When I received my positive COVID test I was prepared to deal with the body aches, fever, lung congestion, and even the fatigue. I was not prepared for the one symptom no one talks about: fear.

I am old, overweight, have COPD, heart stints, and artificial joints. Ever since March 2020, I have been consistently told by my medical professionals, “If you get COVID, you will die.” My doctors instilled in me a fear that the only place I would go is to the funeral home if I visited my grandchildren, went to the store, worshipped in my church, or flew in an airplane. The media and the government added to the fear as I heard daily case numbers, hospital shortages, death rates, shelter in place orders, and mask mandates. I was led to believe that if I ventured outside without a mask I would either die or cause others to. I lived in fear.