After a nearly two-month battle with COVID-19, Tredicia Wilchcombe, a registered nurse at Rand Memorial Hospital who recently received her final negative test result on Monday afternoon, said she fears that she may be infected again.
Wilchcombe returned to work Monday night.
“I’m glad to be back to work,” she said.
“I missed work, but I’m scared I may catch it again.”
She said healthcare workers are being wiped out by the virus.
“The first wave I did excellent,” she said.
“The second wave knocked me out of the first round. It took me and a lot of other people on the frontline down with it compared to the first wave. I think the virus is affecting us differently because we are in constant contact with COVID-19 patients.”
Wilchcombe battles with anxiety about what she said was a near-death experience, but is hopeful that she will make a full recovery.
“I could catch it again and it could be worse,” she told The Nassau Guardian.
“It’s scary. I’ve been through a lot with this virus, but I am not going to allow it to take over my life. I can’t let it stand in the way of me providing the care that I have to provide to those that are now on their journey.”
She offered some words of inspiration to those who are toiling with the virus.
“It’s a physical and spiritual battle you have to fight,” Wilchcombe said.
“You have to keep going. There are going to be times that you feel you are not going to make it and probably die, but you have to pray yourself through.”
In fact, in a previous interview with The Guardian on August 23, Wilchcombe said, “It takes you to that point. You are prepared to die. It’s basically your body telling you, ‘I am shutting down. I don’t have no more in me.’”
Although COVID-19 is often compared to the flu, Wilchcombe said it is much different.
“Once you get over the flu, you’re back to normal,” she said.
“You’re good to go. With COVID-19, it’s not like that. It’s like one minute you feel good. The next minute you don’t feel good.”
Wilchcombe said she’s still dealing with post-COVID-19 symptoms.
“I have issues with my sleeping pattern,” she said.
“It’s not the same. I sleep for an hour and I am good. Thank God I work during the nights. You still have times where you feel bad. I still have headaches and chest pains. Sometimes you just feel bad.”
Wilchcombe said in order for health officials to see a decline in numbers, everyone must be responsible.
“We can do so much if everyone can do their small part,” she said.
“If I wear my mask and you wear your mask, that lowers our chances of spreading the virus. We won’t get rid of it 100 percent, but we will see a decline. Life must go on. We understand that because we live with other communicable diseases.”