Chronicle: Living with the coronavirus

By Humberto Caspa, Ph.D.

A friend of mine, Eric Spears, director of the International Program and eminent professor at Columbus State University, Georgia, recently had the misfortune to catch COVID-19. Here is a chronicle of his experience with this virus.

“I have had the coronavirus for a month and recently I came out of its contagious phase. I am fortunate that I had a case of “mild coronavirus”, that is, I did not need to be admitted to a hospital. However, the “mild” is somewhat relative. What affected me was not a mild flu. Coronavirus is a fairly difficult disease to cope with, especially if there is no suitable medicine on hand. He had never been as ill as now.

“Many ask me: How did you catch it? I understand the curiosity of these people, but to be honest, I do not care how I got it, but it is a fact that I had it and that is the nature of these viruses: infecting.

Days 1-3: Symptoms started with a stuffy nose; Then it turned into an intense headache that lasted for days. Normally they did not give me this type of pain, but this time the pressure in my head was in different parts. My sense of smell changed until I completely lost it. Food no longer appealed to me as before; anything with vinegar felt detestable and I had a hard time falling asleep.

Days 4-5: I woke up in the middle of the night with many chills that lasted for hours. The strange thing is that it did not have an elevated temperature, about 36.6 ° C (97.8 ° F). On the fourth day, my temperature began to rise to 38 ° C (100.4 ° F), causing a fever that lasted for about 48 hours. Then he gave me a dry cough and my body started to run down.

Days 6-9: The dry cough continued, giving me a burning in my lungs every time I breathed. I felt like I had an asthma attack that wouldn’t stop. The pressure on my lungs and my chest kept me from sleeping.

Days 10-14: I kept coughing with the same burning symptoms in my lungs. The pressure on my chest and my back came and went. I had to make efforts not to lose my cool. I didn’t want to affect my breathing and worry my wife. Luckily my oxygen level was 90%, although I had already decided that if I dropped to 88%, I would immediately be admitted to an emergency hospital. Thank God my temperature never dropped to that level. During the night, the fatigue was relentless.

Days 15-20: The same as the previous days, but with more intensity, including chronic exhaustion. In this period something strange happened: my mind vanished. I became forgetful, I did not remember complete words in full conversation. When I used my cell phone I couldn’t remember where I had left it; I put my medicine on the table and then forgot to take it. On one occasion I took my pills out of their container, put them on the table, and then returned them to the container. I didn’t know what he was doing.

“Days 21 to Present: Supposedly, the contagious part of my illness is over, but I am not going back to work for another week. I have less cough, although I still feel pressure in my chest and I find it difficult to comfort the dream. My mind remains forgetful; I get tired very quickly, although I am less fatigued.

“This is a real virus. The Covid-19 is not interested in whether a person is on the right or the left. The coronavirus infects anyone. I am currently in a recovery phase. I am optimistic and I think I will improve; maybe I will be jogging again and cycling and kayaking, although I doubt it will be very soon.

“I don’t feel like someone special for having had the coronavirus. Rather, I appreciate that my situation was not complicated. Let’s protect our health; let’s use the face masks; let’s keep our distance and wash our hands.

“Please be thankful for having workers in the health sector who are at the forefront of this war. I do not want anyone to turn on the “mild coronavirus”, unless that someone is admitted to a hospital. Let’s stay calm and cope with the situation,” Erik Spears.


            Translation by Humberto Caspa, Ph.D., researcher at Economics On The Move. E-mail: