Survivor from Seattle tells the American Bazaar how she fought COVID-19 watching Bollywood flicks.
Amid worldwide panic over a pandemic called Coronavirus, a brave American woman from Seattle has chosen to come forward to share her harrowing, but powerful journey recovering from the dreaded COVID-19.
“Mujhe India bohot pasand hai (I like India a lot),” says Elizabeth Schneider, a biochemist living in Seattle, one of the worst affected US cities, as she tells the American Bazaar about how she contracted and beat the infection.
Schneider, whose love affair with India began in high school, shared her story after she resumed her official duty Wednesday while working from home.
She sounds chirpy and fit on the phone and is glad that the sickness is behind her.
Even though all her major symptoms have gone Schneider still feels tired sometimes. She’s trying to be mindful about what she eats and is slowly regaining her lost energy levels.
On how she contracted the disease, Schneider says, “Late last month, I had gone to attend a house party with some of my friends. It was a tropical themed potluck and all of us had a good time over food and tropical cocktails.”
“No one attending the party was sick or showed any symptoms of being ill,” she said. “But three days after the party, one night I had a sudden fever spike with chills. It was high fever and I called up a friend and asked if I need to go to the Emergency Room.”
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“However, the fever subsided and by morning it had gone down. I continued having headaches and fever and I thought I had a bad flu.”
On why she didn’t initially think about COVID, considering that it was spreading in Seattle more than in other cities, she said, “I didn’t have any symptoms associated with COVID. I had no respiratory problems, no breathlessness and no cough – the symptoms typically associated with COVID-19.”
On why she thought she needed to get tested, Schneider said, “When we got talking to other members who were there at the party, the puzzle seemed to get solved.”
“Many of us started getting these symptoms of fever and headache exactly at the same time. So, we understood that this has to be something that we all contracted.”
On how she reacted when she first heard about being tested positive for Coronavirus, Schneider said, “I sent my nasal swab through mail and after about three days I got a call that I tested positive for COVID.”
“Honestly, I was shocked but the good thing was that by the time my test result came I had recovered from severe symptoms and knew I was on way to recovery.”
“My background in science also helped me understand the disease and I knew that If I self-quarantine myself and keep taking my fluids I would recover.”
Schnieder confirmed that four of her other friends who sent the sample also have tested positive and a few others who sent their samples are awaiting results.
Today Elizabeth Schneider can proudly say that she beat the virus but she does have a word of caution for others.
“The problem is that many of the people out there could be carrying the virus thinking it just as flu or cough or something. “ she said. “So, it’s possible that you can have COVID without its classical symptoms.”
Does she feel enough is being done to contain the disease? Schneider says, “I think the problem in the US is the absence of paid sick leave.”
“Many people who may be having mild symptoms may not inform their employers as they know they would be put on a 14-day quarantine.”
“Now for someone who works on a hourly basis, this would mean money loss,” Schneider said. “We need to step up our paid leave system to stop the situation from escalating.”
While Schnieder was lucky that she didn’t have any elderly or immunocompromised family members near her she does warn that elderly should be extra careful.
Avoiding public places, airports etc may not be bad idea for the time being for everyone, she says.
Schnieder, who has lived all her life in America, says her love affair with India began while in high school.
“A friend of mine gave me a CD for ‘Dil Se’. I was blown away by the music and I thought maybe it was a rock band and then I was introduced to Bollywood music.”
“I have seen many Shah Rukh Khan movies since then and visited India thrice. I loved the culture so much that I made the effort of learning Hindi and today I can speak, write and read in Hindi.”
“Mujhe India bohot pasand hai,” signs off Schneider in her charming American accent.