small basement suite started to feel small. Really small.

I was incredibly thankful for the people at my company that were getting to know me as a fellow employee. They showed me that in our company, nobody gets left behind; they support you when you are weak to enable you to become strong again; this is the company’s culture. It established a bond with my team that will last forever. I learned firsthand, that people can care without expecting anything in return. I am more inspired to reach out and help other people in the same way I had been helped.

Phone calls with the registered nurses, eased my mental stress because they listened and understood my situation and were able to comfort me with the knowledge that day 6-8 of Covid, would be the worst but it would get better. They were right. My doctor as well informed me not to have high expectation for a speedy recovery to normal. It would take time and people in my life would safe after my isolation period was complete. Any minor symptoms remaining was not the virus active within me, but the residue is left behind.  I am thankful for the healthcare system in Canada. At a phone call, Canadians have access to patient and compassionate professionals that listen to our concern and provide guidance to our recovery.  

I am left feeling thankful for health, my community, healthcare workers and a new family who is my team at Winlyfe.

-Shelby R.