It was just another ordinary day for Kwon Ji-ho, a university student from Seoul. That was until she woke up with a terrible sore throat, chills and a high fever.
At that moment she knew instantly that it was COVID-19.
"I was expecting what was to come since a friend I saw recently told me she was in close contact with a confirmed patient. I got tested and the results came back positive a day later."
But, it didn't feel real until she was hospitalized and in a negative pressure chamber, a specially designed room to block the air from inside the hospital getting outside.
"It felt like I was trapped in a little box. I couldn't feel the wind, the sun, the airanything. Considering its a virus I contracted, I couldn't talk to my friends about it. Depression kept eating me up but I just had to hang in there by myself, alone."
The hardest thing for Ms. Kwon was staying hopeful.
She got better every day but the tests results kept coming back as positive.
And, thinking that she could be released after just a few days, it eventually took her 40 days to finally step outside again.
"It was like falling out of a tree constantlyfeeling like there's no exit. When I got better, I counted down the days. But the test results came out positive again and again. Repeating this 12 times, I couldn't see the end."
Last Sunday, she was released from hospital after test results came back as negative two times in a row. She says she wants to thank the medical team the most for their help.
"To be honest, I received an overwhelming amount of help. Seeing the doctors work day and night to take care of the patients, I was more than thankful. I felt lucky to be South Korean with all the medical support and well-organized facilities we have."
Kwon says anyone can contract the virus therefore people should refrain from harsh criticism of COVID-19 patients.
Emphasizing the importance of social distancing, she wished that South Korea and the world can recover from this pandemic as soon as possible. Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.