A suburban woman who tested positive for coronavirus took to Facebook this week to share her experience - including a breakdown of symptoms she had each day - along with a dire warning.
"Let me first tell you this virus is an absolute monster," Terri Richardson Chaseley posted on Facebook Monday night. "Anyone who thinks it feels like flu is sorely mistaken."
Chaseley said she was on of the first residents of Lake County to be diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 17, learning of her positive test results via phone as she was hospitalized.
"Every day I have new symptoms on top of the old ones that just won’t go away," she wrote in the post that has since been shared more than 13,000 times.
"As a healthy, fit 45-year-old, I can’t even imagine what this would been like if I was older or had a major underlying condition," Chaseley continued. "After two weeks in, having phone conversations is still difficult for me as I just can’t find the air. Watching quarantine workout videos, I wonder if I’ll ever regain the lung capacity to workout again. I’ve read that lung and heart damage can be permanent. I pray that’s not the case for me."
Chaseley went into detail about her experience with the illness, breaking down her symptoms each day beginning on March 10 when she said midway through a workout, her lungs began burning.
"As I was showering, nausea and fatigue started to set in," she wrote. "I was miserable and had a 100.5 fever. We assumed it was the flu."
A full week and a battery of tests later - still with a fever, difficulty breathing and several other symptoms - Chaseley said she learned that she was positive, news she called "surreal."
Chaseley said she was told to quarantine through seven days after she's no longer symptomatic, saying she'll be locked in her room, away from her family "forever."
Her detailed account of her experience also came with a message of gratitude to healthcare workers who were "selfless and brave enough to don their PPE and walk through my door knowing I had a virus that could kill them" - and a dire warning.
"I will add that anyone who is growing weary of social distancing after one week needs to get over it," Chaseley wrote.
With regard to President Donald Trump saying he would like to ease coronavirus restrictions by April 12, Chasely said she doesn't think it's possible.
"There is no way this thing goes away in 14 days," she said. "It’s just not going to happen. As much as I’d love to see my kids back doing the things they love and eventually seeing family/friends, we cannot become complacent."
"I feel if I can convince even one parent to force their kids to practice strict social distancing, lives can be saved," she wrote.
As of Thursday evening NBC 5 Investigates has tracked a total of 2,653 confirmed cases of coronavirus throughout the greater Chicago area, including all of Illinois, southeast Wisconsin, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.