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Montana woman urges community to be safe after fight with COVID-19

Posted at 1:19 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 15:30:52-04

HELENA - For many people, the thought of getting a positive result on a coronavirus test is daunting and unknown. One young woman not only tested positive and had severe symptoms, but she says there’s a stigma surrounding the virus.

Caty Gondeiro is 23-years-old and the last thing she expected was to test positive for COVID-19.

“I’m young. I’m 23. I’m not going to get it. I just wasn’t being as careful as I should’ve been," she said.

Not only did Caty get coronavirus, she then endured a long three weeks of severe symptoms.

“I was super, super tired. The chest pressure just started intensifying a lot. Feverish, body aches, headaches. The headaches lasted the longest. I still get headaches, but definitely feverish, chills," she said.

But perhaps the most surprising part of testing positive was the response she received from friends and acquaintances.

“It was puzzling for me to tell people, ‘Oh you know I tested positive.’ And rather than their response being, ‘Oh my goodness, like how are you feeling? Are you okay?’ People would say, ‘Well, where did you get it? What were you doing when you got it? What were you doing because obviously you were somewhere you shouldn’t have been.'”

Caty said there was no way for her to know where, when, or even how she contracted the coronavirus.

“We’re past that point at the level of community spread. We are at right now where I don’t really think it is a matter of pointing fingers, and it was just really kind of disheartening to see how many people were more worried about who could I blame for this," she said.

After three long weeks, Caty is finally starting to feel better, but she is concerned the virus will have lasting effects.

“I am more so worried about the long term effects from this because it has been three weeks and I still get winded walking up and down stairs and doing very simple everyday tasks," she said.

Caty shared her story with MTN News because she wants people to know this is a dangerous disease with a lot of uncertainty. She’s urging everyone to take steps to protect themselves.

“Masks, masks, masks. I know people are so sick of hearing about it, but I wish I had been more diligent about it beforehand, and I wasn’t,” she said.