FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – A resident who tested positive for COVID-19 last month is taking to social media to try and break the stigma surrounding the virus.
Connie Greyeyes, her husband, and her son started experiencing symptoms around January 4th. Her other son was the only one to test negative.
The local Indigenous advocate was skeptical about sharing her story but decided it was a conversation that needed to happen.
“We were, honestly, so careful. It was unreal that we caught it. I think it’s important to talk about it and let people know that this is real. I’ve had people die, that I know, and to see the comments that ‘this is nonsense’, and ‘it’s not real’. It’s unbelievable, especially when those loved ones see those comments on Facebook.”
Connie, a Northern Case Manager for MMIWG for the Indian residential school survivors society, was relieved from isolation on January 16th.
Her doctor’s advice was to rest, not to exert herself and was told she might experience some lasting symptoms, which she is. The symptoms include body aches, fatigue and a lack of taste.
Another issue Connie has been dealing with is guilt as she worries about infecting others.
“I would not wish this on anyone.”
Through her Facebook page, Connie started talking about her experience, how she felt and some traditional medicines she was using.
“I’m not someone who relied only on traditional medicine and followed the advice of my doctor.”
Connie has noticed a lack of belief in the pandemic, which she finds “surprising” and “frightening”. This is why she hasn’t been the most pleasant person on social media.
“I have a mother who’s almost 90 years old. The thought that over the Christmas holidays, had we not followed the guidelines set out, we could have infected my mother, and it could have had a devastating impact on her, and that was frightening. It’s about the health of those around you.”
She has gone as far as removing friends from Facebook because of their take on the pandemic. Her argument isn’t about someone’s personal opinion on the guidelines; it’s about others’ health.
“If you have vulnerable people in your life, you should want to protect them at any cost, even wearing a simple mask while shopping, limiting contact with others and avoiding non-essential travel.”
Once the COVID-19 vaccine is open to the public, Connie plans on documenting her experience on social media.