Local writer with COVID-19 talks about his first hand experience

Apr 6, 2020

On March 16, local writer Tomas Mooney woke up with a tickle in his throat, he was worried but not panicked. But by Wednesday, with the addition of a fever and body aches, his concern started to rise.

“I started having a little bit of concern and some anxiety attached to it just because you automatically go to the worst possible scenario. Initially, I was very concerned and scared and I tried to get tested and I wasn’t able to because I didn’t fit the specific criteria at that time. So I just started finding it out from then.”

Mooney was finally able to get tested on March 27.

“Basically, the reason why I was able to get tested was because I was in contact with my grandmother who had been in contact with somebody who had tested positive and so that was basically the route. They can trace it, or I guess they can connect the dots back to one of the initial first test confirmations here in Lubbock, so that’s how.”

Mooney and his grandmother both tested positive for COVID-19.

“Yes, my grandmother also tested positive. Where I had, I felt horrible for 14 days, 12 days, my grandmother really had just like the mildest of cases and she felt bad, I guess like the week before I did, and it was just a couple days, and it was just headache and a little bit of soreness and, just like I said, just for a couple days; but she still tested positive all this time later.”

The city Lubbock has been ramping up its efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. Going as far as issuing a stay at home order on March 29. As the confirmed case count continues to rise, Mooney hopes people start to take preventative actions more seriously.

“Obviously, I’m like in my early 30s and I’m relatively healthy, and I did take all of this super serious beforehand. I didn’t really go out before being sick, and obviously ramped up use of hand sanitizer and washing hands even more so than usual and stayed inside, and I obviously still came in contact. I just hope that people realize that it is very easy to catch this and that they need to ramp up their social distancing and their hand washing and sanitizing more so than they probably already are.”

Mooney went on to explain what having the disease is like.

“I had a fever from about Wednesday until about Friday, Saturday. It would go from like 102 to 103, in that range, and I just had general body aching, like my back and all my joints, like my knees, and really like my hip joints, my hip sockets, hurt so bad. And I had a huge migraine that was all the way to my neck, and I felt dehydrated despite drinking a whole lot of water. Throughout this whole entire time, I lost really a sense of smell and taste. Everything was kind of just bland. I didn’t really eat much those first few days. And then I guess about last Saturday, the 21st of March, until this past Friday, the 27th, basically all of those days, I was just extremely fatigued.”

As for what is next for Mooney.

“I’m still, I guess, in quarantine for another 14 days. So that’s, I guess, the time frame. It is really alarming as far as time goes because, at maximum, I’ve had it essentially this whole month of March, with a couple weeks of being sick – an initial 3 or 4 days of being asymptomatic, and hypothetically another two weeks or so of getting over it and getting well. In my opinion, that’s pretty concerning that it could have potentially been in my system and me being able to spread it for a month, you know. That’s a long time.”

As for the reason he decided to come forward and share his story.

“There has been, obviously, skeptics, or just people who aren’t taking it as seriously as they should have and it makes it a little more real if your circle of friends on Facebook, or someone you know.”

For More of Texas Tech Public Media's COVID-19 coverage visit: https://tv.kttz.org/news/local/covid19/

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