Julia Buscaglia is a student at the University of Buffalo in upstate New York who moved to Florence in January.
She tested positive for COVID-19.
She wasn't going to share her story but felt compelled to do so, since her experience was much different from what the media has been reporting. Being that she is only 20, it seems important to know what she went through. Especially as photo's of young spring breakers are making headlines.
"I was not going to share my story, but now that I see others are reporting very different symptoms than mine I feel it’s important to tell everyone my experience," the Twitter thread begins.
February 29th: I woke up this day in agony. My head was pounding, my ears throbbing, and it felt as if my throat was on fire. My body ached, I had chills, and I had a fever of 100.2. I took over the counter anti-inflammatories and stayed in bed the entire day.
March 1st: I woke up feeling better but with the growing concerns in Italy, I decided to see a doctor. The doctor saw me and said I had a cold. I proceeded with my day. At this point, I had begun to lose hearing in my left ear, I figured it was congestion. Still I had NO cough.
March 2nd: Hearing in both ears was significantly less. I could feel phlegm in the back of my throat, but once again, I thought it was just a cold, as I’d been told by a professional. As Italy was starting to become a place of concern our program urged us to return home.
March 3rd: My last day in Italy, I still couldn’t hear, and at this point I lost all ability to taste and smell, yet I did not have a runny nose or cough. I had a headache constantly during the day which I just treated with Tylenol. I left the next morning to return to America.
March 4th: This is the day I look back on and get scared. I flew home, and not a single person asked where I had been. Not even at customs. They didn’t blink an eye at me. I had layovers in LARGE cities. Again, there was no doubt in my mind that I didn’t have the virus.
March 5th-13th: As we were told, I stayed in self quarantine during these days. I had contact with only two people. No symptoms were present that the CDC warned us about. I had a WET cough. And my hearing, taste, and smell finally returned.
March 13th: Yes, I got tested on Friday the 13th, coincidence? I was not planning on being tested. However, members of my family work in health care & wanted to be sure before returning to work. We had to ask to be tested, they refused until we asked repeatedly.
March 14th: Again, NO symptoms, a slight remaining cough, but nothing of concern I thought. Until... I got the call that I was positive for COVID-19. My jaw DROPPED. How was I positive? I didn’t have the symptoms on the news, I got cleared by a doctor, and no one cared at customs I had come from a high risk country.
I think we can all agree that her journey was not typical. I keep reading dry cough, fever and shortness of breath.
Buscaglia says that is her reason for putting her story out there for the world. "I guess why I’m telling you all of this is because what they are telling you are symptoms are not ALL symptoms. And you do NOT have to have the symptoms to be positive. The only symptom I had that was similar was a fever."
Cetainly something to think about - I have heard them say that you could be sick and pass it along even if you display no symptoms.
Julia does not know how she got infected. The CDC worker that has been assigned to her has no idea how it has spread.
This is why everyone should be staying indoors.
Julia plans to remain in quarantine until she has tested negative twice. She has been in her house since March 5.
She concludes her story with this message:
"I know many of you have spring breaks, trips, work, and activities planned. But I want you to understand many individuals my age are not showing symptoms. I know we joke and laugh about not having this virus. But this is not a joke anymore. Please cancel your trips.
I am completely healthy right now, but that doesn’t mean I’m cleared. And the same could be true of you. So please stay indoors. Be safe and smart. Limit your contact with individuals, because this is going to get worse before it gets better."