Survivors of the Coronavirus came to NBC Palm Springs to share their stories and provide hope that the virus is not “game over” but it should be taken seriously.
Riverside County Public Health reported on Monday, 60 people have recovered from COVID-19. That number grows alongside the number of cases and deaths.
Tonya Moss, Marcella Marino and Craigh Kawashima are three survivors of the virus with different stories.
“When I got that call on Thursday that my test was positive, I thought I had been given a death sentence,” 40-year-old Tonya Moss said.
She took to Youtube to document her experience by explaining each symptom in raw detail. Those posts can be found on her channel “Mossy Girl”: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQa5oUPogpXAD6-zzEe5EUw
“It was to just bring awareness and to provide hope and not fear,” Moss said.
Marcella Marino, who is a 52-year-old health care worker, journaled throughout her journey. Her family lives in Italy and explained to her the severity of the virus before it rapidly spread throughout the United States.
She said she wrote to have “an accurate record” of how her days went that she could remember. Some days went better than others.
“I didn’t know if I was going to get through it,” Marino said, regarding her tenth day with the virus. “It wasn’t the breathing issue, it was just full on attack of my body, I mean, that’s what I felt like.”
31-year-old Craig Kawashima was the only one hospitalized of the three. He spent over a week at Eisenhower Medical Center.
“Imagine an elephant sitting on your chest and you’re trying to breath through a straw while having a fever,” he said.
Kawashima is back in the Bay Area where he’s from but he is still quarantining at an Airbnb away from his family.
Moss is also away from her family but they all still live in the same home.
“I haven’t hugged my kids or kissed my kids in seventeen days and I can’t wait to hug them and kiss them again,” Moss said. “I think one of the things that’s getting me through is knowing they’re on the other side of this wall.”
As each of these survivors fully recover they have a message for the public.
“My message of hope is do what you can to stay safe, protect yourselves and if you do have it, there are treatments out there that are effective,” Kawashima said.
“It’s not a death sentence, many people are going to get through this,” Moss said.
“We can survive this, we will be stronger after this is all over and I pray for all of those who are going through it,” Marino said.
While all of their stories were different, each one of them expressed how real the virus is. They also said it made them realize what’s truly important to them.