“On my 22nd birthday, I heard that both of my parents have the COVID-19 virus”

Amsterdam – It was no ordinary 22nd birthday for Eva Yong, who just finished her bachelor in pedagogy. Her mom is a GP and her dad works for Cordaid, and on the 19th of March, they both found out that they have Corona.

A story by Malijn Pieterse

Eva’s door with her birthday cake in front. Photo by Eva’s nephew.

How are you feeling?
“I feel pretty okay. After being told yesterday that my parents have corona, I felt very stressed and anxious. As I was spending the last few days with them when they were feeling ill, the doctors think I have corona too. After a night of sleep, I have been able to get used to the situation and look at it in a more positive way. This situation is not fun for anyone, but it will always work out in the end!”

How are your parents feeling?
“My parents feel very bad. The symptoms started two days ago. High fever, bad headache, a lot of muscle pain and they were coughing a lot. They described it as if a truck had driven over them. They take it easy and it is a matter of resting as much as possible. When the news came out yesterday that it turned out to be the corona, they were silent for a moment. It is still a shock. The GGD (the Area Health Authority) calls you, your whole family tries to contact you and of course you have to be quarantined for a while. It is not the normal flu.”

Eva spends her days eating and preparing fruits for her parents. Photo by Eva.

Are you worried? Are there any restrictions?
“When we were told that both my parents, and probably me too, have corona, many anxious thoughts went through my mind. My father is not the youngest man anymore and you never know what a virus can cause. The future is just very uncertain, you don’t know what’s going to happen and that makes this situation very scary. Not only are we as a family are affected, the whole world is turned upside down. It is a scary time for everyone. But you shouldn’t let that fear guide you. Stay positive and hope it goes in the right direction soon!”

How long do you need to be in quarantine for?
“We must remain in quarantine until we all show no symptoms for 24 hours. We don’t know when this will be. Maybe in a few days, maybe in a week and a half. We will see. Until that time comes around, we have to stay at home.”

Eva after her workout. Life goes on, also in quarantine. Photo by Eva.

How was it to celebrate your birthday? Did you?
“It was very strange. I was not allowed to see anyone because I had to stay in quarantine. My parents were sick in bed all day. I tried to enjoy myself, but I must confess that it was not the best birthday ever! But there are so much more important things in life. The health of me and my parents is the most important. I’ll celebrate my birthday another time. Now, I’ll first focus on our recovery and then we will see what happens next!