COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing:
My brother died of COVID-19 at the age of 29. So, I was naturally worried when I started feeling flu-like symptoms after spending time with my neighbor. La Clínica got my whole family and me in for testing right away. Everyone in the household tested positive.
At first, we all had a high temperature. My whole family lost their sense of taste. We were coughing and our bodies ached. But I was the most impacted. I was rushed to the ER because my oxygen was low. I was dizzy and dehydrated even though I had been drinking water all day. They hydrated me intravenously. After two weeks, the symptoms still lingered. I was exhausted. My throat felt itchy and my voice was hoarse. I had chest pain and if I spoke for too long, I would start to cough.
They isolate people who have tested positive for COVID-19 until it’s safe to be around others. My husband stopped working and my oldest son also stopped working at both his jobs. I sometimes cleaned houses but I stopped working too. We felt helpless and we were stressed financially. The expenses were piling up and it was too much.
La Clínica became our lifeline. We were all too sick to cook so La Clínica helped to deliver food to us. They also brought us supplies such as hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks. Most importantly, they helped us obtain financial assistance from Alameda County. Our hospital expenses would have been overwhelming but we had peace of mind knowing that we didn’t have to worry about this.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we only saw people get sick on television. Then it got closer to home. When my brother got sick, I thought he would pull through because he was young. I never imagined he would die from it. The coronavirus pandemic is an epidemiological and psychological crisis. The enormity of living in isolation, changes in our daily lives, job loss, financial hardship, and grief over the death of loved ones affected our mental health as well as our physical well-being. When my family got sick, life changed for us completely.
We are better now and we never want to feel that way again. It’s awful feeling powerless and helpless. The experience taught us to value what we have and to see life differently. We are more grateful for the small things. We got through it as a family together. I am also grateful for all the support we received. Organizations like La Clínica help those that would otherwise not receive any help. I don’t know what we would have done without them. I wish there were more organizations like La Clínica.