My COVID-19 Experience

in The Word is Text by

by Hector Guardado

Hector Guardado

When I see the Los Angeles County numbers for the coronavirus, I cannot help it but think that I am part of the statistics.

On March 25th,2020, after class was over on Zoom, I started to feel tired and a bit cold that evening. When my body started aching, I took my temperature, and it was at 102 degrees at 10 p.m.

The next eleven days would be the worst, I have felt in my life. Everyday from March 25 until April 5, I was unable to get off my bed. My body ached, my temperature stayed at 102 degrees, my head hurt. I developed a serious cough and any movement I did would make me run out of breath.

My wife said, “this is the worst I have ever seen you.” I also lost the sense of taste and smell. I was ready to give up on life, it felt like it would never end. I did not know what day it was; all I did was sleep to avoid all the pain my body felt.

On April 1, after having my fever for eight days, my lips were turning pale, and my wife was worried that my oxygen level in my body was getting too low, so she took me to the emergency room at Kaiser in Panorama City. My wife even said, “I was worried that you would stop breathing overnight and die on me and I wouldn’t know what to do.” While at Kaiser, my wife was not allowed to go in with me, so she waited in the car while they checked me out. There, they took my temperature, my oxygen level, and asked me a few questions. After those questions, they made me spit into a cup, which turned out to be the coronavirus test. After a couple of hours, the doctor sent me home. I was told I was young enough to fight any symptoms at home.

After two days, on April 3, Kaiser called and told me that I have tested positive for the coronavirus and should quarantine for 14 days, along with everyone that live with me. I was also told to tell everyone that I came in contact with from the 14 days back from my first symptoms. I was told that they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Now that I feel a lot better, I realized that trying to get tested for the coronavirus was not as easy as the Mayor or Governor made it seem during the beginning of the pandemic. I had called the doctor multiple times before my testing, and all they said is that I had an infection. Lucky for me, my wife was alert and took me to the emergency room to finally get tested. I am also lucky to have family members drop off food, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper while my family and I were quarantined. To this day, I still have not receive any special medicine or any treatment for the coronavirus, but I finally found out what was truly wrong with me, and now I’m part of the statistics.

The El Popo Newspaper was first published in 1970 by students concerned about the lack of a Chicana and Chicano perspective in newspapers. As a result, students called the newspaper, El Popo. The paper was named El Popo after the volcano El Popocatepetl. Involved in Chicana/o Movement of the 60’s and 70’s, students saw a connection between the smoke spewing volcano ready to erupt and the student movement ready to engage. Thus, throughout the El Popo’s forty-six years, the name continues to symbolize and to represent the spirit of each generation of students that contribute to the pages of the El Popo Newspaper. Faculty Advisor/Publisher George Sanchez, MA Carlos R. Guerrero, Ph.D., 1992-2021