Montana woman urges community to be safe after fight with COVID-19

Posted at 12:44 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 14:44:22-04

HELENA — For many people, the thought of getting a positive result on a coronavirus test is daunting and unknown.

One young woman not only tested positive and had severe symptoms, but she says there’s a stigma surrounding the virus.

Caty Gondeiro is 23 years old, and the last thing she expected was to test positive for COVID-19, "I’m young. I’m 23, I’m not going to get it. I just wasn’t being as careful as I should’ve been.”

Not only did Gondeiro get COVID-19, she then endured a long three weeks of severe symptoms.

“I was super, super tired, the chest pressure just started intensifying a lot, feverish, body aches, headaches, the headaches lasted the longest, I still get headaches, but definitely feverish, chills," she recalled.

But perhaps the most surprising part of testing positive was the response she received from friends and acquaintances.

“It was puzzling for me to tell people, ‘oh you know I tested positive’, and rather than their response being, ‘oh my goodness like how are you feeling, are you okay?’… People would say, ‘well where did you get it, what were you doing when you got it? What we’re you doing because obviously, you were somewhere you shouldn’t have been'," Gondeiro said.

She told MTN News that there was no way for her to know where, when, or even how she contracted the coronavirus.

“We’re past that point at the level of community spread we are at right now, where I don’t really think it is a matter of pointing fingers, and it was just really kind of disheartening to see how many people were more worried about who could I blame for this," Gondeiro added.

After three long weeks, Gondeiro is finally starting to feel better, but she is concerned the virus will have lasting effects.

“I am more so worried about the long term effects from this because it has been 3 weeks and I still get winded walking up and down stairs and doing very simple everyday tasks," Gondeiro said.

She shared her story with MTN News because she wants people to know this is a dangerous disease with a lot of uncertainty. She’s urging everyone to take steps to protect themselves.

“Masks, masks, masks, I know people are so sick of hearing about it, but I wish I had been more diligent about it beforehand, and I wasn’t," Gondeiro concluded.