I returned home from Italy on a Sunday but by Tuesday afternoon I’d developed a splitting headache. I began to feel worse in the evening, so I checked my temperature and realised I had a slight fever. I called my doctor and he advised me to go to the hospital.
So, wearing my own mask, I took myself to the General University Hospital of Thessaloniki. I explained my symptoms and where I’d been, then they tested me. The first feeling that took a hold of me was fear. I was thinking of my health, the consequences for my nine-year-old son, my friends and family, and all the people I had been in contact with. These thoughts brought me to my knees and filled me with anxiety, guilt, but also great responsibility. I cried thinking what will happen to those people. Not knowing much about the virus, I felt like I was walking in the desert with no direction. When the test came back positive, the doctors told me that I had to be put in a negative-pressure isolation chamber immediately.
My son was tested and I was told he had to join me in the chamber. It was a life-changing experience. All I could think about was how hard it would be for a nine-year-old to stay isolated for so many days. I didn’t want my child to know exactly what was going on, and be worried about what may happen. Although I felt a great amount of pressure to make the experience bearable for him, my friends and family were amazing with their encouragement during that time. I was lucky to have their support, but of course, there were people who blamed me for bringing COVID-19 to Greece, which made me sad and perplexed.
When we finally left the hospital, I walked to my car and looked up towards the sky and said, "Thank you". If there’s one thing positive that can come out of this, I think it’s an opportunity to value and your life.
This article originally appeared on marie claire UK.