VENICE — It began with a little cough and a slight headache Sunday.
By Monday, it was a bad headache, a worsening cough and a sore throat.
When she had a high fever on Tuesday, City Council Member Helen Moore knew something was wrong.
A rapid test at Gulf Coast Medical Group confirmed it: She had COVID-19.
The diagnosis brought on a variety of emotions.
“I kind of didn’t believe it,” she said. “I guess I didn’t know what it would feel like.”
There was also a bit of relief.
Having lived with the threat of infection for nearly a year, “it feels like the suspense is over,” Moore said.
After originally opposing it, she had cast the deciding vote in August to impose a mask mandate in the city that has since been allowed to expire. A resolution recommending masks remains in place.
But the whole time she’s been very cautious — working from home, largely avoiding restaurants and wearing a mask when going out.
“I wear a mask all the time,” she said. “It’s almost second nature now.”
Consequently, she has no idea where she may have gotten infected.
“I’m shocked that I got it this time,” she said.
She’s only been in contact with one person recently — a client in a real estate deal. He’s fine so far, she said.
“I’d have felt really guilty — guilty if I’d been exposing people,” she said.
Her symptoms remain mild and she isn’t receiving any treatment, though she did make herself some chicken soup, she said.
Friends have been so sympathetic, she said, “that I could eat for a month off the food I’ve been offered.”
She was able to attend a couple of city meetings and to work on Wednesday and Thursday but was fatigued on Friday, she said.
“I think I’m paying the price for it a little,” she said.
At 68, she was eligible to get vaccinated but being in good health and not at high risk, she’d decided to hold off.
Council members have been fielding calls from people who are frustrated at their inability to get an appointment and she said she feels bad about their anger and anxiety.
Having been infected, now she needs to wait 60 days before getting immunized.
“If there’s ample supply, I’d definitely do it,” she said.