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Words of warning from COVID-19 survivor

Last Updated May 6, 2020 at 7:07 pm MDT


Ingrid Parker battled COVID-19 for 17 straight days.

The 34-year-old teacher is taking part in an Alberta-wide study to hopefully isolate COVID-19 antibodies.

EDMONTON (CITYNEWS) – As Canadians prepare to emerge from the lockdown with economies reopening, one Alberta teacher wants people to err on the side of caution.

Ingrid Parker recently recovered from COVID-19. She’s sharing her story in the hopes of inspiring others to remain physically distant when things go back to normal.

“We need to remain cautiously optimistic,” said Parker. “Emphasis on the caution.”

Parker was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late March along with her mother. She didn’t need to be hospitalized but had to be careful due to her mild asthma.

“My lungs were working so hard,” said Parker, the 34-year-old teacher. “This was for four or five days. It felt like my chest was going to burst. It felt like my heart was working overtime, just to get some oxygen to my lungs.

“When I say I was sick for 17 days, I was sick for 17 days. There was not a point in time where I didn’t have a symptom.”

Parker wants Albertans to pay close attention to the recommendations of the chief medical officer – keep physical distancing, wash your hands, and don’t be complacent as stores and restaurants gradually reopen.

“Understand what it feels like for someone who has had this illness, and not go about your life like you’re not going to get it, just because numbers are going down,” she said.

RELATED: How Alberta’s reopening plans compare to other provinces

Parker was also hospitalized with the H1N1 flu during that pandemic a decade ago. She says COVID-19 was a vastly different experience.

“COVID was much more longer lasting and much more persistent.”

After her 17-day battle with COVID-19, Parker is now doing much better and is even back to her regular exercise routine. She says she doesn’t wish the pain of the virus on anyone.

“Walking across the room was very difficult, just to fill up my water bottle,” she said. “It was very labour intensive.”

The 34-year-old is taking part in an Alberta-wide study that will hopefully isolate the antibodies needed to fight the virus.