Covid Stories

Are you ready for part two of our Covid Series? This time we’re sharing stories from members who are on the front line. Working in nursing homes where Covid has killed 30% of the population. You’ll also hear how this pandemic has impacted our military.

We’ve included stories from “long haulers” dealing with long-lasting symptoms like hair loss, chronic shortness of breath, and fatigue. A member educates us on Dysautonomia and how it relates to Covid.

Fake News

There hasn’t been a shortage of false reports when it comes to Covid-19. The truth is, it’s a new virus and it will be years before scientists have a proper understanding of it. Like most in our community, we’ve been anxious about Covid and Fatness. Reading things like, “people with obesity were 113 percent more likely to be hospitalized, 74 percent more likely to be admitted to intensive care units and 48 percent more likely to die of covid-19.” would make anyone uneasy. But these statistics aren’t facts.

Anti-diet registered dietitian, certified intuitive eating counselor, and journalist, Christy Harrison shared, “If fatness itself really were the COVID-19 risk factor it’s made out to be, we’d see that across the board in every study, in every high-BMI category, and in all different populations and age groups. Instead, the research is inconsistent at best.”

This week reports surfaced that Obese Americans could be prioritized for the coronavirus vaccine. And while the article is full of fatphobic alternate facts and language, it’s hard to discern if the CDC is trying to help or find the first guinea pig. Not to mention the rumors about the vaccine permanently altering your DNA.

Kimberley

I got tested three times as a precaution when I was feeling ill, because of work. I tested negative each time. I’ve been getting therapy and medication because my anxiety around being superfat and getting Covid-19 has been through the roof since March.

I’m extremely fearful of the medical profession due to earlier traumatic experiences and am struggling to function. However, seeing more positive news about fatness not being a huge risk in itself and hearing other fats having survived it, helps. There is still the extremely negative media portrayal to deal with though and that really makes it hard to continue some days.

Front Line

Christina

I’m a nurse and tested positive last week. I’ve had some sinus issues, headaches, and no smell or taste. I believe I got it at work and it’s a mild case. I take care of my elderly parents but they have tested negative twice thank goodness.

I’m back at work working in Covid unit. I believe the lack of action from our government has left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m highly disappointed. We should not have healthcare workers dying or have died due to the lack of PPE or proper PPE. Companies refusing to pay worker’s compensation when employees contract Covid, shame on you.

Karissa

I work in Senior Living, and where I was working had a breakout. I tested positive fairly early on, in March. Now I get tested every two weeks for my job.

Ashley

I’m a nurse. I normally work from home but I had a weekend job in the hospital with limited patient interaction doing case management. I had to get a form signed by a patient who later was identified as having Covid-19 but not at the time of me interacting with them.

I ended up getting very ill which lead to me getting swabbed. Thankfully I ended up having cellulitis on my one leg instead of Covid. I was very anxious while waiting for the results from my testing, which were negative. Even though the cellulitis was very hard to deal with, I imagine it was a piece of cake compared to what some people experience with Covid.

Charlotte

In March, I nursed a little girl in her own home who has a tracheostomy breathing tube, feeding tube, and other physical disabilities. I’ve worked with her for about a year before this and was doing my regular shifts. She had a high temperature but was otherwise well, so she was tested. 2 days later the results were positive. I’d worked with her without any PPE and I was performing aerosol-generating procedures with suctioning and had given nebulizers in the previous 72 hours.

I spent the next few days worried I was about to die. It literally consumed me. Every day I woke, wondering if it would be the day I got sick. But nothing happened. I had a negative Covid test. I had an anti-body blood test which was negative.

I had just about as much exposure as you can imagine, and I somehow didn’t get it. Her family definitely had it but weren’t tested. I’d probably spent 36 hours in 4 or 5 days with her in her family home, including on the day she tested positive.

Military

Ellen

I’ve been tested and it came back negative. It was done as a precaution a couple of weeks after I had to travel in May when my Mom passed away. I had to go back to work, and I wanted to make sure I was keeping everyone around me safe from anything I may have come in contact with during my travel.

My Daughter is not part of the fat community, but she tested positive for Covid-19 in June during basic training for the Air Force. she contracted it from surface contact in a contaminated stairwell. They are required to use the handrails when using stairs, and no gloves as it was between firearms practice.

That was a terrifying call, as a parent, to receive. Her first words were “Mom, Dad…don’t freak out” which, all of us parents know is NOT the way to start a conversation. It’s 11:00 PM when she was supposed to be in basic training and no access to a phone…and we get a call telling us not to freak out?! She had mild symptoms (sore throat, cough, fatigue, fever) and they are currently monitoring her weekly to see if she will have any lasting health issues as a result.

Brittany

The Army gave my partner Covid-19 then she gave it to me. However, I recovered much faster and my symptoms were far less severe than hers.

The issue is the media and doctors fat shame every chance they get. I was sick for three weeks, my partner was sick for three months. I’m 5’2 250 She’s 5’6 142, but skinny people know everything, right? Anytime a fat person is slightly sick it’s because of their weight, right? I literally almost died because of doctors fat-shaming me a few years ago, so I don’t have a filter for ignorance on the subject.

Long Haulers

Morgan

I’ve had Covid-19 since April. I’m what they call a “long hauler”. I have short periods of recovery and I get a little too excited and then, BAM! I’m sick again. I’m currently experiencing a relapse after not having one since the beginning of September. I thought I was over it since I only tested positive the first couple of weeks. I am considering going and getting tested again to see if I re-contracted it. But I’ve sort of lost my faith in my doctors based on how terrible they’ve been. So I’m not sure I even care to know if I’m positive again.

Cyn

My household of four all became very sick in July. We were careful with Sheltering in Place and don’t know how we got it. We all started with different symptoms. I started with diarrhea and headaches. The body aches were the worst.

We were on lockdown for three weeks and in the end were feeling a lot better, just exhausted. I’m still dealing with a lot of hair loss because of it. I tested negative in June after an out-of-county flight for a family emergency and tested positive again after my recovery and was told I could test positive for a few months after.

Mandi

I had Covid-19 in March. When I was finally tested, I tested negative but had every single symptom. I also have long hauler symptoms including; chronic shortness of breath, fatigue, sudden onset of glaucoma, and a few others. I’m in a long hauler support group, which has helped to explain some of the symptoms.

I actually got it while traveling from Vegas right at the start of the outbreak. I didn’t take it seriously and I was severely ill for a month. Since March I haven’t felt the same. The long-term effects of this illness won’t be known for a long time but it’s not just for fat people. Hell, a ton of the people in the support group aren’t even plus size. I think it’s just exposure and how your immune system handles it.

Positive Antibodies

Teri

I had Covid-19 at the end of February before it was even in America supposedly. I of course was not tested for it but was tested for antibodies roughly five weeks later and tested positive which confirmed I had it.

No other medication worked, my usual NyQuil and Theraflu did nothing. I was cold all the time, took more hot baths in a day than I had in over a year to try to warm up. Slept for days. I had a sore throat and dry cough that felt like a cheese grater in my throat with every cough. Not to mention the headaches, loss of appetite, and taste for the most part.

The long term side effects that I still experience are random shortness of breath. Out of the blue, I feel like I’m not getting enough oxygen. Lack of energy and overall feeling of being tired most of the time. My boyfriend also had it just before me, which is how I got it. His company has people that fly back and forth to China so that’s where we figured he got it. The point is, he’s skinny and suffered the same symptoms and has the same lasting effects. He was also tested and has antibodies.

Dysautonomia

Erin

Here’s a PSA from a fat woman that was dismissed sometimes due to my weight for over 7 years as having “anxiety” even though I was incredibly ill. I haven’t had Covid-19 but I have Dysautonomia and I know a LOT of people are developing Dysautonomia after Covid.

I fear for the women, especially fat women, that will develop Dysautonomia from Covid and be told their debilitating symptoms are all in their head for years and not receive proper treatment. If you are having severe anxiety post-Covid, PLEASE look into Dysautonomia!

You do not have to have low blood pressure to have Dysautonomia. Many of us actually have high blood pressure or crazy blood pressure swings both high and low. If you are having issues with shakes/tremors, high heart rate, dizziness, passing out (note this isn’t always the case, I don’t pass out), GI issues, body aches, etc. please look into Dysautonomia and advocate for yourself. Keep pushing if your doctors blow you off. Many are not educated at all in this arena.

Here’s to hoping that these stories ease a bit of your anxiety around Covid-19 and fatness. We will continue to share stories from our community that help give some perspective to this pandemic. As well as hearing from health professional and survivors who can help humanize fat people battling this virus. To close things off let’s end with another quote from Christy Harrison on the subject. “So despite headlines making blanket statements about a link between higher BMI and mortality risk, this study found that risk was only elevated for a very specific subset of larger-bodied people.”

The Fat Girls Guide

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