A Sydney woman, who caught COVID-19 last year after a first date, has warned people who aren’t following the rules to not be complacent with wearing masks as it “can happen to you”.
Amie Morris told Yahoo Lifestyle she’s “sick to death of reading complaints about wearing masks and Sydney lockdown” after she ended up in the emergency room during her battle with the coronavirus last year.
Despite the fact neither she or her date had been overseas, Amie caught COVID-19 in February 2020, developing flu-like symptoms soon after they went out. She also was extremely exhausted and had chest pains.
Three weeks after she was diagnosed with COVID-19, Amie was admitted to hospital because she was struggling to catch her breath.
While she was given the all clear 21 days after her diagnosis, she says her sense of taste and smell didn’t come back for months.
Then in June last year, Amie started to lose her hair and it hasn’t grown back, with the 39-year-old wearing extensions since.
Now, she’s warning others who think it won’t happen to them, saying: “In all honesty I was a person saying this is all too much: ‘why are people freaking out’ and then bam it was me laid in hospital scared sh*****s.”
“I just think it’s important to be honest and tell people it’s real and it can happen to you and it’s not nice so be careful please. I never dreamed I would get it, who does?” she said.
Her warning comes as NSW recorded a further 18 locally acquired COVID cases.
Amie said she’s “sick to death of reading all the complaints about wearing masks and the Sydney lockdown”.
“As one of the first 50 people in Australia to contract it last year and spending 21 days with it and a trip to emergency I can tell you the effects are real and for some deadly. How is it hurting you to wear a mask for 14 days of your life to potentially save the life of another?
“Just wear it. You will sing a different song if it’s you or your loved one laid in emergency I can tell you.”
Amie understands it’s frustrating for people but from firsthand experience she says it’s “scary when you get it and can’t breathe”.
She said wearing a mask and following lockdown rule is “just a blip in the ocean”.
“We are so lucky to live here in this glorious country and I feel lucky that I am ok.”
Amie caught COVID-19 while out on one of the first dates she’d been on since getting a divorce.
“Not what you expect, total disaster,” she said.
She didn’t have an underlying condition and neither of them had travelled overseas.
Luckily, the mum-of-two's sons were with their father around the time she caught the coronavirus.
“It meant I didn't see them for three weeks,” she said, saying it was the longest she's gone without seeing them.
“I spoke to them through a window. It was horrible. I have a video of them coming to a window to see me. It's heartbreaking.”
About three months after getting the all-clear, Amie started to lose her hair.
“Doctors can't explain it from blood tests,” Amie said.
“Sometimes trauma causes hair loss but then it recovers but mine just hasn't. It’s a total mess, short, thin, broken.”
Amie said she can live with it but it worries her what other long-term effects the coronavirus might have on her.
COVID-related hair loss affects about 15-20 percent of people who've been diagnosed with the virus, dermatologist, Professor Rodney Sinclair, previously with SBS.
“The [hair] growth is cut short,” he explained. “So they then cycle and fall out a few months later.”
Amie wants people to take the threat the virus poses seriously and urged Sydneysiders to follow mask-wearing rules.
“I think most people don’t worry or think it can happen to them. Some people don’t believe it exists but to me that’s selfish to everyone else. They moan about masks and lockdown but it can easily be them or a loved one and we can easily end up in a crisis and lockdown for years like other countries if we don’t just comply for 14 days,” she said.
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