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Jessica Schultz, U.S. Olympic curler, shares her story of recovering from coronavirus

Jessica Schultz Curling

RIGA, LATVIA - MARCH 24: Jessica Schultz of USA watches her throw in the Bronze medal match between USA and Canada on Day 9 of the Titlis Glacier Mountain World Women’s Curling Championship at the Volvo Sports Centre on March 24, 2013 in Riga, Latvia. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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Jessica Schultz, one of the athletes who tested positive for the coronavirus after the U.S. Club Curling Championships in early March, shared her month-long fight with mild symptoms to raise awareness and help others during this difficult time.

“In my almost 30 days of isolation with this virus, I have renamed it ‘my good friend Rona’ or ‘the abusive ex-boyfriend Covid,’” she wrote in an April 14 blog post. “This is an attempt at finding some humor in what could be a devastating moment in time. The ex., Covid, hasn’t been around lately, thank goodness; he typically brings the joint pain and inability to function. But Rona… she likes to hang out and give the low-grade fever feeling. She occasionally surprises me for coffee or waits until happy hour to drop her bad news.”

Schultz, a 2006 and 2014 Olympian, started feeling a little off the night before her team’s championship match at club nationals in Potomac, Md., according to the Anchorage Daily News. They lost the final. Schultz, 35, flew back home to Alaska. Everybody on the team later tested positive, according to the report.

Schultz, in her blog written after recovering, listed 13 symptoms chronologically, starting with chills and lethargy, including a loss of taste and smell and finishing with intermittent feverish days, but with a normal temperature.

She also shared having two “major breakdowns” during those 30 days.

“The first breakdown happened when Covid tricked me into getting excited about his departure, but a few days later he came roaring back with a vengeance,” Schultz wrote. “The second breakdown happened when I received news that even if I was healthy, I didn’t have my normal job to go back to and I needed to file unemployment. At this point, it was easy to feel defeated, becoming one with the couch. Through the first weeks of my relationship with Covid, I experienced all stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).”

Last week, USA Curling announced it hired Schultz as its women’s national team and juniors director. Schultz previously founded curlAK, a non-profit to grow curling in Alaska, and had worked as a physician’s assistant.

“I’m over the moon excited to play a role in the continued strengthening of our organization,” she said in a press release. “We have a talented group of athletes, and I look forward to being a consistent resource from the grassroots to the podium.”

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