In March 2020, our lives turned upside down, as COVID-19 began to impact our communities, nation and world. As we reflect on two years of this pandemic journey, we invite you to take a moment to remember.
Derek Denton remembers, as he became ill in the early days of the pandemic nearly two years ago. He is grateful he recovered and has no lingering health problems.
Denton is also thankful for the care he received from his primary care physician, Lauren Barfield, MD, both in determining his diagnosis and her follow-up care as he navigated being sick at the start of the pandemic when so much was unknown.
Exposure and Testing
Denton’s wife, Carley, works as a speech therapist at nursing homes, so they assume he got exposed because of her job. In April 2020, he and his kids stayed home, but she never stopped working.
On Easter weekend Denton started experiencing symptoms. “I didn’t have a fever, but I definitely didn’t feel great,” he says. Tests were very hard to acquire, and it wasn’t until he checked in with Dr. Barfield that he was able to get tested. The results were positive.
“It was pretty rough,” Denton says. “Dr. Barfield was always helping me out, checking in and texting to be sure I was all right. It was so new. We just didn’t know what was going on with the virus.”
Listening and Healing
The relationship Denton has with Dr. Barfield made a very difficult time easier.
“She was very accommodating. I couldn’t see her in person at that point, as it was literally the start of the pandemic,” he says. “She was very accessible through video visits and was able to accommodate the circumstances of the world.”
Thankfully, Denton did not have to go to the hospital, and by isolating in his bedroom, his wife and children didn’t get sick either. His symptoms included coughing, fever and just feeling terrible for about nine days.
Helping Others and Vaccination
After he was well, Denton was able to give plasma twice, sharing his antibodies to help others. He and his wife also got vaccinated once COVID-19 vaccines were available, and they’ve both received their booster shots.
In January 2022, Carley began developing symptoms despite the family, including their two young children, staying COVID-19-free throughout the pandemic.
“Literally everybody in the house but me was positive,” he says. “The booster and the two vaccines have got to count for something.”
Denton’s wife’s experience with COVID-19 was much different than his, which was before vaccines had been developed. She only felt bad for a few days and quickly tested negative, a testament to vaccines and the differences in variants. Thankfully, their children weren’t symptomatic at all despite testing positive.
Denton, who is 39, appreciates the care he received from Dr. Barfield and her team and that his experience with COVID-19 had a good ending.
As we mark two years living with COVID-19 this March, we remember and give thanks for the rapid advancements in science to fight the novel coronavirus. Scientists have developed highly effective vaccines as well as therapies and treatments that can reduce infections and prevent serious illness and deaths. We look forward to even more advancements to fully end this pandemic.