Two law students with COVID-19 are publicly urging their peers and everyone to take the virus seriously and stay home.

Sarah Moore, a student at Boston College Law School, shared her experience contracting the virus during a spring break trip to Ireland with the Boston Herald. Zack Kaplan, a second-year student at Duke Law School, wrote about his own bout with coronavirus on a blog that appears on North Carolina Policy Watch’s website.

Both students, healthy and in their 20s, said they expect to be fine after experiencing relatively mild symptoms—neither has been hospitalized. But they stressed that everyone must do their part to contain the coronavirus spread.

Their accounts highlight that, beyond the many stresses all law students now feel—from classes abruptly switching online, fights over grading policies and worries about the bar exam—the threat of the virus itself remains very real.

“Just one seemingly small decision to FaceTime with a friend instead of meeting up, to cook or order in instead of making an extra trip to the store, or to videoconference instead of going to the office can serve as the vital broken link that prevents entire swaths of our community from catching the virus, including people who might be at a greater risk of serious illness than you are,” Kaplan wrote.

Moore said the threat of coronavirus seems to become real for people once they know someone impacted by it.

“There’s a shift in people when it begins to affect their social circles. You really do need to take it seriously,” she said.

Moore spent the first week of March traveling around Ireland and didn’t feel ill until a week after her return. By March 14, however, she had chills, fever, and her breathing sounded raspy. She later developed muscle aches. But she wasn’t able to find a hospital that would test her for COVID-19 until she turned to Boston College’s health services. They tested her with a nasal swab, and the results came back positive several days later.

“I was honestly relieved, because at that point I had spun myself into, was I being dramatic? Was I insane?” Moore said. “I’m just really happy I didn’t go home to be with my parents.”

Kaplan described an easier path to getting tested for COVID-19. He got a drive-through coronavirus test that revealed he has the virus. And he has been overwhelmed by the care and kindness shown by medical providers, friends and neighbors, he said. That outpouring has made him feel hopeful.

“I don’t know when I’ll be better, when we’ll be better, or when all of this will just be a crazy, mixed-up memory,” Kaplan wrote. “But until then, I know that we already have everything it takes within our society and within ourselves to day by day, moment by moment, do right by our community. So let’s get better together.”


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