POINT OF VIEW — I’m 12, and I had COVID-19. Here’s what it was like

Nadia Irfan
Story by Nadia Irfan • CBC Kids News • Published 2020-09-23 15:12

Nadia Irfan spent weeks in isolation


EDITOR’S NOTE: In April, 12-year-old Nadia Irfan and her entire family got COVID-19 in Burlington, Ontario. CBC Kids News asked Nadia to share what that was like, in her own words.


My experience with COVID was rough.

Most days, I would just lie in bed and couldn’t move at all because my body was sore, and it felt like I was tied down.

I would get headaches looking at books, papers, computer screens and even talking.

How it started

I got COVID-19 from my mom back in April and had it for two weeks.

My mom is a nurse practitioner, and she had to go help in a retirement home where people were sick.

Despite Nadia’s mom wearing head-to-toe personal protective equipment, there was an outbreak at the retirement home she worked at, and she caught it anyway. (Image submitted by Nadia Irfan)

My mom caught COVID-19 and passed it on to my dad.

At first, it was just the two of them who were sick in the family.

For two weeks, my younger sister and I had to stay in our bedrooms all day.

If we needed food, we'd have to call our parents and tell them we were coming down.

My parents made sure that they sanitized everything and were back in their rooms before we went into the kitchen.

The virus spread

Eventually, the virus passed from my parents to my older sister, and then to me and my younger sister.

From left to right: Nadia’s sister Sophia, dad, Yassar, younger sister Ava, mom, Nora, and Nadia. Every member of her family caught COVID-19 back in April. (Image submitted by Nadia Irfan)

My symptoms were fever, stomach ache, no sense of taste or smell, stuffy nose, shortness of breath, muscle pain, and I was very tired.

There was one day when I almost had to go to the hospital because I had trouble breathing.

Scary moments

I was scared because I thought that I couldn’t have a parent with me in the hospital since that was my older sister’s experience.

When I was in my room, I spent most of my time calling my best friend and having online sleepovers with her, watching TikTok and sleeping.

Luckily, my breathing improved with some medicine.

I did have to go to the hospital at one point to get the COVID swab done.

The swab was quick and easy. I had some water in my eyes when they put the swab far in my nose, but it wasn’t painful.

Nadia’s dog was one of the first dogs to be tested for COVID-19 as part of a University of Guelph research study. Her dog tested negative. (Image submitted by Nadia Irfan)

Everyone, especially the nurses and doctors at the hospital, were super-duper nice, and they made me feel comfortable.

What I learned

In the end, I learned a lot about how people can come together when times are tough.

Throughout this experience, my cousins went grocery shopping for us, and our grandparents would bring hot meals and flowers for my mom’s garden.

Neighbours would also bring us meals three times a week when we were really sick, including freshly baked pastries that I always looked forward to.

All the people in the community doing this put a smile on my face.


TOP IMAGE CREDIT: (submitted by Nadia Irfan)

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About the Contributor

Nadia Irfan
Nadia Irfan
CBC Kids News Contributor
Nadia Irfan is a Grade 7 student from Burlington, Ontario. She loves skateboarding, singing into her hairbrush and doing crazy dances on TikTok. She also loves having sleepovers and hanging out with her friends at Tim Hortons. One day, she hopes to be an actress.