A year ago, today, my husband, a few friends, and I were eating lunch at a local restaurant in Rome, Italy. This was where we had been living for almost two years. We were all having a conversation about the 20+ COVID cases that had just been found in Northern Italy.
Instead of having these friends over for lunch (as I love hosting and cooking), we went out because I had been unwell for over a week at that point. I woke up the weekend prior to our outing with pain in my chest while breathing. I called the doctor who came to the house (that’s how it works in Italy) and he told me it was probably muscular. But I knew it wasn’t. The following day, I woke up and felt like I was fighting the flu. I spent three days in bed. Chills, aches, pains, extreme fatigue… I kept telling my husband that I felt like I had the flu without the fever. Then, after 3 days, I started coughing and I coughed for 6 weeks! I have asthma and usually, my colds turn to bronchitis. This wasn’t a cold. It was a dry cough. Then, my husband got the same symptoms and my son as well.
At that time, my husband had been traveling a lot in Northern Italy, I had been traveling a lot to Belgium and we had just come back from a trip to Germany.
As the news broke out that Italy was actually infested with cases, I never thought that I could indeed have COVID. I kept calling the doctor and he kept asking if I had a fever. One year ago, COVID meant fever and no testing was available for non-feverish patients.
A year ago today, I was far from thinking that these were my last weeks in Italy. My son and I evacuated on March 18, 2020 to go back to the states.
This is the last picture of my son at school with his favorite teacher. After that day, everything got closed.