SEATTLE — A Seattle woman in her 30s who recently shared her personal experience of contracting and surviving the coronavirus is now giving back to other families affected by the virus.
Elizabeth Schneider is helping United Way of King County raise money to help families who are being impacted by school closures due to the rapid spread of coronavirus.
Schneider was spending time with friends at a cocktail party on February 22. The following week, she and others from the party felt sick.
“There were about 30 of us at the party,” explained Schneider. “I woke up and took my temperature -- it was 101 degrees. And by the evening, before bed, it was 103 degrees, which is quite high. And honestly, the highest that I've experienced recently in my adult life.”
Schneider said she signed up to get tested through the Seattle Flu Study and her results came back positive for coronavirus.
“As of today, it's been 14 days since the onset of my symptoms," she said on Tuesday.
Schneider said she’ll continue to take precautions when heading out in public.
“I am going to be a little more cautious about going into big groups with people, you know, physically, people. But at the same time, you know, I'm not gonna be able to live for the rest of my life over the next, you know, three months, like, in a hazmat suit or anything like that," said Schneider.
She shared her story on Facebook, where it had nearly 50,000 interactions.
Some Facebook users posed questions to Schneider: “Have you gotten the flu shot? How did you get tested? How do you get confirmation?”
Schneider added the importance for people of all ages to have more personal responsibility when going out in public if they think they are sick.
“The reason I wanted to share my store is that, you know, I think a lot of people are contracting the virus and not really realizing it,” she said.
“We have to really be vigilant and think of other people.”
Schneider said she has since been in contact with her primary care doctor and also with officials from King County Public Health. Schneider also hopes this outbreak will continue the conversation happening among state and federal leaders about paid leave.
“I mean, I've talked to people who have had direct contact with someone who is tested positive, but they feel loathe to tell their employer about it because they're an hourly paid worker, and if they're forced to stay home for 14 days, and they're not a company like Amazon or Microsoft that can afford to pay their hourly workers, while they're out, they're just not going to get paid. And I think there are a lot of people in situations like that," she said.
What are coronavirus symptoms?
The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or colds. Symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
The severity of symptoms ranges significantly. Some cases are very mild with symptoms similar to the common cold, and some cases are more like severe pneumonia that require hospitalization. Most deaths have been reported in older adults who had other health conditions, according to DOH.
Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after being exposed to the coronavirus or as long as 14 days.
A new Washington call center has been set up to answer your questions about COVID-19. If you have questions about how the virus spreads, what is being done in Washington state, and what you can do if you have symptoms, call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.