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Woman reflects on contracting COVID-19 14 months later

Ognibene has no fear after her family beat COVID-19 back in November of 2020. But 14 months later, she’s still dealing with the aftermath.
Record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations.(Deric Rush)
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:45 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - People across the Stateline are contracting COVID-19 at record levels with the positivity rate at 23% in Winnebago County.

Now, one woman talks about her challenges she’s overcome since testing positive for COVID-19 in November of 2020.

“There’s you know, not much you can do, you get it, you deal with it, and you go on,” said Rockford resident Heidi Ognibene.

Ognibene has no fear after her family beat COVID-19 back in November of 2020. But 14 months later, she’s still dealing with the aftermath.

“I still do not have my smell and taste recovered so and I’m the only one in my family that has experienced that,” Ognibene said.

Ognibene describes it as a weird sensation, sometimes she smells things that aren’t even there like cigarette or bonfire smoke. But, one of the toughest things is not being able to taste.

“At first you like don’t eat at all and you lose a lot of weight and it’s like yes and then you just eat because you eat and even though it doesn’t taste great you still eat,” Ognibene said.

Even with the obstacles, Ognibene says looking back she wouldn’t have done anything differently and she doesn’t regret getting the virus.

“You can run but you can’t hide. We were a little longer coming out of the whole situation more of us severe flu and cold for us,” Ognibene said.

Going forward, Ognibene says she doesn’t fear the virus like she used to, she believes her body is strong enough to potentially fight the Omicron variant.

“Everyone’s situation’s different and everybody has their own co-morbidities and their own reasons to be frightful and scared so I wouldn’t tell anybody anything, you know that’s up to them and their doctor and you know everybody’s different and each case is different,” Ognibene said.

Ognibene reflects saying back in November her family had to quarantine for two weeks but now with updates guidelines for the CDC, those who test positive only have to quarantine for five days.

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