Revelstoke woman shares her COVID-19 experience with the public

My COVID-19 experience

A Revelstoke woman is sharing her COVID-19 experience with the public.

"It's real. It's here. It could be in your neighbourhood without you even knowing it," Danielle Kraemer says.

On Nov. 22, she began feeling a mild sore throat. Days later, she had a dry cough. By Nov. 24, she had a sore back, "I thought, 'maybe that could be a PMS (premenstrual) symptom,'" she explains. That day, she got tested for coronavirus.

"I really didn't think it could be COVID." 

As she awaited her results, anxious thoughts consumed her mind.

"'Do I have it? Who have I infected? What have I touched? What have I contaminated? What will people think? This is all my fault.'" she says were her thoughts. "I was feeling alienated, feeling rejected, and stressed thinking about everyone I could have infected."

The first thing Kraemer did was tell the restaurant she works for. The company immediately closed down on Nov. 24 for cleaning and sanitizing and informed its patrons via social media. The business has voluntarily shut its doors for about two weeks to protect employees and customers.

As she awaited her test results, Kraemer isolated herself in her bedroom. She didn't leave her bedroom and she had a designated washroom to herself in her five-person household.

She began to trace her steps back to all of the places she had been and wondered where she might have contracted the virus.

Kraemer realized that she most likely contracted it from two co-workers at her restaurant. The two had recently come back from a road trip to Lake Louise in Alberta and they worked with Kraemer on Nov. 20. At the time, they had no symptoms. It wasn't until days after returning from the trip that they became symptomatic and went to get tested. They both tested positive for COVID-19.  

She points out that her workplace was extremely meticulous in ensuring all COVID-19 safety protocols were followed.

"Masks are worn at all times, we're constantly sanitizing and physically distancing as much as possible. We had plastic up at all the tills and between tables," she says.

As she speaks to Castanet over the phone on Nov. 28, Kraemer still battles the virus but she says is starting to feel more energetic.

"On the 26th, I was physically tired and had a headache and an aching back." She also has had no sense of smell for days. 

As she slowly gets over the virus, everyone that Kraemer has been in contact with continues to self isolate and awaits their COVID-19 test results.

When asked if she thinks she could have done anything differently, Kraemer explains that she doesn't believe 'social gatherings' are solely to blame for the spread of the virus.

"Revelstoke is a community where people live in groups to be able to afford the high housing costs, where people have to work multiple jobs in service industries just to survive and a tourist destination where people from all over come, winter and summer."

"It’s easy to blame the boogeyman of 'social activities' with young people because then we can all be at home feeling like it’s our own faults for disregarding the rules rather than looking at the bigger issues of poverty, housing, job insecurity and conflicting messages about tourism," she expresses.

"The shame and guilt around COVID-19 needs to stop, as well as hiding the reality. We should be able to talk about this."  

Kraemer adds that although her COVID-19 experience was mild, it affects everyone differently. The 26-year-old says she has no underlying health issues.  She describes herself as an active person whose hobbies include mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking and backcountry snowboarding.

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