(White House Press Release, October 14, 2020)
It was two weeks ago when I received the diagnosis that so many Americans across our country and the world had already received—I tested positive for COVID-19. To make matters worse, my husband, and our nation’s Commander-in-Chief, received the same news.
Naturally my mind went immediately to our son. To our great relief he tested negative, but again, as so many parents have thought over the past several months, I couldn’t help but think “what about tomorrow or the next day?” My fear came true when he was tested again and it came up positive. Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms. In one way I was glad the three of us went through this at the same time so we could take care of one another and spend time together. He has since tested negative.
I was very fortunate as my diagnosis came with minimal symptoms, though they hit me all at once and it seemed to be a roller coaster of symptoms in the days after. I experienced body aches, a cough and headaches, and felt extremely tired most of the time. I chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food. We had wonderful caretakers around us and we will be forever grateful for the medical care and professional discretion we received from Dr. Conley and his team. It was an unfamiliar feeling for me to be the patient instead of a person trying to encourage our nation to stay healthy and safe. It was me being taken care of now, and getting first-hand experience with all that COVID-19 can do. As the patient, and the person benefitting from so much medical support, I found myself even more grateful and in awe of caretakers and first responders everywhere. To the medical staff and the residence staff who have been taking care of our family—thank you doesn’t say enough.
Recovering from an illness gives you a lot of time to reflect. When my husband was taken to Walter Reed as a precaution, I spent much of my time reflecting on my family. I also thought about the hundreds of thousands of people across our country who have been impacted by this illness that infects people with no discrimination. We are in unprecedented times—and with the election fast approaching, it has been easy to get caught up in so much negative energy.
It also cheered me to think of all the people I have met across our country and the world—and the goodness and compassion that exists if you seek it out. Our country has overcome many hardships and much adversity, and it is my hope COVID-19 will be another obstacle we will be able to tell future generations we overcame—and learned from in the process.
I encourage everyone to continue to live the healthiest life they can. A balanced diet, fresh air, and vitamins really are vital to keep our bodies healthy. For your complete well-being, compassion and humility are just as important in keeping our minds strong. For me personally, the most impactful part of my recovery was the opportunity to reflect on many things—family, friendships, my work, and staying true to who you are.
I am happy to report that I have tested negative and hope to resume my duties as soon as I can. Along with this good news, I want people to know that I understand just how fortunate my family is to have received the kind of care that we did. If you are sick, or if you have a loved one who is sick—I am thinking of you and will be thinking of you every day. I pray for our country and I pray for everyone who is grappling with COVID-19 and any other illnesses or challenges.
Thank you to everyone who reached out, and offered well wishes and prayers for our family. You remain in ours as well.