COVID Crazy: Catching and Suffering COVID-19 as a Millennial

Published by Hagen McMenemy on

COVID Crazy: Catching and suffering COVID-19 as a Millennial

Tuesday, Aug. 4 started off like any other day. I woke up around 9 a.m. to get ready for work at my retail job. I showered, got dressed and fed my cat before walking out the door. 

I was having a little sinus congestion, but as someone with a deviated septum, this wasn’t abnormal, so I didn’t think twice about it.

I hopped in my car, drove my commute and shortly thereafter clocked into work and started my day. My employer never closed during the pandemic and had recently re-opened for in-store shopping after relying exclusively on curbside service for a few months. 

Prior to the previous week, masks were not required, but my employer constantly ensured my fellow salefloor workers and me that we were being protected.

That day however, about halfway through my shift, I began experiencing all-over body aches and an elevated temperature. I wasn’t feeling well and with just an hour left in my shift, I decided to go home early around 3 p.m. 

That following Wednesday, I had a COVID test scheduled, but I was unable to gather the strength to even leave my room.

The next day, I was finally able to go to my testing site after registering for another test at. I showed up, flashed my QR code and administered the test on myself before handing off the materials to one of the testing site supervisors. The test involved taking a swab and inserting it just far enough into my nose that it would induce tears.

This was a little unpleasant but not nearly as bad as the full throat swab test is said to be.

I was in such severe pain that I was bedridden for days.
Dakari Dunning

At this point, I worried about my financial status. 

I’m not wealthy, and with my lease at my current home expiring next month, I had enough to stress about. I feared a future where I missed two full weeks of pay, as with having these symptoms, even without a positive test – since it could take at least eight days to receive results, 16 at most – I would be unable to return to work.

There was also my cat, Dusty. Anybody can attest to her being my very best friend and emotional support companion, and now she could also contract the virus from me. There has been little research regarding how COVID-19 affects cats because we still know so little about how it affects humans.

I was at a constant siege of physical suffering caused by the virus, as well as stress from the material conditions I found myself surrounded by because of contracting a virus.

Luckily (or unluckily depending on your perspective), I did get my results back quickly, and they were positive.

Dusty served as my bedside cuddle nurse.
Hagen McMenemy | Avant-Youth

 The respite I felt from knowing I would be paid was snatched from me as my cat began showing symptoms of the virus – runny nose, sneezing, coughing. 

Losing my best friend would be worse than missing two weeks of pay because my cat is irreplaceable.

You will be happy to know that after many scary days of witnessing her wheeze, she seems to be fine, and we have a vet visit scheduled once I’m able to leave isolation. 

I have also mostly recovered.

The aches, congestion and fever are gone and are now replaced by a loss of taste and smell as well as a general lack of energy. It’s hard to stay awake for more than a few hours at a time, at the moment, but this is preferable to the absolute agony of the first week.

I’ll be returning to work soon at my 9-5 job, and hopefully I won’t be able to contract COVID-19 again.

Many young adults feel immune to the coronavirus as it is not likely to be fatal to us. However, I warn my peers to be wary of the toll it can take on your body, even if it’s not likely to be fatal.

COVID-19 caused me nearly a week of excruciating pain coupled with unnecessary stress that could have taken months off of my life.

As someone with firsthand experience of what this virus can do to your body and mental state, I implore every resident of Georgia to stay inside and only leave the house when it is absolutely necessary – groceries, gas, medical, etc. 

And if you do have to leave the house, wear a fucking mask.

Dusty doing her best parrot impression after feeling better.
 Hagen McMenemy | Avant-Youth
Dusty doing her best parrot impression after feeling better.
Hagen McMenemy | Avant-Youth
Support local journalism. Support independent journalism. Support Avant-Youth.


Hagen McMenemy

Hagen McMenemy is a graduate of the University of Alabama and veteran of the U.S. Army. During his time in the military, he was a paratrooper that launched himself from various aircraft. He wants to manage the social media accounts of companies that align with his personal interests and values, and would one day like to live in Tokyo, Japan.


Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.