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"Oh No, I Have Covid Again!" Three New Yorkers Tell All

Updated: Jan 8






Priyanka Misra

Priyanka Misra

“If I hadn’t had the vaccine, I might not have been able to do this interview!” -Priyanka Misra



The Insider:

Hi Priyanka! Thanks for talking with The Insider.


Priyanka Misra:

Hey there! Thanks for having me.


The Insider:

Just need a little background info before we chat. Which city do you live in?


Priyanka Misra:

I live in New York.


The Insider:

What type of work do you do?


Priyanka Misra:

I have a background in finance, but now work at a biotech company as the vice president of corporate development.


The Insider:

And how old are you?


Priyanka Misra:

33 years old.


The Insider:

You had Covid earlier in the pandemic, right?


Priyanka Misra:

Correct, I first got Covid in March 2020, when it first hit New York City pretty badly.


The Insider:

People knew very little about it at that point. It must have been frightening. Did you get very sick?


Priyanka Misra:

Yes, it really was. And quite frustrating! It started out as a minor cold and a sore throat, but then quickly developed into chest tightness. I also had shooting pain up my nasal passage, a sensation I had never felt before. I have a history of asthma and allergies, so I figured it was just exacerbated allergies since it was prime pollen season.


I went to a CityMD to get checked out and to hopefully get a Covid test, but they suggested I didn’t need one and that the tests were only for dire cases. CityMD determined it was bad allergies and prescribed me a steroidal medication to get through the chest tightness. A week on those meds went by with no improvement. Shortly thereafter, I lost my sense of taste and smell.


The Insider:

How long were you sick?


Priyanka Misra:

I was sick for about two and a half weeks. When I lost my sense of taste and smell, I knew I had it but wanted to go back to the doctor to confirm. Once again, they didn’t give me a Covid test, mentioning that the CDC had just come out with the loss of smell/taste symptom as a sign, so there wasn’t enough data out on it yet to warrant a test. I had chest tightness for a few weeks and the sense of taste and smell took about a year and a half to fully come back.


The Insider:

That must have been terrifying!


Priyanka Misra:

Yes, it was pretty scary to say the least! So many unknowns!


The Insider:

Did you go to the hospital at any point?


Priyanka Misra:

No, I did not.

The Insider:

So did that experience make you super careful?


Priyanka Misra:

Yes, definitely. After recovering from the virus, I would take all the precautionary measures seriously – always wearing a mask and gloves and profusely wiping everything down after grocery shopping, even before entering the apartment!


The Insider:

When did you get vaccinated?


Priyanka Misra:

March 2021 and a booster in November 2021.

The Insider:

What kind of vaccine?


Priyanka Misra:

J & J.


The Insider:

That must have been a relief.


Priyanka Misra:

It was, but now there are so many breakthrough cases, which is nerve-wracking again.


The Insider:

People in New York City got very relaxed for a while. It started feeling like the pandemic was on its way out.


Priyanka Misra:

Definitely. We started seeing a pick-up in activity when the weather got warmer. Lots of dining outside. People were tired of being cooped up indoors for so long and wanted to let loose.


The Insider:

Did you start to fly again?


Priyanka Misra:

I did.


The Insider:

Were you nervous about it?


Priyanka Misra:

At first I was, but I took the precautionary measures to stay safe, i.e. wearing a double mask, face shield and gloves.


The Insider:

Fast forward to the Christmas holiday this year. Did you go away?


Priyanka Misra:

I did, I went to Miami for a week.


The Insider:

Did you take a Covid test before you left for your trip?


Priyanka Misra:

Yes I took a PCR test, because I had been exposed the weekend before at a holiday party. It was negative.


The Insider:

And did you test again when you came back to New York City?


Priyanka Misra:

Yes. I tested positive.


The Insider:

Were you surprised, or were you having symptoms?


Priyanka Misra:

I wasn’t that surprised, since I was staying with a friend who had started having symptoms a few days before.


The Insider:

I’m so sorry you had to go through it again! Was it the same this time, or very different?


Priyanka Misra:

It’s okay, thanks! It was much milder. Just a sore throat, slight headache and fatigue.


The Insider:

For how many days?


Priyanka Misra:

Five to seven days.

The Insider:

Are you fully recovered now?


Priyanka Misra:

I feel fine now but need to take a PCR test to confirm the negative results. I have been quarantining for the past week.

The Insider:

I’m very curious about your reaction to news you hear these days. For example, how do you feel about people who won’t take a vaccine?


Priyanka Misra:

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and can make their own choices, but at the end of the day the smart thing to do is to trust science and help save lives. Vaccines are paramount in lowering the death toll and keeping hospitalization rates down.


The Insider:

What if an anti-vaxxer said to you, well, didn’t you get Covid again anyway?


Priyanka Misra:

Yes, but it was a mild case. If I hadn’t had the vaccine, I might not have been able to do this interview! At least being vaccinated and boosted, I got a mild second attack.


The Insider:

Good point! Last question--I’ve heard a lot of younger people say, I’m not worried. I’m young and it would be like a cold or the flu. Your reaction?


Priyanka Misra:

I think younger people tend to be less paranoid about it and are willing to take more risks. This is probably something we are going to have to deal with on an ongoing basis for the foreseeable future, much like the flu and have to be prepared to get shots regularly.


The Insider:

Thanks, Priyanka! I really appreciate your time!

Priyanka Misra:

Thank you! A pleasure.


 



Ava Alicanti


Ava Alicanti


“I was super sick my first time. Fever, headache, chills, sweats, fatigue, body aches, cough. I am happy that this was so minor.” –Ava Alicanti


The Insider:

Hi Ava!


Ava Alicanti:

Hi!


The Insider:

Thanks for talking with The Insider again. The first time we spoke was in September 2020, when there was a Covid-19 outbreak at your college, SUNY-Oneonta [in central New York]. When we heard you recently had Covid again, we thought we would check back in with you and catch up.


Have you been vaccinated since your first illness?


Ava Alicanti:

Yes.


The Insider:

What kind of vaccine did you have?


Ava Alicanti:

Pfizer


The Insider:

When was your last shot?

Ava Alicanti:

In July


The Insider:

How many days were you sick with Covid this time?


Ava Alicanti:

I was congested for a week


The Insider:

Did you have any other symptoms?


Ava Alicanti:

Nope. Nothing.


The Insider:

That’s great! So it felt like a cold?


Ava Alicanti:

Yes, exactly. I am happy that this was so minor.


The Insider:

How would you compare that to your first time?


Ava Alicanti:

I was super sick my first time. Fever, headache, chills, sweats, fatigue, body aches, cough.


The Insider:

And how long did that go on?


Ava Alicanti:

I was sick for about three to four days.


The Insider:

Did you have any lingering symptoms from the first time?


Ava Alicanti:

No, not at all.


The Insider:

Did you stay at school this time, or were you at home?


Ava Alicanti:

I was at home.


The Insider:

How did you stay away from your family?


Ava Alicanti:

I didn’t. I was tested days after I started feeling congested. Within those days I was all over my house using and touching the same things as the rest of my family. If they were going to get it, it was way too late. They would already have gotten it from me. My sister tested positive on the same day as me, so she was already sick and my older sister who tested positive a day or two before just stayed in our basement.


The Insider:

So there were three of you with Covid in the house?


Ava Alicanti:

Yes. My mother tested negative, though and was never sick.


The Insider:

That’s amazing! She must be very relieved.


Ava Alicanti:

My younger sister had the exact same symptoms as me and my older sister who stayed downstairs had a fever for one day.


The Insider:

Do you know how you caught it?


Ava Alicanti:

I have no idea. I was not around anyone with a confirmed case, but I had been shopping and going to the gym all week so I could have just gotten it out in public.


The Insider:

Here in Manhattan, there are a huge number of people who have Covid now. Is it like that at your college too?


Ava Alicanti:

No, not one person I know at school had it.


The Insider:

Did you have to contact anyone and tell them they had been exposed?


Ava Alicanti:

Yes. I texted all of my friends that I had seen and told them, but no one was too shocked or concerned because it was so mild and because the cases on Long Island are really high so you could really get it anywhere.


The Insider:

That’s an age thing, don’t you think? People who are younger are less worried about it.


Ava Alicanti:

Yes, totally. But this has also been going on for over a year now, so I think that people could be becoming more numb to it.


The Insider:

Do you think your behavior will change now because of having Covid again?


Ava Alicanti:

No. not at all. It passed so quickly. And I was living normally before getting it. So now that I had it and quarantined and am no longer contagious, I will just continue to do things as I normally do, go to the gym with a mask on, see friends, etc.


The Insider:

Thanks so much for doing this, Ava! I really appreciate it.


Ava Alicanti:

No problem!



 



Allen Roth



"The first time, I ran a fever for multiple days, was coughing, incredible fatigue. All I could basically do was sleep. But this time, honestly, I feel fine. It’s mostly a stuffy nose and light fatigue." -Allen Roth


(A pseudonym is being used for professional reasons.)




The Insider:

Hi Allen! Thanks for agreeing to talk with The Insider.


Allen Roth:

Thank you for taking the time to ask me questions. Hopefully my situation can shed some light for others.


The Insider:

Let me ask you a few bio questions before we start. How old are you?


Allen Roth:

I am 31 years old.


The Insider:

Where do you live?


Allen Roth:

Crown Heights, Brooklyn.


The Insider:

And what kind of work do you do?


Allen Roth:

I work as a carpenter for a general contracting company based in Manhattan.


The Insider:

What made you go for a Covid test?


Allen Roth:

I needed to test negative in order to go to work last Tuesday .I took a rapid test that morning and was negative. Early Friday morning, on New Year’s Eve, I started feeling mild symptoms. I tested myself midday Friday with another at home and it produced a positive result.


The Insider:

Dd you go and take a PCR?


Allen Roth:

I went for a PCR this morning.


The Insider:

How long did they say it would take?


Allen Roth:

24 to 48 hours. I took another at home rapid test today, which was still positive. [The PCR subsequently was also positive.]

The Insider:

My friend has been waiting for her results for five days. For real!


Allen Roth:

Yes, that’s the frustrating thing. More than anything I need a paper trail for work to say that I had it to get paid the sick days.


The Insider:

What was it like at the testing site? Where did you go?


Allen Roth:

My girlfriend and I went to the Brooklyn Navy Yard location this morning at 8:30. And we were in and out within 30 minutes. It was organized and definitely hadn’t been swamped yet. And we liked how it was mostly outside so we could separate from people more, especially considering I have Covid. Even double-masked, I felt bad I was around anyone, but I had to get tested. It is kind of a mess.


The Insider:

Have you ever had Covid before?


Allen Roth:

Yes.


The Insider:

When was that?


Allen Roth:

I got tested in June 2020 before going back to work for the first time in months and I had antibodies. And in retrospect, I had been incredibly ill that past winter in early to mid-January. I thought it was just the flu, but it was the sickest I had been in several years. I have a strong feeling that’s when I had Covid, but I also have no way to exactly know. That was very early in the timeline, but I wouldn’t doubt it was circulating in New York well before March 2020.


The Insider:

What were your symptoms then?


Allen Roth:

I ran a fever for multiple days, was coughing, incredible fatigue. All I could basically do was sleep. It felt like a really bad flu. I did not notice any taste or smell but wish I had been mindful of that.

The Insider:

So how would you compare that to your current illness?


Allen Roth:

Much, much worse. Honestly, now I feel fine, probably 80%. It’s mostly a stuffy nose and light fatigue.


The Insider:

Were you vaccinated after your first illness?


Allen Roth:

I got vaccinated in April 2021, which was pretty much as soon as I was able to by priority.


The Insider:

Boosted too?


Allen Roth:

Yes, I got my booster shot early December.


The Insider:

What would you say to someone who said, “You got all of the shots, and you still got sick”?


Allen Roth:

I would say that I feel much better having had the shots, knowing the likelihood of me getting seriously sick are lower, and that the vaccine was never about stopping complete contamination but decreasing hospitalization.

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