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This 22-Year-Old Patient Proves That Being Young Doesn't Make You Immune To COVID-19

"I was genuinely afraid I would die, because that is what it felt like."
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/amyshircel, dailycardinal.com

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had been reported that the eldery and those with underlying health conditions are the most prone to the virus. This led to the early conclusion that perfectly healthy younger people had less to worry about. Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, with 32.9 million Twitter followers even tweeted the same rhetoric, saying, "Kids are essentially immune, but elderly with existing conditions are vulnerable."

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This, of course, has since been disproven by World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who reiterated that the coronavirus does not discriminate. "You are not invincible,” he said as a warning to the youth. "This virus could put you in hospital for weeks, or even kill you… People under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalization.”

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A 22-year-old patient named Amy Shircel had to learn this sobering truth the hard way. The U.S.-based college student who tested positive for COVID-19 recently documented her harrowing experience on Twitter in hopes of getting her friends and followers to take the global pandemic seriously. In just under a week, her eye-opening thread has since garnered a little over 300,000 likes and 113,000 retweets.

“I’m 22 and I tested positive for COVID-19. Take it from me—you do NOT want to catch this,” her first tweet warned. “Hopefully hearing about my experience will help the rest of you to stay home (for real).” According to Amy, who at the time had just come home from a Europe trip, her symptoms on the first few days seemed bearable. “I had a fever, a mild cough, chills, headache, runny nose,” she wrote. Due to her travel history, she was immediately admitted for testing the next day.

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Unfortunately, things quickly took a turn for the worse by the third day of her symptoms, which by then had included nausea, constant vomiting, and the inability to eat. “I couldn’t keep anything down,” Amy described. She received her test results on the fourth day, revealing that she was, indeed, positive with the dreaded disease. Weak and bed-ridden, it only took a day into her diagnosis before she’d convinced herself that she wouldn’t survive her battle. “I had never been this ill in my entire life. I was genuinely afraid I would die, because that is what it felt like.”

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While continuing to observe strict quarantine guidelines, Amy’s condition progressively worsened. She reported feeling so catastrophically weak she couldn’t stand. She also spoke of dehydration, shortness of breath, and violent shivers. By the seventh day, Amy's frail condition landed her in the ER, feeling more fatigued than she'd ever been in her life. “I couldn’t eat for nine days. I was completely miserable.”  

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She began and ended her Twitter thread day 12 into her symptoms. While she revealed that she’d gained her appetite back, her major symptoms still remained. 

“The end is nowhere in sight,” she said before ending with an important cautionary message to other young people like her. “A coronavirus diagnosis is dehumanizing and lonely, and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. You aren’t invincible just because you’re in your 20s. Take it from me, and quarantine like your life depends on it (it might).” 

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The message that Amy left is loud and clear. Anyone, no matter how young or old, can get the virus. Age or seemingly perfect health sould not be reasons for us to let our guards down.

The best preventive measure is still for us to regularly wash our hands with soap. "To make it simple: Soap is made of fat, and the key that holds the virus together is the lipid layer on the outside. So to break the lipid layer, the soap will disassemble it and the virus falls apart," Ospital Ng Makati resident Dr. Margaret Pajanel explained in a interview with Preview.

For more stories on COVID-19, please click here.

This story originally appeared on Preview.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.

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Jam Nitura for Preview.ph
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A community page where you can share your feels and show your skills! Learn more here

"Today, I Won"

I always caught feelings for someone, and hoped so much that one day there could a thing between the two of us. I'm usually the one that makes the effort to buy and/or make cute gifts, chats them every other day, and stays up all night with him.

When I was 16, my childhood crush suddenly came back into my life. We'd constantly send updates to each other, recommend favorite songs and talk even the most random things. He'd even text me as early as 6 to just greet me good morning almost everyday. I hoped so much that when I confessed, he suddenly stopped talking to me.

For short, he ghosted me. Those 6 months I spent talking to him, allotting my time for him, and staying up until 3 am for him - all gone in a simple confession. Although I had a few crushes before him, he's the only one that got me in real pain. It was the kind of pain that I never thought I'd experience. It was the kind of pain that I couldn't believe.

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After 7 years (it happened back in 2017), I thought he came back into my life to stay, but I guess he's just one of the guys who distanced. I felt a complete loser that time. But during this quarantine, everything was different. I caught feelings for someone else, but he treated me with the best kindness yet.

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It happened at 2 am, May 30, 2020, when I impulsively confessed my feelings through messaging him. After saying my feelings, he responded with genuine and kind words. We both even complimented each other. Although the feelings didn't reciprocate, I still found a connection that can't be replaced with any guy.

To my 16 year old self, here I am, 18 and happy. You may have felt that time was the biggest regret and loss, but I'm here to tell you, we won. Today, I won.

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Juliana Rebong 2 hours ago

Why our high school barkada is the best?

Remembering our high school years entails quite a lot reminiscing of the things we all been through when we were younger. You’ve experience a lot of new things during those 4 wonderful years and did most of them with the few people you consider your barkada. And through a series of all the lunch breaks you had together, the walks you took on the way home, and taking the same classes, you never thought you’d survive, you have made your life’s greatest friends.

Here are some of the reasons why your high school barkada is the best:

1. You figured out early teenage life together. The transition one have undergone from being a kid to a teenager wasn’t easy. For a moment you are not sure whether you should have played with your friends during recess or you should have just sat down and ate your food because you were too old for games. But whatever it is you chose to do, having friends who were as clueless as you make everything feel easier because you know, deep down, you’d figure things out eventually. You just need good company.

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2. They were with you during your “jeje“ days. I bet you have pictures taken with Camera360 and Retrica. You also have pictures edited using Pizap with embarrassing captions and you somehow kept some of them so you could have something to post online during their birthdays.

3. They know all your exes. They will never EVER forget the name of an ex-boyfriend, an ex-fling, an ex-crush, and an almost you had. They will remind you of your every questionable love decision but you’ll just laugh anyway while saying “Past is past”.

4. They never judge you. They have welcomed you to their lives when you thought jelly shoes and checkered polos were the bomb! They were quick to have told your teachers that you were not feeling well so you could go home when you really just needed to poop. You tell them every embarrassing story you have and were fine with it.

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5. You can always count on them. From the moment you first fell in love and the moment you first had your heart broken, they were with you. They were with you the moment you lost a parent and at moments when you thought you had nothing. Through every break-up and breakthrough, they were there to be your support system.

6. They are your family. Your high school friend’s family is your own family’s extension. Their parents are like your own. Don’t you feel a little kilig whenever your friend’s parents call you “anak”? And then eventually calling them mama and papa became so natural? I felt that, all the time.

7. They will always be your home. They are your place of refuge and security, the place who offers you their hands when you feel lost and the place you run to when you need saving. No matter how much time and distance separate you, they will be the one’s that you always long for and they are the one’s that you will always return to.

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