I am Julia, and I suffered from COVID-19. After being diagnosed with COVID-19, I had to enter quarantine time. I knew that I had already completed three weeks of confinement in my small room, long enough for the coronavirus to completely dissipate from my body, but I decided to quarantine for ten more days. Not only for my sake but also for my husband and sister, who live with me in the apartment. It is so that, once I leave, to be free of any doubt that I am no longer a risk to others.

My ‘confinement’ story began on March 22. That day I arrived from the United States, a country that is today the world epicenter of the disease, with more than five million cases.

My initial symptoms were first, flu. Second, strong back spasms. Third, a very bad headache.

Also in the following days, I discovered a fourth symptom when I noticed that my nose was insensitive to the smell of soap and shampoo. Losing that sense was as strange to me as not having a fever, which made me part of that 10% who do not have such symptoms despite having coronavirus.

After waiting almost eight days from the moment the sample was taken, on April 14, I received confirmation that I was infected, a date by which then I already felt “in the final stretch” of my recovery. And although I felt overwhelmed by the blurred conversations that I had with my husband and my sister, with whom I share the apartment – dialogues that took place on the other side of the door- or a few prudent meters away, nevertheless I managed to cope with the confinement profitably.

I not only dedicated myself to watching Discovery Channel or Animal Planet programs, but also to reading the works of William Ospina and Mario Mendoza, especially their novel ‘Akelarre.’ Although sometimes difficult, to this day I feel a lot better.

Although in that season of certain tranquility, I also experienced some fear after a visit from a doctor “dressed as an astronaut,” but not because of the doctor himself, because of the accusations that I and my family could be the victim of by our neighbors’, as well as dozens of cases of discrimination that have been seen throughout the country.

Seeing images or videos that reveal such disregard are the perfect antithesis of other scenes widely disseminated on social networks: That of patients who, after overcoming an arduous fight against COVID-19 in hospitals or intensive care units, are applauded by doctors and nurses.

If you ask me about the magic recipe to be able to cure yourself of this virus, mine was the recipe for a typical drink in my country called aguapanela with lemon; very popular in Latin America. It is a drink with a lot of energy. Like warm chocolate for breakfast and music. In fact, it is that branch of art that I want to continue dedicating myself to for the rest of my life.

I also took advantage of my ‘seclusion’ to memorize songs by Willie Colón or Rubén Blades. I think the key to coping with quarantine, whether you are sick or not, is to do it your way, adjust it to what you like.