By Aziah Siid
Special to the AFRO
Towards the end of April 2020, New York City had roughly 6,000 new cases on a seven-day average and nearly 13,000 people hospitalized. With the virus still raging in the city and many questions left unanswered after a year of chaos, those who succumbed to the virus chose to take matters into their own hands rather than wait for a cure or possibly death.
Darian Springer, 30, would have never imagined he’d be calling himself a survivor of the world’s most common enemy: the coronavirus.
“Physically and mentally I always knew I would get better,” Springer said. “I think there were times the sickness got worse. It kind of hit me all at once.”
Springer, who is a Boston resident, had been visiting family in his native Brooklyn home, when he contracted the virus. He believes someone in the household with pre-existing health conditions was exposed during a recent doctor’s visit.
“I was playing video games with my cousins all day, and then all of a sudden my back started hurting, then my skin started to feel a little weird, and I went downstairs and was like ‘oh no,’” Springer recalled.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, and these symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and headaches , etc. Unfortunately for people like Springer, his core symptoms lasted for almost triple the time listed by the CDC.
“My core symptoms probably lasted five or so weeks,” said Springer. “For the first two to three weeks, I had a really bad fever. My skin hurt, my back hurt, my head hurt. [I had] all of the different things that you’d genuinely associate with COVID. When I say a really bad fever, I mean like 103, 105 degrees for a few days at a time.”
One major concern surrounding the virus is contracting it and exposing loved ones: family members, friends and especially those with pre-existing health conditions like cancer, lung disease, diabetes, heart conditions and more. Unfortunately for Springer, nearly everyone who nursed him back to health fell into one of these categories.
Gisele Simon, 56, was one of the family members who helped Springer get back on his feet after a long month.
“The person I was worried most about was the person with a heart problem, and that was my sister and [Springer’s] mother,” said Simon. “We don’t know if she would contract it and it would be much worse for her.”
Although Springer’s mom did not get the virus during that time, unfortunately his uncle who’d he’d been working with at the time did not have the same fate.
“I lost about 20 pounds in two weeks.. I would say bring it all back full circle, wear a mask, get your vaccine, definitely get your vaccine,” Springer said.
“People say ‘well I don’t know about the long–term effects of the vaccine’ and maybe you don’t, but you definitely know the long-term effects of COVID-19 can be death.”
Since then, nearly 80% of Springer’s entire household has been vaccinated and continues to encourage others to protect themselves against the virus.
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