When Chaunyce contracted COVID-19, it just felt like a cold. She had a low-grade fever, a runny nose, and experienced a little fatigue. Since her symptoms were mild, her recovery was not too challenging. Nonetheless, the worry lingered, not knowing whether her symptoms could worsen. She also worried about the future implications of getting COVID-19 since a lot is not known about the long-term effects of the disease.

While she was focused on healing, she was also concerned about possibly passing the virus on to her mother, who she was living with at the time. Chaunyce shared that she felt that way because she was unsure about how contracting the virus would affect her mother – her symptoms could be a lot worse for all she knew. Thankfully, her mother was able to stave off the virus. As a busy 24-year-old with an active social life, it was quite difficult having to isolate while she recovered. She did mostly everything in her room to avoid exposing her mother. She also missed a few days at work, which also added to the stress of having to isolate.

Chaunyce, has juggled work as a frontline COVID-19 Community Health Worker as well as a part-time jobs in the fitness and beauty industry throughout the pandemic and says that spikes in COVID-19 infections seem to correlate with the scaling back of mitigations such as mask mandates. As a CHW, she also says that a lot of COVID-19 carriers are sometimes unaware of their status therefore fueling the spread and making more people sick in clusters.

As variants and subvariants of Omicron continue popping up, Chaunyce says people should continue following CDC guidelines, especially those at increased risk of having severe COVID-19. She personally tries to avoid crowded places and keeps hand sanitizer and masks close by.