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What COVID Taught Me

Yesterday, I took a walk for the first time in a month, and shared publicly that I survived Covid. I didn’t expect the responses I received, but I am grateful to those who called, texted, and popped a quick kind note on Facebook.

I’ve been debating if I should share the story of my experience. I’m hopeful that what I share is helpful, a bit of kick in the pants, and makes a difference without feeding the fear, pain, and difficulties that Covid has brought to our world.

But there is a part of my experience that I have not read, or heard, from anyone. I believe Covid came to visit with me to teach me and to ask me to put a voice to the experience to bring an earned perspective that I wish on NO one.

I ask please to read all of this post, don't focus on the symptoms and struggle I experienced but what lessons I learned, think about it and do something today to help someone, love someone, be patient with someone, prioritize yourself and those who really matter to you. Don't hesitate to be vulnerable, and available, risk being real so others can KNOW you, love you, and care for you. Get real about what you want and need and ask for it.

I don't want my post to drive home reasons to stop working, stop living, stop loving and being. It’s to talk to people who will resonate with my experience and be a part of the beautiful changes we are being asked by God to bring to this world. Covid, respectfully I say, can bring painful gifts. It has and will.

Covid showed me the real reason to wear a mask.

Covid showed me parts about me and how I am living my life that must change.

Covid took me through a terrible experience that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, but yet today, I am grateful to Covid.

Yes, I am grateful to Covid, but I'd be lying if I told you Covid didn't or still doesn't intimidate me. Covid is powerful. I pray daily that Covid leaves my family and friends alone.

With Covid, I became a living weapon. I walked into an urgent care center, knowing I had Covid but told I must get tested to confirm it, and rule out the flu and strep throat. I was three hours from my home, no friends or family nearby to help me. I was quarantined with a someone I barely knew and aware that I could not have my family or friends come get me or come help me because I could hurt or possibly kill them. Covid doesn't discriminate.

One of the worst parts of my Covid experience was the day I went to confirm I had Covid. I promise you I didn't need a test to tell me this. The 101+ fever, the inability to handle bright light in a room, the headache, pain in my ears, difficulty taking a deep breath, the feeling of morning sickness as if I were pregnant, the pain in my body, the inability to work (THANK God for my employees who ran the show without me xoxoxo), to care for myself, the reality of knowing that if my kids needed me I was completely incapable of helping them. My mind was doing all it could do to take over and convince me that I was going to be one of the people who would end up on a ventilator, I believed that I was nearing death. It just may be my time to go. With all of this internal nightmare happening, I followed the instructions of an urgent care doctor. I must come into their office and be tested for Covid.

Four nurses interacted with me that day at the Urgent Care center. It was then I understood what living angels these people on the front line really are. For a paycheck, they risk their lives. I cried to one of the nurses and apologized 20 times because I was so sick and aware that I was putting her in harm’s way. I could hurt them. I could even kill them if they contracted Covid because of me. I am still struggling with this part of the experience.

I hug people first. I love people, I need people, and with Covid, the ability to do any of this was gone.

THIS is why I wear a mask today!

A simple step like this just might be enough to protect someone else. Who cares if it doesn't really help, do it anyway and all the other little steps that just might protect someone else. I don't wash my hands to protect me first, I do it so I don't risk the chance that I hurt someone else that I love or don't even know.

Why would you not put a mask on just in case? It is the simple step that can prevent you from harming someone else. Screw telling people it is a courtesy, it is a way of showing respect. Tell people that are still struggling with wearing masks that it’s their way to show they will take any steps to avoid harming someone else just in case.

Covid showed me that I have built walls around me to avoid risking others being able to hurt me. I became too self-sufficient. I experienced what it must be like to be close to dying.

I don't have enough personal support in my daily day. Why?

I set it up that way. I depend on my natural ability to stand up when I get knocked down and I handle it.

Well Covid, thanks. You showed me what it would be like to not have that ability. I am living in many ways a life that is not balanced or set up to care for me if I am sick and incapable of taking care of myself or my family.

So today, I know what I want. I want to do a better job of letting others know what I want and what I need. I don't want to be that strong. I want to be ME. I don't want to be afraid to be weak or to ask for help. I want the rest of my life to be dedicated to providing others great care and support but most importantly I want to attract and ask for that in return.

Covid, thanks for showing me how valuable life is. How valuable a hug and the ability to connect with someone else is. LOVE is all we need. I pay the bills by working with a team that brings great care and support to many businesses and organizations. I am known as Laurie with a Story who takes risks and wants others to have great support.

Covid, thank you for reminding me of how much life matters and that I can do MORE and be MORE.

- Laurie Guzman

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