How Has Covid Impacted the Charlottesville Community?

Percent of students who have tested positive for Covid out of 41 respondents.

Percent of students who have tested positive for Covid out of 41 respondents.

Inez Goering and Nicolas Pedersen

We are still in a global pandemic and there are countless theories of how the virus spreads the quickest. The reason for this continuous spike might be right at your front door, literally. Even though we typically hear about cases on the news, the virus has made its way around our community as well. In a few transmission case studies conducted by the CDC, it was found that the virus spreads the fastest in college campuses and family households.


Covid in our Community


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have Covid? Here are some thoughts from people who have contracted the virus. Many people have tested positive or had symptoms of COVID-19, but not everyone knows what it is actually like to have the virus. This article will go into detail with people that have experienced the virus with and without symptoms. No matter if a person had symptoms or didn’t have any type of symptoms, it should still be taken very seriously because it threatens everyone around you.

Steve Hambric was someone that most likely got COVID-19. He was feeling under the weather after dinner with a few friends and those friends a few days later also didn’t feel good. Steve tried to get tested and called places, sitting on the phone for hours, but he was not approved to get tested because he had no underlying conditions that could be life-threatening in addition because of the virus. He was very frustrated he never got tested because, at the time, you saw on the news, President Trump saying that if you want a test anyone will be able to get one. He was sitting at home waiting on the phone for hours just to get refused again and again. So Steve stayed at home for about two and a half weeks. He felt very sick for about a week and just stayed home just in case for an extra few days. Steve had a very bad cough and was very tired all the time. He actually said “I could have a meeting for an hour and then thirty seconds after he could fall right asleep” it is crazy how a virus can drain everything out of you so fast. 

After about eight days he no longer felt sick, and then for about a month, he had no taste or smell. Steve didn’t notice that he had lost his taste and smell until after he was no longer sick. One of Steve’s friends that were at dinner with him also got COVID-19, but he was much worse. At moments he had a fever of 104°F. He was very scared that it could be life-threatening. Thankfully Steve and all of his friends that got sick are all fine today.

Now some people don’t even have any symptoms at all. Diana who is a former student at CHS got COVID but had very few symptoms if any at all. Diana’s whole family got it because her aunt got it and her grandmother was going back and forth between the households, so Diana’s Mom wanted her to get tested as well. She went to the emergency room at UVA and told them she had been in contact with someone who has COVID. They put her in a room and asked her a few questions and took her vitals. They weren’t going to give her the test because she wasn’t showing any symptoms, but they did anyway. They thought it would be safer for Diana and her family to know if they had it or not. Diana said “The test itself was fast, but I sat in that room for two and a half hours” they called her after that to let her know her results. She tested positive and the hospital gave her some instruction on what to do and for how long. Her whole family got it, so they stayed at home for two and a half weeks under very strict rules.

Diana had a few headaches and body aches, but other than that she had no real symptoms. She did lose her taste and smell for a little while, but nothing too major. Diana said, “My family checked in with the health department each day until the end of the two and a half weeks”. In this case, most of the family had very few symptoms but still had to quarantine because of the danger of spreading the virus. As you can see there are many different ways a person can contract COVID and what it can do to certain people. Some people just lose their taste and smell, but others can have very high fevers, or it can even lead to death. If you take anything away from this article, hopefully, it is that you try and stay safe not just for yourself but also for people who are truly threatened by this virus. 


Covid in the Household


Jacob Rambo, my brother and CHS alum, had tested positive for Covid-19 in early July. I was living in a house with him at the time. He took responsibility for the risk he took, and quarantined as soon as he found out about the exposure. Jacob ended up stopping the spread of the Covid chain he got involved in. He says, “I quarantined in my room and wore a mask when going to the bathroom.”

Another CHS alum, Annika Antholis tested positive for Covid-19 over a month ago. She is currently enrolled and housed at the University of Virginia. Annika isn’t sure exactly how, when, or from whom she contracted the virus from, but as soon as she started showing symptoms, the University had her quarantine in a hotel until she was Covid-free. She was given the option to return home to quarantine, but she “didn’t want to risk it” with her family.

Both Jacob and Annika had similar symptoms. They experienced congestion, a sore throat, and loss of sense of smell and taste. Overall, the virus doesn’t take a drastic toll on your body (if you’re young and healthy), but it is important to understand that even if you aren’t at risk, your family members could be.


We are hitting another spike in the United States right now. We make up less than 5% of the world’s population but about 20% of the world’s coronavirus cases. We are adding about 160 thousand new cases to the total count every day. With the country at 11.4 million total cases and 248 thousand total deaths, Charlottesville is doing fairly well. Albemarle County makes up less than one percent of Virginia’s total cases and almost half a percent of Virginia’s total deaths.

In a survey sent out to CHS students, only one person said they have been diagnosed with Covid, and one other person said someone in their household has been diagnosed. But more than half of the respondents said they personally know at least one person who has had Covid. Our community does a decent job of stopping the spread of the virus, but there are always improvements to be made. As we enter the second spike, the CDC recommends we stay completely outdoors when not at home, continue original social distancing guidelines of wearing masks and staying six feet apart, and do not gather with anyone outside of immediate family without following social distancing rules.