I have asthma, but I’ve gone without taking a single puff of my inhaler for about 10 years until this past fall when it started acting up. November rolled around, and I found myself in the ER for my asthma for the first time ever. 

Since November, my asthma symptoms have flared up randomly, and when the novel coronavirus started spreading around the country, I got scared.

I’m 30 years old and healthy, but I couldn’t shake the fear of what this virus could do to my lungs. 

I already work from home, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when my husband got the OK to move his office to our spare bedroom. At that point, I was having some trouble breathing, but nothing out of the ordinary for my asthma, or so I thought.  

Then, the coughing started. I hoped it was all in my head, but when I’d get into a coughing fit or experience an especially deep and ominous cough, my mind went to the worst. 

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I called my hospital’s hotline, and they scheduled a test for the next morning. I was instructed to go alone and put on a mask while in the building. I drove the 30 minutes to the testing site, praying the entire time. I miraculously remained calm while they swabbed my nose and drove home to wait.

And wait . . . and wait. 

It took seven days for my results to come back: positive.

I thank God my results came two days after my cough had started to clear up and my breathing had improved. If I had known I was positive when I was still experiencing my worst symptoms, my anxiety would have gotten the best of me. Since then, my symptoms have ebbed and flowed, and over two weeks after my first symptom, I still have a lingering cough. 

My husband (who we’re pretty sure brought the virus into the house but remained asymptomatic) is convinced my asthma came back in November as a gift from God, a divine intervention. Maybe getting back on my control medication prepared my lungs to be able to handle the virus. I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, so maybe he’s right. 

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I do know that I have never thanked God for every single breath the way I do now.

When I wake up every morning, I take a deep breath, smile, and thank Him for the air in my lungs. 

A couple of days before my symptoms started, my 21-month-old daughter had a mild pin-prick rash that lasted less than 24 hours. She’s had similar rashes from viruses in the past, but I chalked this one up to the scrambled eggs she’d had that morning for the first time in a while. She must be sensitive to eggs, I convinced myself. She didn’t get tested, but looking back, I’m sure it was the virus. 

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I have never watched my daughter breathe in and out with as much awe as I do now. Every night when I pray over her, I thank God for the miracle she is and marvel at how easily her chest moves up and down, something we so easily take for granted. 

My brush with COVID-19 was mild, but it was enough to wake me up, to make me realize I’ve been taking everything in my life for granted. 

We’re all living life a little differently right now but don’t wait until COVID-19 gets to you or your family to wake up. The whole family is cooped up in the house, and after weeks of this, a lot of us are on edge, but for many, we’re safe at home together and right nowthat’s a miracle.

Alicia Betz

Alicia is a freelance writer and former teacher. She specializes in parenting, education, and pets. She has a bachelor's and master's in education and also runs a freelance writing business. You can usually find her hiking, working out, going to the movies, or writing with a napping toddler on her lap.