I Had COVID-19

 

3 picture collage: Alynda in a face mask, privacy curtain in Alynda's hospital room, and air purifier in Alynda's hospital room


COVID-19 hit us like a giant brick.

Its presence changed the world. It disrupted our lives. Many of us were hit hard. How can our everyday normal be so overturned by something we can’t even see!?

It’s my pleasure to introduce Alynda Long. She is an Energizer bunny…and a writer, blogger, editor, wife, homeschool mother, grandmother, graduate student, and, most importantly, Christ-follower. She endured a month-long battle against COVID-19, and she had never experienced a viral infection like this one. COVID-19 is a beast!

But Alynda ‘kept on going’ as well as she could and she maintained a productive faith in God who is greater than this virus and in full control. I was encouraged by her story of victory as she suffered through the invasion of COVID-19 in her body and her household. It’s God’s story of victory, really, through Alynda’s faith, and I want to share it with you.



Here is an interview with Alynda about her experience.


Hi Alynda. Thank you for agreeing to take this interview and to share your story on my blog. Can you give us a big picture summary of your fight against COVID-19?

CT scan machine used to take images of area in Alynda's body using x-ray
Thanks so much for having me on your site, Stephen. I started feeling poorly in March, but didn’t think I’d possibly have COVID. At that point, I didn’t know a single person in my “real” life who’d had it. My symptoms worsened fairly quickly and I ended up in the ER with bronchitis and pneumonia. They gave me medications and I went home. I just didn’t get better though. My heart rate was too high and I couldn’t catch my breath, so back to the ER I went. I had CT Scans done, but they didn’t have COVID tests in our area at the time. The doctor said I was a presumed case of COVID and my family and I needed to isolate for fourteen days. My husband and one of our daughters developed mild symptoms (thankfully!), but my symptoms lingered for quite some time. Actually, I still have a few now, in August. I likened it to a hybrid of mono, the flu, pneumonia and bronchitis….all at the same time. Not something I’d like to repeat.


COVID-19 can be devastating but I also understand that those infected experience varying degrees of severity. In what ways did the virus attack your body and how severe or unbearable was this infection for you?

Apparently, I had a mild to moderate case. I never had to stay in the hospital or get placed on a ventilator. I’m incredibly thankful for the Lord’s protection on that front. I’d say the pain rivaled that of a ruptured appendix. I felt pretty horrible for several weeks. Body fatigue, horrible headaches (I still have those, by the way), brain fog (and a bit of this too), digestive issues, heartburn, heaviness on my chest (like a large dog sat on me), chills, fever, sore throat, a horrible cough, and some weird burning sensations on my back, face, and neck.


If you feel comfortable sharing, will you tell us more about any long-term issues you are still experiencing or have come to understand that will be a part of life?

Digital thermometer showing Alynda's temperature of 101.8

I still have daily headaches that are different than my “regular” chronic migraines I’ve had for 40+ years. I also forget some words on occasion, but I try to extend grace and wait for them to come back. I still get winded much easier than before and my heart rate sporadically gets very high. I also have joint aches in my hands and feet that don’t want go away right now. I pray they will dissipate over time, but am learning how to live within the moment.


 

What surprised you the most about this virus and how it fought against your body?

Everything surprised me. The quick onset of the symptoms. The way it held on far longer than any other illness I’d experienced. I was under the impression it was like the flu. This was unlike any flu I’d ever had.


How did you keep your family safe? How did the presence of the virus affect them?

By the time I was diagnosed, my immediate family had already been around me long enough to get infected. The four of us isolated in our home for fourteen days. I actually stayed home for about a month because I didn’t want to infect anyone else. Friends brought us food and we ordered other items via grocery delivery or Amazon. My husband was the first to develop symptoms, but he only had some fatigue and a mild cough for about a week. Our middle daughter (our eldest does not live at home since she’s all grown) never showed any symptoms at all. Our youngest developed a fever, body aches, and a cough that lingered for a couple of weeks. She’s usually a ball of energy, but she laid on the couch watching Disney movies for days.

Bags and trays of food delivered at Alynda's front door step


How did your battle against COVID-19 affect your family and your family life?

We prayed against it, but it brought a certain level of fear into our home. I could tell my husband and girls were concerned they would lose me. The news was so bleak on television. At that time, things were bad in Italy and New York City. My husband had just begun working from home and our girls’ schools had closed. We just huddled together and did what we could do…much like the majority of people in America at the time. I also watched far too much television if I am being completely truthful. LOL


You chronicled your daily experience on social media. Why did you choose to share about your experience in this way?

At first, I wasn’t going to tell anyone about it, but I felt a nudge to share. I thought I’d share once then be done with it, but I found people really wanted to know what it was like. I was often the only person others knew with the virus. At that point, even the experts knew very little about the symptoms: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. I knew I had a laundry list of things occurring and wanted to document it for myself and to possibly help others who might get infected too.


Did you give up or discontinue any regular activities or responsibilities while you were fighting this virus?

I wasn’t able to do any of my normal activities and I tend to be someone who goes more or less nonstop. I had to take incompletes in my three graduate classes and stopped writing for almost three months. I could hardly walk to the bathroom without needing a break so cooking, cleaning, and all of my other normal activities were more or less off limits.


Were there activities or ministries you purposed not to give up during this fight? If so, how did your commitment play out?

I would love to say that I maintained my writing and editing, but I didn’t. I chose to focus on my family and how to best show Christ’s love to those closest to me. I felt peace about pausing in the majority of my responsibilities. Sometimes it’s important to focus on our immediate needs. Kind of like allowing water to refill in our own wells, so we can pour into others at a later time.


In what ways did you see God work and participate in your fight against this infection?

Head shot of Alynda wearing a hospital gown and a face mask

I had a supernatural peace throughout much of the experience. My husband couldn’t be with me when I was in the emergency room. One evening, I was taken to a negative pressure chamber where I stayed for several hours. I could see fear in the eyes of the doctors and nurses. God allowed me to pray for those brave people facing their fears so they could care for others.


In what other ways did you see God use your experience for His purposes?

I hope through my faith in Him, I have shown others his goodness and peace through the process. It’s important to remember that God is still as good in the hard times as He is in the good ones. I’ve been able to engage with nonbelievers about my experience and how the Lord gave me comfort.


What Bible verses were especially helpful to you during this time?

2 Timothy 1:7, “For god gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”


What words of encouragement would you share with a person who is infected with COVID-19? Feel free to cater to Christians and non-Christians separately if you wish.

For all: be kind to yourself and rest as much as possible. Use a pulse oximeter if you have access to one. It can alert you to respiratory issues and give you a level of peace if your levels are good.

For believers: It can be scary to have this virus, but you are in the hands of the great physician. Listen to worship music or your Bible on Audible or an app. Try following the advice in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

For those who haven’t discovered the Lord yet: You are important and loved beyond measure. If you’d like someone to talk to then please message me at alyndalong@gmail.com. I’d be honored to walk alongside you and/or pray for you if you’ll allow me the honor.


What are some lessons learned for you and your family from this experience?

It’s been a great lesson in learning to slow down a bit, see what’s truly important in life, and see how we can best serve the Lord in our daily lives.


What are some things you are thankful for as a result of having gone through this fight?

It has helped me develop an intense empathy for those affected by the virus and an opportunity to speak with love and grace to those who still believe it is a hoax.


Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your battle, lessons learned, and our compassionate, almighty God?

We serve a mighty and loving God. What a gift that is for us. I don’t want to squander any of it. I’m praying for safety and health for you and your readers, but even more, for each to know God’s love in a deeply personal way.



Alynda’s story is not the only one like this. I know 3 more people who have conquered COVID-19 while maintaining faith and relationship with God - 2 of them relatives. COVID-19 is real. But, as Alynda said, God is mighty and loving, and He is good even in the hard times. We can hold dearly to this truth as a gift to cherish and not squander.

Let’s follow Alynda’s lead. Let’s slow down and focus on what’s important. Let’s reflect the love of Christ. Look at others with empathy and pray for them. Share about the comfort and peace only God can give.

Let’s also remember to care for ourselves and our families. Even if we remain healthy, I hope the new normal has taught us to spend time with God. To read His Word, pray, and obey Him in pursuit of wisdom. To worship more organically. To think on godly things. To serve God as a daily habit.



Photograph of Alynda before COVID-19 wearing a white sweater and red scarf suggesting a Christmas photo; Alynda's hair neatly combed and flowing down to her shoulders
Alynda invites you to dialogue with her about Jesus via her email above. You can also get to know her at faithbeyondfear.com or on Facebook and Twitter.


A note on COVID-19: this virus has and does take lives. Regardless of its origins, it is real and we cannot take its effects for granted. It was a humbling experience for Alynda to tell people she came in contact with that she was contagious. We are stepping out of the house more and more. When we do so, we are responsible for the well-being of those we meet. It’s not so much me versus the virus or the church versus the government. It’s us together versus the virus. We have a personal responsibility in this fight.


I'm also happy to dialogue with you about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus. Feel free to email me at authordlv@att.net. Jesus is greater than any virus and He's conquered death so we can live.

Read more blog posts here.

 

Comments

  1. Thanking God for your healing from the coronavirus. My husband tested positive but never had any symptoms. I am praying for you and your family Alynda. I am praying for everyone affected by this virus and that means everyone in the world.

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    1. Sorry to hear your husband contracted the virus, but glad it was mild with no symptoms. Thank you for your prayers for Alynda, her family, and others. It is appreciated and necessary.

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    2. Thank you so much, Melissa. Thankful your husband remained asymptomatic.

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  2. Thankful for your recovery, Alynda, and for how you shared your experience to remove a layer of mystery from this disease.

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    1. This disease certainly has layers of mystery, Ava. The list of symptoms seems to be endless as people experience different issues. But we know God is in control and greater than any virus.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this powerful story. I’m tagging this to share with anyone I know who might develop this dreadful disease. I think it would be greatly encouraging to anyone suffering this illness.

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    1. I'm glad we can share Alynda's story with those who may need it most. Thank you for tagging it. In the midst of this pandemic and other issues of our day, we need to know that God is on His throne and He reigns over any threat, physical and spiritual.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this story of COVID and faith. It is very encouraging. Praying for full healing for Alynda.

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    1. Thank you so much, Yvonne! I appreciate those prayers. It's been a bit of a struggle...but God!

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    2. Thank you, Yvonne. We continue to pray for healing.

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  5. Thank you for your story, Alynda, and to you, Stephen, for sharing it. COVID is a baffling and mysterious illness, to me. Shining light into what happens helps dispel the mystery and help people understand REAL people are going through it, not just "the people of headlines."

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    1. Thank you so much, Jessica. It has baffled the brightest medical minds too. Our family has lost people we care about to this disease, so we are thankful to still be here.

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    2. Glad to share Alynda's story of faith, victory, and ministry in the midst of suffering. I hope many are encouraged and find some clarity from this interview.

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  6. Thank you, Stephen & Alynda! I had the pleasure of meeting Alynda in person before. And working with her at A Wife Like Me. I followed your updates and COVID journey on Facebook, Alynda, as we all continued to pray over you and your family. This interview brought out more details along with some great thoughts we can all glean from during this time! Thank, “energizer bunny!” 😜

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    1. How fun that must've been to work with Alynda while serving our Lord. I also followed Alynda's daily updates and I was floored by all she had to suffer through. But how great it was that God spared her family, for the most part. God is good.

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  7. Wow. We live in scary times as there is so much to be concerned about, from our health to our safety in the streets to how our governing system is so divided. Oy vey... I thank God I have faith in Him. I don't know how people live without it.

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    1. There is much adversity right now, locally, regionally, and worldwide. Many scary things. But our hope is in Christ and our home is with Him. Even in adversity, we have hope and peace. I hope those who do not know Him will be encouraged to seek Him after reading Alynda's story.

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  8. Thank you for sharing your story. I too had COVID in March; was hospitalized but thankfully not on a ventilator. Alynda’s story of perseverance helps as I struggle through yet another weekend of fatigue and debilitating headaches. I appreciate the verses that have been sources of strength for you; Philippians 1:6 has helped me keep going even when I’m tired as a reminder that He who started a good work in me isn’t finished with me yet. There’s a reason we both made it through this dreaded illness. I connected with Alynda on Facebook and Twitter.

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    1. I was praying for you during your fight, too, Candice. I'm so glad God is carrying you through, despite the lingering issues. I love Alynda's recommendations to listen to the Bible and worship music. There is power in God's Word and encouragement to serve Him with joy. We can move mountains with just a prayer. May God continue to use both you and Alynda to encourage people to lean on Him.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your story, Alynda and for providing this forum, Stephen. It is very helpful to read a real-life experience like yours, as I do not know anyone personally who has been diagnosed. May God continue to bring you healing and strength, Alynda. And I pray for all who are affected or lost loved ones. May we remember the brevity of our lives here and seek all the more our hope of heaven, Jesus.

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    1. Thank you for praying for people affected by this virus. It is real and formidable. Life is precious. God is real, too, and He is sovereign and compassionate, worthy of our praise.

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  10. Thank you, Stephen, for interviewing Alynda. When she had COVID I was praying for her and her family. We have a friend who died from COVID, so it is truly miraculous that she survived. Her story is a testimony to God's faithfulness to her as well as the truth of the virus' affects on people.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your friend, Marcie. Yes, God is faithful and sovereign.

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