Ron and Bethany Holloway, former Lansing residents, now living in Minneapolis, MN, fight the novel Coronavirus together.
They have been married for 24 years.
Photo courtesy of the Holloway Family
By Dr. Ron Holloway
All of the news stories and government updates cannot truly prepare you for contracting COVID. As a healthy family, we contracted COVID on or about June 26th 2020.
What started as an innocent trip to our gym for our spin class, started us on a longer journey wrought with anxiety, fears, sickness, and support. Gyms were recently cleared to open in our state and we longed for a sense of normality in 2020. Even with reduced class size, we believe it was this class is where we contracted the virus. Four others from the class also tested positive with COVID.
That same weekend, the virus spread throughout the house to all family members. We had absolutely no idea there had been any exposure. The following week, symptoms started to show in my wife. First, a scratchy throat for her and I started having “seasonal” allergy symptoms. As these things persisted, Bethany decided to get tested at one of our health care provider drive up testing facilities. We were first in line on Wednesday July 1st. The testing process was quick and efficient. Staff were friendly and could answer questions but things were just so new, so there were a few things they could not answer. Going directly home following the testing, we began quarantining ourselves.
Test results were to be ready within 5-7 days, and we were informed that if the results were positive, Bethany would receive a call. As anxiety continued to grow, as too did the symptoms. We logged on to the medial provider portal and after digging around on 7/2, I found the results… POSITIVE…. What a mind trip. The lack of contact or context from anyone at the medical facility threw us for a loop. A day or two later, the nurse called and offered some information which was helpful. Next, the county called and spent about an hour on the phone with Bethany for contact tracing purposes. Our main goal was to stay out of the hospital.
The absolute worse day was Saturday, July 4th. I could not get out of bed and was thoroughly exhausted. To some degree, we were fortunate to go through this together. I never got tested and assumed that if she was positive, I would also be positive. I also showed the same symptoms, with slight variations. I never got a sore throat, but had a minor cough. We both had fevers and chills, just a day or two apart. That was one of the more scary times, it felt as if we were burning up but our fevers were between 100.4 and 100.7 degrees. We drank a bunch of water and just slept as much as possible. Our theory was to rest the body so it could fight back. We took Tylenol and NyQuil. We were advised to treat the symptoms like a cold and only escalate treatment if we had issues breathing. Luckily we never did. Some days we felt pretty good, other days we felt like we had just started the sickness all over. We would have bouts of energy, doing a load of laundry or cleaning up a room, then nap for several hours after.
We both lost taste and smell and only recently regained. The entire ordeal lasted about 3 weeks or so. Surprisingly, we were some of the first folks in our respective social circles to contract. It was not only a physical illness but with all of the news and current events, it was very much a mental battle as well. Our sons were pretty much asymptomatic. They had minor symptoms and our youngest did get tested and the results were positive. The middle one, we believe had it earlier in the year.
Throughout 2020, we had been very disciplined with exposure. We had assigned duties/trips. We minimized our exposure to everything and everyone. With 2020 being such a difficult time, we really felt as if we needed some escape which the gym provided. Even after the George Floyd murder, we protested that Tuesday night with masks and practiced social distancing. When we dropped food off in the affected area as the grocery stores were impacted with the events, we were safe. Sufficed to say, locally we understand there were “outsiders” coming into Minneapolis causing property destruction, further convoluting the movement between protesting and rioting. When we visited the memorial the following week, we were safe. A radio personality from a global news outlet approached me that day and she wanted my thoughts for a story, I politely declined as the moment was incomprehensible to me. There is a picture of Mr. Floyd and his daughter at the memorial that moved me to tears. This poor man was murdered because of fear and the color of his skin. This 46 year old man, same age as me, was murdered.
The mental, emotional, and physical burden of being Black, in Minneapolis, in 2020 has been exhaustive. We made great strides in caring for ourselves physically and feel that our close family dynamic helped to protect our emotional state. We also have a very close knit group of friends and neighbors that filled our house with groceries and meals.
Perspective, take care of your health and protect your mental state as much as possible. The world presents very difficult circumstances for us and it takes skill to deal with all things coming our way.
Ron Holloway II, Ph.D. works in financial services. His wife Bethany is currently attending the Aveda Institute and works for Delta Airlines. They have 3 adult children, one living in Los Angeles and the other two in Minneapolis and there are two family dogs. They share a love for fitness, food, travel, and social justice.