Feature

High school students, staff members recover from COVID-19

COVID-19 has traveled all around the world to a total of 219 countries and territories, changing life as we know it. Starting in Wuhan, China, COVID-19 has made the 7,433 mile journey across the Pacific all the way to Bexley, infecting over 700 people right here in town.

One of those positive cases was junior Tucker Harpe, a member of the varsity boys basketball team, which experienced an outbreak in late November. Harpe said he had a largely asymptomatic case of COVID-19.

“I didn’t feel many concerning symptoms,” Harpe said. “I had a runny nose and a headache, and honestly it felt like I was developing a cold rather than the virus.”

Freshman Asher Nathan was another basketball player to contract COVID-19, despite not being on the varsity team.

“My brother (senior Jude Nathan) on varsity basketball tested positive, and in the following days so did everyone in my family,” Nathan said.

Nathan had prolonged symptoms from the virus.

“For about seven to 10 days, I had impaired taste, a sore throat and stuffy nose,” Nathan said. “I never had a fever, which was pretty abnormal.”

Both players had to quarantine for 10 days, per CDC guidelines.

“The worst part of having COVID for me was the quarantine, as I only really felt sick for a few days,” Harpe stated. “I just slept most of the day in isolation.”

Nathan explained that having his whole family test positive made the quarantine easier.

“Jude had to quarantine at first, but after we all tested positive, we were able to walk around the house like normal,” Nathan said.

Students outside the basketball program have also tested positive for COVID-19, such as junior Ivy Simpson, who contracted the coronavirus by hanging out with her friends.

“I got tested after having a bad headache and later finding out I was exposed to a friend who tested positive,” Simpson said.

After testing positive, Simpson experienced many symptoms while quarantined in her room for 14 days.

“For about a week, I was really feeling sick,” Simpson said. “I had a permanent headache, was constantly tired, and lost my taste and smell for about five days.”

Science teacher Tami Golliday tested positive for COVID-19 over winter break during America’s third major wave of cases.

“I found out I had COVID when I could no longer smell the Vicks I was using to help with my cough and congestion,” Golliday said. “I tested positive on the 27th of December and was in the emergency room a few days later.”

Golliday suffered from serious symptoms while in the hospital.

“I had nasal congestion, a cough, double pneumonia, a swollen throat, and heavy fatigue and body aches,” Golliday explained. “I then had to quarantine at home for about a week after I was released from the hospital.”

Even after testing negative, COVID-19 continued to affect people during their recovery.

Eventually, the basketball team resumed the season, and Harpe and Nathan had to go through the “return to play process” for athletes who had COVID-19, a five-step protocol to check for any lasting effects on the heart or lungs where athletes exercise for increasing amounts of time over a one week period.

“After completing the process, I returned to practice and had trouble breathing,” Harpe explained. “I had to go to the hospital to check on my heart and make sure that there were no problems. Once the results came in that I was fine, I went through the ‘return to play process’ again and have been playing ever since.”

Simpson also stated that she experienced long term symptoms from COVID-19.

“I went for a run as soon as I was done with quarantining, and I felt some tightness in my chest that hadn’t been there before,” Simpson explained.

Golliday explained that she still has yet to fully recover from the illness.

“I’m still sick, I’m just no longer positive for COVID,” Golliday said. “The cough and fatigue still bother me daily, this just goes on and on. It’s awful.”

Joey Shapiro
Joey Shapiro is a staff reporter for The Torch. He is a junior at Bexley High School, and this is his first year as a part of the Torch staff. Outside of school, he enjoys playing sports and hanging out with friends.