Grand Traverse County Woman Shares Her COVID-19 Story

A Grand Traverse County woman is speaking out about her own exposure to COVID-19. 9&10’s Bill Froehlich sat down with her one-on-one, to talk about how she caught the virus, what her symptoms were, and what she wants others to know.

A month ago, nurse Hannah Borsvold was focused on planning for the birth of her sister’s baby. But she was exposed to the Coronavirus at work, so she got tested simply for peace of mind. She waited six days for test results. “I kind of figured that my risk was pretty low, but with my sister’s baby coming I wanted to be sure that I’d test negative and be safe around the baby.”

DAY ONE:  “I’ll come right out and say it be brutally honest. I have COVID-19.”

Hannah Day 2Hannah says she was surprised by the diagnosis. “I was pretty positive I was going to have a negative screen based on the limited time I was around this person. We’re all wearing a mask at work, we’re washing hands, we’re sanitizing. I got tested for peace of mind for myself and also for my sister and her husband.”

Hannah started a daily video journal and shared it to Facebook. She says she wanted to document the experience. “I myself am curious about how this virus progression is going to go. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous or scared.”

DAY TWO: Hannah says she had a sore throat, headache, congestion, muscle aches, and loss of taste and smell. “My throat hurts a little more today. All of the symptoms I had yesterday are progressing… I still can’t taste or smell anything.”  But she never had a fever, and her symptoms didn’t last.

DAY THREE: “I feel good today. Whatever I’m doing is working, at least I hope. I’m hoping this isn’t a calm before the storm type of thing.”

DAY FOUR: “My grocery delivery was awesome. I’m eating a lot of food. I have no problems with food intake, it’s just a big bummer that I can’t taste anything.”

Hannah Niece 2DAY FIVE: “Today I woke up feeling pretty darn good. I can feel every day a difference.”

DAY SIX: And then the best day of isolation- meeting her niece – through the window. “Oh, hi! Hi baby!”

DAY SEVEN: Halfway through quarantine she says symptoms disappeared and she was feeling good. “It’s day seven of COVID Chronicles which means I’m halfway done with isolation.”

The emotional and mental toll, she says, was the toughest. “The 14 days of quarantine, the hardest part is life being put on pause, I think. You see and hear about everybody continuing on … or not being able to hug people or they’re just within reach. Especially when you have big family moments that are passing you by. And the time is just ticking until you can be there and be a part of that. That got really tough.”Hannah Day 3

Hannah kept up with the videos, as friends were concerned when she wouldn’t check in with updates. “I had good days and then really tough days. But the whole world is passing you by and there’s nothing you can do about it because you have to protect everyone else around you.”

And there was the fear – which she tried to hide. “I was pretty scared with how this virus was going to progress for me. I didn’t tell people that I did pack a hospital bag and I was prepared if it got to that point for me. I think that was the scariest thing that I wasn’t quite ready to share and scare people, because I wasn’t sure how scared I needed to be.”
Hannah NieceUltimately, Hannah says her symptoms improved fairly quickly, and she spent most of isolation symptom-free. “I’m very thankful that my symptoms were so mild and I do try to remind people that it’s not like that for everybody.”

Meeting her niece was Hannah’s biggest priority but after two weeks stuck at home she’s venturing out into the world – slowly. “I’m just trying to get back to normal. Obviously I visited my sister. I went to a gas station to fill up my gas station, and I went to a beach.”

Hannah says she’s still being safe, and believes strongly in wearing a mask. ”I still feel the responsibility to be really cautious.” Now, isolation is over and Hannah is “free”.  She’s even hugged her brand new niece, and also added another item to her to-do list. “I’ve applied to be a plasma donor. Recovered COVID patients can donate their plasma, they assume my plasma has antibodies that can fight off the disease for really sick patients.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus Cases, Coronavirus Support