MTSU doctoral candidate details battle with COVID-19: ‘I don’t wish this on anyone’

Coronavirus

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — A doctoral candidate at Middle Tennessee State University and her husband, an associate professor at the university, are among the thousands of Tennesseans who have recovered from the coronavirus.

Amy Harris-Aber said her husband, Jeremy Aber, an associate professor of geosciences at MTSU, started feeling sick on March 12. He never had trouble breathing, but did suffer from a dry cough, body aches, fever and fatigue.

By March 16, Amy Harris-Aber was also experiencing symptoms, including a high fever, chills and a sore throat. There was additional concern for her because in 2015, she suffered through Guillain-Barre syndrome, an illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s nerves.

The couple, married for 13 years, had very different experiences with the virus.

“We did not have to go to the hospital. We didn’t have a problem with breathing, the way a lot of people have, so we got very lucky there,” Jeremy explained. “It was basically just like the worst flu or cold I’ve ever had.”

Amy added, “I don’t think it was much like the flu at all. My hair follicles hurt. Like everything hurt. I remember taking him to the doctor that Saturday and it was hard for him to have me touch him, so it was not like the flu for me.”

The couple’s family lives in Kansas, so while they were sick, they said their neighbors went grocery shopping for them, and constantly checked on them to make sure they were doing okay.

“I don’t wish this on anyone, and so, it’s important to stay cognizant of people in your immediate vicinity and others that you’ll come in contact with because it’s not just you, it’s not just your family. It’s everyone that you encounter,” she explained.

MTSU switched to remote courses on March 23. The university said remote learning will continue at least through summer classes.

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