NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As more COVID-19 patients recover, they’re sharing their stories of survival.

CBS2’s Cindy Hsu recently spoke a woman from Brooklyn who is dedicated to educating children, and now wants to make sure we’re all educated about coronavirus.

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Rhea loves to travel. The 29-year-old from Crown Heights is also a runner and was training for a half marathon in March, but early that month she came down with a huge headache at the school where she works, and quickly went downhill.

“I had chills. I took my temperature. I had a fever, so I went home,” she said.


Rhea said she tried multiple times to get tested for COVID-19, but was told she did’t appear “sick enough.” So she finally ended up going to the emergency room to get tested, and then was sent home and told to isolate. Her test results came back positive.

“I was asleep for about two days, three days. I don’t really remember a lot during that timeframe,” Rhea said. “It’s almost like having jet lag and wearing a heavy lead vest that you would wear when you get an X-ray. Your body just feels so heavy and so tired.”

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Her mom tried to help from afar, but was losing other family members to COVID-19 at the same time.

“It’s tough because she lost her longtime partner and then, even more recently, we even had an aunt pass. It has been a lot because you can’t mourn in the same ways. You can’t be close to family in the same way,” Rhea said.

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Rhea is feeling better now, after weeks in bed. She said she now goes out for short walks.

“If I do go out, I try to go out with a buddy 6 feet apart, obviously, just to make sure that if my heart rate goes too high I don’t get too dizzy, I don’t get too tired. I have to take a lot of breaks,” Rhea said.

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Hsu asked, “Now that you’ve been through this, what would you want people to know?”

“I guess take it seriously. Just because you’re not sick it doesn’t mean that you can’t spread it,” Rhea said. “I see a lot of people wear masks, but it’s not really covering their nose and their mouth. It’s kind of on their chin or they take it off to talk to someone and that defeats the purpose of someone wearing a mask.”

As restrictions start to loosen up, Rhea said to take it slowly.

“Yes, you might want to go get your hair and nails done and, yes, you might want to go to that bar, but is it worth the loss that could come?” she said.

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She said it’s not.