Local public health professor uses COVID-19 battle to inform others

Local News

Rebecca Heick, a public health professor at Augustana College, is battling COVID-19 pneumonia after contracting COVID-19 in mid-September.

She’s documented her journey with this Facebook page called Your Friendly Neighborhood Epidemiologist. The professor is using this as a teaching moment, sharing journal entries, updates, and facts about the virus.

Overall, she wants people to think about the many impacts the virus has on our lives.

“This pandemic, this illness is something that impacts every aspect of our well-being. And we just have to be really open about that,” she said.

Her 8 week road to recovery has been far from easy.

“I’m still hoarse and struggling with shortness of breath and diziness, headaches,” she said.

She luckily wasn’t hospitalized, but as someone with athsma, she says her lungs have suffered.

“I started on breathing treatments every 4 hours here at home, and actually I’m still on breathing treatments every four hours from 7am to 11pm,” she said.

The hardest parts have been the fatigue, the isolation, and impact on her family.

“My husband had to take on everything for the last 7 weeks because I’m not able to help with the kids, with cooking, with laundry,” she said.

She had to quarentine in her home when she was initially diagnosed with the virus. The seperation was hard for her daughter especially.

“She was really emotional, she was very scared, and I couldn’t hug her because I was isolated. And as a parent, that is one of the worst things,” she said.

She is still resting and recovering, and says she is staying hopeful thanks to her wonderful support system.

To visit her Facebook page, click the link here.

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