B.C. family of five who survived COVID-19 urges caution, but not fear

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B.C. family shares journey of COVID-19 recovery – Oct 11, 2020

A Richmond family of five that came down with COVID-19 this summer is sharing their family story as a warning — and a message of optimism — to others.

Anson Ann, a reverend at the Good Shepherd Richmond church, his wife Charis and two of their daughters tested positive for coronavirus, and the family is certain their third daughter also had the virus.

Read more: British Columbians share what it’s like having COVID-19

The couple recently produced a Cantonese-language testimonial about the experience for their congregation, which hasn’t met in person since March, on YouTube.

Charis began showing symptoms in mid-August and tested positive, while Anson was refused a test because he was asymptomatic.

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He soon started showing symptoms too, and tested positive two days later, along with the couple’s middle daughter, while the other two girls came back negative.

A second child tested positive three days later and the third wasn’t feeling well, at which point the family hunkered down assuming everyone was infected.

Read more: Their dads are quarantined with coronavirus in B.C. care homes. This is their message

“So the tests do not always get it,” Anson told Global News on Saturday.

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“The five of us stayed at home, we were isolated, and we were pretty much bed-bound for two weeks.”

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None of the Anns suffered respiratory symptoms. Instead, they say they predominantly faced head and body aches, fatigue, fever and diarrhea.

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In Charis’ case, the symptoms were in and out over the course of the illness.

“I got a really bad headache, temperature came back up again. It fluctuated a few times, which is unlike the flu I’ve experienced my whole life,” she said.

“In the beginning, I was sick, I focused on my rest, so two days later I felt better. When I felt better, I had the energy to worry about my family and the people I had contact with.”

The kids bounced back in a few days, according to the Anns, while both parents took about two weeks to recover.

The Anns, who still don’t know how they got COVID-19, say they followed public health guidelines including washing their hands, wearing masks and keeping their bubble to family and a few close friends.

Read more: ‘I’ve progressed very, very slowly’: B.C. COVID-19 ‘long-hauler’ shares recovery story

The family says they’re hoping to dispel some myths, including that only people who are old get sick or that if you get sick you end up in hospital.

They want others to know that for many people, COVID can be beaten with patience and lots of fluid, but that it is not something anyone would want to go through.

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“It was very, very painful,” Anson said.

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Charis’ takeaway from the experience was not to be fearful, but to take the precautions seriously.

Read more: Hospitalized B.C. COVID-19 patient speaks out: ‘Just because I’m old doesn’t mean I want to die’

Anyone that is feeling at all ill should make sure they stay home, she added.

“We need to be very cautious when we go out, we need to balance where we’re going, how much social life we have,” said Charis.

“But at the same time we don’t just shut ourselves off to anyone else and live in our own little bubble.”