Adam Lara ’21 shares his COVID-19 experience

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August 21, 2020

It began with an ear infection.

That’s what first made Adam ‘Joe’ Lara ’21 visit a clinic while on a trip to Florida to help family members with a home remodeling project this past July.

“I was running a bit of a temperature so they said they were going to test me for COVID too,” he recalls. “And sure enough, it came back positive.”

A few days later, he began experiencing the symptoms – which he said ranged from mild to miserable and terrifying.

“I had a bit of a fever and a sore throat,” he said. “But oh man, the breathing was just a nightmare. I could only breathe in about half as far as I usually can without experiencing stabbing pain. I lost my appetite and my sense of taste.

“I’m not going to lie to you, it was really, really bad. Around day three, I woke up in the middle of the night and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was struggling just to get air. It felt like I was going to die.”

But Lara eventually recovered, as did his aunt and uncles and other family members who contracted the virus in the home in which he was staying. His 85-year-old grandmother was also staying there at the time, but she did not catch it thanks to extensive precautions that were taken.

“She was at the other end of the house in what was really a safety bubble,” Lara said. “We set up air filters in her room. The air conditioning getting in there wasn’t air that was circulating in the rest of the house. We really worked hard to keep her safe.”

It was a horrible experience – one Lara doesn’t wish on anyone else. That’s why he stresses the importance of following basic safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus – like wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and good hygiene, avoiding large gatherings and washing your hands frequently.

“It’s one thing to hear about a global pandemic, but when that nurse practitioner tells you that you have it, it’s a sinking feeling.

“It’s just better to err on the side of caution – to wear a mask and wash your hands frequently, which is something we all should do anyway. You don’t want to go through what I did. And if you can avoid it by following a few basic steps, why wouldn’t you do that?”