A college student from Chicago's south suburbs is in isolation in her apartment near Kansas State University after testing positive for the coronavirus. The young woman is battling the symptoms on her own, hundreds of miles away from her family.
Miriam Chamberlain, 22, went to London in early March as part of a study abroad program. She traveled there with a professor and seven other students from her journalism program at Kansas State University.
"We had this trip planned for a year and we were really looking forward to it," Chamberlain said. "When we went, there were barely any cases in the UK and the U.S. I honestly didn't think cases would go up so bad by the time we got back."
On March 16, Chamberlain said she began to feel sick as she flew back to the United States but thought it was just jet lag. She contacted a doctor over the phone, and the doctor suggested she quarantine for 14 days to be safe.
But everything changed on March 29. The symptoms came back, this time more severe. She had to take herself to the ER.
"That's when I had my relapse," Chamberlain said. "I had a bad cough, fever, chills and horrible body aches. I was in the ER for about a day. They gave me the test. and the results came back positive for coronavirus."
“It sunk in and like, OK I have it. I kinda had already figured I did, because of how bad it had gotten,” said Chamberlain to KSNT, the NBC affiliate in Topeka, Kansas. “I called my mom and my dad and let them both know, and they were like, alright you’ll get through it, you’re strong.”
Since then, Chamberlain has been in isolation in her apartment in Manhattan, Kansas. She's alone and working through all of the emotions that come with battling the virus, on her own. Her parents live in the Homewood-Floosmoor area but have not been able to travel due to the stay-at-home order in Illinois.
“I’m just like out here by myself. This virus is not OK," said Chamberlain.
Fortunately, she's had some help from staff from the Journalism School program at KSU. "A bunch of the professors got together, had me make a list of groceries. They dropped them off at my door step and made sure I was fine," Chamberlain said. "It was surprising and I didn't know how to take it. I felt blessed, appreciated and loved."
Chamberlain is now doing her best to get healthy. She wants to make sure people know the virus can affect even young people like her and to take it seriously.