ATLANTA - Julia Reynolds, of Atlanta, contracted COVID-19 about three weeks ago, despite a stringent, self-imposed family quarantine that started in early March for the Reynolds family.
"My 75-year-old mother has immune issues and my husband has chronic asthma, so we just decided we were going to go anywhere anymore or see any friends or have anyone over," Reynold's told FOX 5's Portia Bruner.
The Emmy Award-winning journalist, who worked for FOX 5 Atlanta for several years, though she was doing everything she could to ward off the risks of COVID-19 exposure. Her husband works from home and she and their girls, 2 and 4, never left the house except for walks through their Atlanta neighborhood. But she said one day she opted to pick up her groceries instead of her usual routine of waiting for a grocery delivery at home.
"Based on the timing, that's when the doctor believes that's probably when I got sick. And it wasn't even a long conversation. I pulled up to the curb, they loaded the groceries in my trunk, I rolled down the window and the woman gave me my receipt and told me she made some substitutions. I said, 'Thank you,' and she didn't seem sick at all," Reynolds told Bruner.
A few days later, Julia was stricken with headaches, neck pain, loss of taste, and debilitating fatigue that left her bedridden for two weeks.
"I never had a cough and I never had a high fever my fever was pretty low, but the G.I. issues were pretty rough and I had a really sore chest where it felt like I had run a marathon," Reynolds said by phone.
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But some days, even worse than the symptoms, is the isolation in one room, with only a phone and video calls to stay connected to her husband and young daughters. He shoots videos so she can see what they're up to every day.
"Hearing them cry and crying 'mommy' and not being able to go to them. it just rips your heart out," Reynolds said.
Doctors believe Julia is in the last stretch of this illness on the way to a full recovery. She said her doctor suggested she wait until she has an entire 24-hour period without any symptoms, then wait another week before she reunites with her husband and children. Based on how she's feeling today, Julia believes that day will come within the next week.
"Fortunately, thank God, no one else in our family is sick and I just pray they will continue to stay well and I'm thankful that I didn't have to call any friends or any family members and tell them I tested positive and that they need to self-quarantine. I hope people really take this seriously and I'm afraid sometimes they are not. People should just stay home or wear masks if they do leave," Julia said on her 18-day of home quarantine.
Best prevention measures:
• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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