Vail Valley woman conquering coronavirus one isolated day at a time
Stephanie Littlefield is OK, and wants you to be, too
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Stephanie Littlefield feels much better, thank you for asking, and she wants to make sure you do, too.
Littlefield doesn’t know exactly how she got COVID-19, the new coronavirus — she works in the medical field for a couple of doctors, so has some theories — but she doesn’t know where or from whom. She knows she’s OK, though.
“I’m only 27. People my age are feeling fine. The people at risk are the elderly and children. We have to take care of them and make sure nothing happens to them. We need to protect them,” Littlefield said.
She learned Monday that she has it. She had been self-quarantined since the middle of last week when she started feeling like a pack of coyotes kicked her off the edge of a cliff.
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She’s familiar with feeling like that. Littlefield was born partially deaf. Then she was diagnosed with Stage 4 endometriosis when she was 25 years old.
Her immune system is compromised and she gets an ear infection almost every month, she said.
A week ago she started feeling bad but thought it was just another ear infection. The next day she felt worse and called in sick to work. She stayed home, as she’s supposed to.
The day after that she developed shortness of breath, which was new even for someone with her medical history.
“I had to constantly take deep breaths,” she said.
She checked her temperature — 101 degrees — not unusually high, she said, for someone who gets ear infections.
She called her primary care doctor in the Colorado Mountain Medical Center for a once-over in a special clinic.
“You go there if you’re experiencing respiratory issues,” Littlefield said.
She was, so she did. Her flu and strep throat tests came back negative. Then they checked her for coronavirus. It took a few days before she learned she had it.
She’s staying home and away from other people, as much as she can. She has roommates; one is out of town and the other is unaffected.
“I was kind of surprised. I had all the symptoms but took all the precautions. I self-isolated,” Littlefield said.
She’ll self-isolate for another week at least. She sanitizes constantly and wipes down everything all the time.
“It would break my heart if anyone got it because of me,” Littlefield said.
So, she stays inside and away from people, although many think fondly of her.
“I’m so thankful for friends who dropped off groceries outside my door,” she said.
Americans are big fans of instant gratification, but there is no pill or vaccine for this, Littlefield said. Isolation and time are the only cure.
She’s a big fan of being active and outdoors as she gets bored and stir crazy. So she occasionally sneaks out for some fly-fishing, one of her favorite outdoor activities.
“It’s still self-isolating. It’s right outside my door. The fish aren’t going to get it. The fish like me and I like them,” Littlefield said.
In the meantime the doctors she works with are setting her up to work from home, she said.
She’s feeling better and says she hopes others are, too.
“I encourage everyone to isolate,” she said.
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In the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a number of people decided they’d had enough of city life, and the Vail Valley gained some new residents. The same may be true in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.