Dadie D – Hartford, CT

Having spent the entire year of 2020 working as a medical assistant, triaging patients in and out at the Charter Oak Health Center, Dadie was in close contact with patients and colleagues who had contracted COVID-19. She would constantly hear, “nurse so and so is out because they had COVID”. To her, it was a miracle that she hadn’t contracted the virus despite the nature of her work.

That changed on December 11, 2020, when she woke up with a runny nose, which she chalked up to a potential sinus infection; however, her husband had begun coughing a few days prior. She decided to get tested, later encouraging her husband to do so as well. She remembers being frustrated when they both tested positive, as she had been extremely cautious prior to that. Dadie had been taking several precautions including undressing outside the house in the cold, taking a shower before even greeting her family after a long day at work and she seldom made grocery trips to limit her risk exposing herself to the virus. “I was trying to protect them, you know?” she said, referring to her family

According to Dadie, the most difficult part of contracting COVID-19 was keeping her young children and her mother, who has an underlying condition from getting infected. While she and her husband were upstairs isolating in their room, their children were downstairs with their grandma. The children were so concerned and kept coming upstairs to ask whether they were OK. It hurt to hear them come up to say, “Mommy, I miss you.” Eventually, they understood why they had to stay away but were very sad. Dadie shared a note that her son, who was 7 at the time, had written to his grandma during this time. It read, “thank you grandma for putting your life in danger to take care of mom and dad.” Dadie recounts being emotional reading the note. Her mother had to do all the cooking and risk bringing the food upstairs while they were isolated. Thankfully, with all the precautions they took, neither the children nor her mom contracted the virus.

As a devout Christian, Dadie’s said her faith has been very important to her, especially during this pandemic. She advises those in the faith community to stop speaking and acting on emotion surrounding COVID-19. “We can’t use our faith irresponsibly”, she said. “Do your own soul searching to make informed health decisions”. She also urges all people regardless of faith to “keep fighting together, not against each other”.

Our thanks to Dadie for sharing her experience with us.