Staff Writer Dinah Soloway
During the 2020-2021 School year my dad had a severe case of COVID-19. It started in November of 2020, and he spent over 3 months in the hospital, finally being released in February 2021.
To this day we do not know the real reason he got COVID. I also later caught COVID myself, with all my family having to take on the challenge of self-isolating from each other and the outside world in our apartment.
After just about two weeks of first contracting COVID, my dad was rushed to the ER at PENN’s hospital by ambulance because he couldn’t breathe. To have my dad in the hospital in an induced coma with a breathing tube in, felt like the worst thing in the world.
But even when this was all happening, I still attended online school from my bed. Each morning I would get up, fix my hair and stay in my pajamas and realize that my parents weren’t there or healthy enough to go to work while I had to stay at home in school.
During the long weeks of online school and covid, I had my best friends to talk to both about my emotions and highlights of the day. My family was really lucky to have a nice support system of close friends who made food deliveries since we could not break quarantine. Including my bunch of family and friends, I could rely on my advisor Ms. Pahomov with her weekly check-ins during online school.
To make things even less fair, all my other family members who were already over 16 at the time could visit him in the hospital, but I could only use zoom to see my dad laying in his hospital bed.
When he did finally come home after hospitalization, He slept for almost another full day. Then began the long road to improvement. My dad had arranged physical therapy with a Penn doctor who would come to the apartment and work with him to do some stretching. Slowly he got better but there was one thing that never changed: his lungs will always have a harder time working smoothly. Simply put, he is not the same person he was.
My family made it through hell, and now I am back at school in 10th grade. Taking regularly timed classes with my friends trying to look at things with a more positive attitude than last year. There are times when I worry about my dad’s long-term health, but I try to ignore his health issues and just focus on the moment that shows he is taking care of himself after the event.
Even writing this column has been difficult. I’m not used to openly telling people what I have been through in my lifetime. When I tell people these things about me I want it to feel sincere and not intentional.
However, I can say writing this article feels like it gave me the extra push to put myself out there.