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COVID survivor discusses symptoms, emotional toll

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 5:43 PM EST
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Lesa Casto is a long-time member of the Marietta community. She has family around the Mid-Ohio Valley and works for Marietta City Schools. But, like many people, Casto has had her life uprooted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In October of 2020, she was diagnosed with the virus after experiencing allergy-like symptoms.

But, symptoms got worse. She developed concentration issues, fatigue and more.

“Your body feels like it was run over by a semi,” said Casto.

After a month, Casto says she started to feel better, until she started to feel worse.

“The fatigue became severe again. So going to the ER, I was diagnosed with viral pneumonia, which happens to some patients,” said Casto.

Worse still, her husband, who has severe medical issues, was diagnosed with the virus during that bout of pneumonia.

“As soon as they told me I was positive, I immediately began to cry. Because when this virus first began, I said, if my husband gets this he won’t survive it,” said Casto.

Casto says the virus takes an emotional toll on a person; it made her worry about infecting other people, and it made her worry about her own condition.

“The scariest part is, you don’t know if you’re going to get worse,” said Casto. “I especially worried about that for my husband because of his serious medical issues.”

Her husband spent several days in the hospital, but fortunately survived.

While Casto has been able to return to work and has started to return to her day to day life, she’s still not 100 percent.

“The worst symptom being fatigue. I need about ten to eleven hours of sleep, every night.”

After her battle, Casto says she’ll be getting a COVID vaccine as soon as one becomes available to her.

She says she gets frustrated when people don’t take the virus seriously, and encourages everyone to do their part in curbing the spread.

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