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‘I never thought I would contract an infectious disease': Woman with COVID-19 shares her story

Last Updated Mar 26, 2020 at 9:49 am MDT

Leah Beingessner/Facebook

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — An Okotoks woman who was diagnosed with COVID-19 after returning from a trip to Mexico is sharing her experience and the importance of staying inside when you feel ill.

Leah Beingessner, left Calgary for Mexico at the start of March and developed symptoms of the virus while on her vacation.

She returned on March 12 and immediately called 8-1-1 telling them about her symptoms and was sent for testing.

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“It’s quite unpleasant,” Beingessner said. “They’ll have a flexible q-tip and it goes all the way to the back of your nostril, at the very back near your throat. It’s extremely uncomfortable and your eyes water. It’s a quick second, but it’s not a pleasant experience whatsoever.”

She was informed she tested positive for the virus only a few days later.

“I never thought for a second I would ever contract an infectious disease,” Beingessner said.

Not only did she feel terrible from the symptoms of the disease but she also felt embarrassed for being a person in her community to have COVID-19.

“Honestly from dealing with this on a personal level, having to expose to people that I have something that I was in contact with was extremely embarrassing. I felt shame, I felt dirty, I felt like I did something wrong without knowing it,” Beingessner said.

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The reason she is expressing the importance of self-isolation is so others can avoid having to retell the story to people they may have been in contact with.

“It’s extremely important to listen to what AHS has to say and to stay home when you’re unwell,” she said.

-With files from Sarah Freemark