The coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit every college student hard, however I am experiencing the effects of living with someone who possibly contracted it, firsthand. This past week, I found out my brother had been directly exposed to someone who has COVID-19, and the ensuing days have been filled with mayhem and uncertainty.
My family found out my brother was exposed to the virus on April 7. We immediately cleared out a room for him to stay in that was out of the way and had everything he needed. My world changed instantly; I went from being careful but optimistic to making sure everything was as clean as possible. My dad is immunocompromised, so getting my brother isolated quickly and efficiently was the most important task we had to take.
The worst part of this experience has been seeing my brother’s positive attitude deteriorate in front of my eyes. As each day passes, he has become more and more frustrated. He is the type of person who loves being out of the house and hanging out with friends so being confined in a small room for a week straight, while only being allowed minimal contact with family, has made him to feel like he is losing his mind. Looking at him so broken down and angry at the world is brutal to watch.
I know there is nothing I can do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try my best to make him feel better. The only help I can give is during our walks. I try to take a walk with him every day so he can get outside and escape for a few minutes. During the walk, while practicing social distancing and wearing a mask, I keep reassuring him everything will turn out okay and that he needs to distract himself. Even if he doesn’t listen, it makes me feel better that he’s at least acknowledging that he won’t be this miserable forever.
Thankfully, my brother has not shown any symptoms as of now. This has not changed much in the long run. We are treating the situation as if my whole house has COVID-19, since my brother was integrated with the family before finding out that he had been exposed to the virus. This has resulted in my family only leaving the house once to go shopping since we had to isolate my brother.
I urge everyone reading this to stay inside and not disregard what the government is recommending. By staying inside, you are ensuring someone else’s safety. I understand that not going out is an inconvenience, but it could save someone’s life. I have seen what potentially having the virus does to someone, and it is not worth going out to have fun with friends.