GLEN ROCK, N.J. (WCBS 880) — Sheri Roddy has been watching the very public debate over how serious the COVID-19 pandemic actually is. She heard President Donald Trump say "don't be afraid of it," but she has a different take.
She tells WCBS 880 reporter Peter Haskell "be afraid."
The 55-year-old Roddy tested positive for the disease back in April and let the virus run its course. Today, she tells the 880 In Depth podcast that she continues to feel the effects of her bout with COVID-19.
"Quite frankly, I feel like there's no end to this right now and it's terrifying," Roddy said. "Be afraid, I'm living with this every day. Every day I wake up, 'Am I going to be dizzy today?' I don't know. 'Am I going to walk and my left leg is going to drag because I can't feel it?' I don't know."
Roddy said to be confronted with the virus in her home was "very scary." Her 20-year-old son is a kidney transplant recipient. Her husband was the donor. They all feared COVID-19 and what it could do to the family.
Her husband was sick in March with what everyone believed was the coronavirus. He quarantined away from the rest of the family in their Glen Rock, New Jersey home for a solid three weeks. She calls those early days "a very terrifying time."
Her first signs of trouble came in early April when she started seeing some of the common signs of coronavirus, including loss of smell and taste, and fatigue. She felt better after a few days, but weeks later she said "the bottom fell out." Her blood pressure skyrocketed and her daughter rushed her to urgent care where, after making sure she wasn't having a heart attack or stroke, she was tested and shown to be positive for COVID-19.
Roddy never had to be hospitalized, but like her husband, she was quarantined from the rest of the family for weeks until she recovered. That was May. Four-plus months later, she still suffers from symptoms and maladies that her doctors are convinced are tied to her coronavirus infection.
"Every day was just a different symptom. The symptoms are all over the map. From the heart racing to dizziness. Neuropathy was a big thing. I had a lot of numbness and tingling in my arms and my legs," Roddy said.
Early on, Roddy said she even had a weird sensation about the blood flowing through her body feeling like "molasses."
"I felt it. It was very different. A lot of scary, scary side effects," she said.
Today, Roddy says it feels "like a monster virus just moving throughout my body" and she says she is not alone. She belongs to a group of COVID-19 survivors who report similar experiences.
Their online group lists hundreds of symptoms among the survivors who belong. She tells WCBS 880 that in her opinion, doctors don't have a handle on the after-effects of COVID-19 just yet.
Which brings us to the comments from the president this week.
He released a video on social media shortly after his release from Walter Reed Medical Center saying "don't let it dominate you, don't be afraid of it."
Roddy says of those comments, "I don't understand how our president can actually stand in front of the American people as our leader of this county and dismiss what is happening to millions of people in this world. How in the world can you possibly politicize a pandemic? This is no joke. People are dying every day."
To those who are engaged in a political debate over how serious COVID-19 is, Roddy had this message: "I just hope that people listen to their hearts and understand that your neighbor matters, it's not all about you. We're on this planet together. We need to take care of each other and it's just a mask. That's all it is."