4 News Now reporter opens up about battling COVID-19

SPOKANE, Wash.– I’ve been covering this pandemic since news first broke in China about COVID-19 spreading. I’ve interviewed health officials, concerned families, and business owners fighting through this crisis.

But, none of that prepared me for the call where I learned I contracted the virus.

In the beginning of July, I took a trip home to visit family and celebrate my engagement. I had gone an entire year without seeing my mom and siblings, so I couldn’t wait to be around them.

I think I was exposed while I was traveling. It was near the end of my trip when I started having a sore throat and some congestion. I figured it was allergies.

Then those symptoms got more intense. So, I contacted my doctor, who suggested I get tested for COVID-19.

I got the call July 10th that I had COVID-19. My best friend, Danielle Focarile, was staying with me at the time.

“Then the panic set in, the stress of the situation and who you need to let know and how you need to track it,” Focarile said.

My first thought went to my mom, Tracy Moore, who is at risk of dangerous complications from the virus. Suddenly, my trip to see her felt so terrible.

I had a slight cough by the time I learned I had the virus. But, that quickly grew worse. Soon, I was battling that and chest pain. I’d never been so tired in my life, sleeping upwards of 14 hours per day. The one major symptom I never had was a fever.

Contact tracers didn’t ask for my activity traveling in another state, so I called the people I’d been around to let them know. My family was able to get tested that day and had results within the week. They all tested negative and still have not had any symptoms.

As for me, I’m feeling better. My healthcare provider said I’m no longer contagious and I meet the guidelines to end my quarantine. I’m still tired and have a cough though.

The reality of this virus and how easily it can spread really changed my outlook and that of some of my friends and family.

“You never know who has an underlying health condition. You never know what’s lurking beneath the surface,” Focarile said. “So, it’s just really eye-opening that obviously we can all get it. Just because you’re young, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re super healthy. So I think it made me more cautious about where I go and who I’m around.”

It’s hard to balance choices, like whether to see your mom for the first time in a year.

But, I’ve come to realize that sacrificing time will make you more grateful for it.

“You appreciate your moments, here, now, the moments you have with your children, your parents.” Moore said. “It heightens your appreciation.”