FishHawk resident Jennefier Patterson contracted COVID-19 in New York City in March.

FishHawk resident Jennefier Patterson loves New York City. Her husband works in the city and the couple has an apartment there, so Patterson makes frequent trips to see him and take in the amazing sights of The Big Apple.

In March, Patterson planned on staying in the city for three weeks. She never imagined her trip would end up being three months of quarantining in an apartment.

“It was the beginning of March and there wasn’t any travel bans or restrictions,” Patterson said. “COVID wasn’t something big at that time, so we thought nothing of traveling.”

While Patterson was in New York, she took in some of her favorite sights, such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and enjoyed a concert.

“When you’re in the city, you always take public transportation, like the subway,” Patterson said. “You do this because it’s the easiest way to get around the city.”

Patterson was midway into the second week of her trip when she started to run a fever. “My fever started and I started having other symptoms like congestion, fatigue, a horrible cough and sore throat.”

Patterson said she thinks she may have contracted the virus from taking the subway or attending the concert.

Around the same time, the number of COVID-19 cases in NYC was rising.

“In New York, if you thought you had COVID-related symptoms, you called 311 to get help with COVID,” Patterson said. “I spoke to a doctor and since I was able to breath, there really wasn’t anything they could do for me. He told me not to go to the hospital unless I could feel my lungs filling up with fluid or I couldn’t breathe, and even then he couldn’t guarantee that they would have a bed for me or be able to treat me. He said to self-quarantine, take over-the-counter cold and flu meds and rest.”

Patterson was in the apartment with her husband and son. All three of them did their best to stay apart in their apartment.

“I remember at that point friends and family I spoke to in Florida were complaining about self-quarantining and I thought to myself, ‘I’m in New York. I can’t leave and we’re in an apartment,’” Patterson said. “Our apartment is two streets away from a hospital and there were refrigerated trucks parked outside of it full of dead bodies from this virus. People were not taking this virus seriously and they still are not taking it seriously.”

Patterson’s fever and symptoms went away after two weeks. She needed to get back to Florida because some of her medications she takes were running out and she could not get them refilled in NYC.

“I called my doctor here in Florida and told him I was coming home,” Patterson said. “When I got home, the very next day I got an antibody test. Two days later, the results showed I had the COVID antibodies in my system.”

Neither her sons nor husband caught the virus however, since reinfection is possible, Patterson and her family are taking every precaution to stay safe and COVID-19-free.