We had COVID-19


Johna Shivers

Keegan Shivers at college standing in front of the famous Hooty the owl. Keegan is one of the many young adults to get COVID at college.

Have you ever wondered what it was like to have COVID? I know I did, that is until my own brother got it! It’s the most current event going on in our society today. However, there are still people who don’t personally know anyone who has had COVID and are curious to what it’s like or don’t even think it’s real!

I thought it would be interesting to hear about some students’ personal experiences having COVID. I interviewed 6 Wildcat students/graduates to gather some insight into their experience of having COVID-19. My interviewees include four 2020 grads who are at university and 2 students who currently attend Wilsonville. 


Question #1 “When and where did you get COVID?”

 Since most of these students go to different colleges and had different circumstances it was understandable that they each got COVID at different times and from different sources. One college student shared they got the virus in September from their dorm hall at BYU.

A Wilsonville student shared they got COVID about a week ago but they are doing fine and the other student shared they got it in October after they went on a date! (Giving someone COVID is probably not going to earn you a second date, guys.) 

An OSU college student commented they got COVID January 9th at a get together and another Beaver shared they got it January 12th.

My brother Keegan, a 2020 Wilsonville grad, agreed to share his experience without being anonymous. Keegan got COVID in November from practicing with the other players on his basketball team. Keegan shared “I got COVID two weeks before the holidays, which sucked because I had to stay quarantined at school during thanksgiving to make sure I was safe to see my family for Christmas at least.” 


 Question #2 “What was your worst symptom?”

I was curious to hear about these students’ worst symptoms because of the overall low impact the virus has had on their age range. Keegan shared “I felt completely normal except for a headache and what I thought was a cold, which is normal during flu season. When we got our tests back I was shocked and so were my three roommates because we all felt pretty normal even though we all tested positive.”

Although Keegan has been COVID free for months he said his worst symptom was that “I still can’t smell, which I thought was due to a cold but has stayed with me for months.” Other symptoms from my interviewees have included extreme exhaustion, trouble breathing, loss of taste, and congestion.


Question #3 “Did you know you had COVID and how did you find out you had it?”

One of the biggest issues about COVID is the fact that it can be extremely difficult to know if you have it without being tested. For athletes it’s easier, since they are tested weekly to keep up with regulations and rules for practicing, but most students don’t have to take mandatory tests and if they don’t have obvious symptoms, the virus can go undetected. Keegan stated “I had no clue I had COVID because I mistook it for a little cold and so did most of the players in my team. Thankfully it only spread throughout my team and not to other students because it was mandatory to stay in our rooms and only hang out with players.”

Keegan added “I found out I had COVID when my test came back positive.” Most students had the same experience; they got tested after knowing they were exposed or started having symptoms. One student shared “When I found out my roommate had it I knew I had it too.” 


Question #4 “How was your quarantine situation?”

I’ve heard so many terrible quarantine stories from college students. Disgusting food, isolation dorms, etc. So I sought to know what these students experienced. Keegan shared, “I was lucky because my three roommates and I all had COVID and a dorm with our own bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room so we basically played video games and chess for two weeks. The bad part was that the food was horrible. Someone picked out random food from the cafeteria and delivered it to us but I never ate it because, although we couldn’t go outside, we could Instacart groceries to our dorm which saved us.”

Most of the students who were stuck in isolation on campus agreed “The food they gave us was so gross.” The two students in Corvallis shared that they were able to escape the isolation dorm and stay in their friends’ extra apartments to quarantine. One student added “I have heard the isolation dorms suck because you have to order your food for the day by 9am and if you don’t you won’t get food!” My interviewee from Utah shared, “We had to move to a separate room with all of our stuff and the food they gave us was absolutely disgusting!”


Question #5 “Was your school hit by COVID pretty hard at a specific time?”

I’ve heard of a lot of outbreaks going on at different times at colleges so I wanted to see if these students could offer us any information about what’s going on at their schools. An OSU student shared, “There was a spike of COVID cases at our school; I got it at the start of the wave and it’s still moving through campus really fast right now.” Stay safe Corval kids! My BYU student shared there have been “3,000 cases, a lot of which were when school began.” Finally, Keegan commented “I’m not sure about other students but my whole team except for three people got it.”


Question #6 “Have you ever taken a COVID test?”

After hearing about the torture of the deep nose swab COVID test, I vowed never to get one. Nonetheless my mom forced me to before the holidays so I could see my grandparents, but after the doctor assured me the light nose swab test was painless I gladly took it. It’s a good thing they came out with a less painful test or these athletes who have been testing weekly would have some nose issues. Both Corvallis students shared that they got the deep nose sample at the drive through testing. “At Oregon State it was a light nose swab, but when I went through OHSU it hurt so bad.” shared one Beaver. One high school student explained, “Every 2 weeks I have to take a COVID test for track. It’s a rapid test, both my nostrils get swabbed. It’s actually very quick and painless.”


Question #7 “Were you able to continue doing online school during COVID?”

All of the students assured me that they were able to continue to do online school during their quarantine, but were not able to attend in person, obviously. One student from Corvallis also recommended “Don’t get tested too quick, if you have been exposed wait the recommended 5 days before getting tested because you can come up negative and start to spread it without knowing.”


A round of applause to my interviewees for getting through this terrible pandemic. I’m wishing for everyone to stay healthy and safe during this time and am so grateful for these students being willing to share their experiences. I hope these interviews answered some of your questions and thanks for reading!