The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is completely new to us. Three months ago, we knew essentially nothing about it. Now, with over half a million positive cases worldwide, we’ve been able to come to understand the nature of the virus better than before. Most people are aware that older people and those with pre-existing conditions and compromised immune systems are the most at risk for complications and death, while younger people have a better chance.
But that doesn’t mean that young people are in the clear. One mother took to Facebook to tell the story of her healthy five-year-old son contracting the coronavirus.
Lauren Fulbrook, a thirty-year-old mother from Worcestershire, United Kingdom, says that her son, Alfie, began to suffer severe symptoms like painful headaches, vomiting, and hallucinations.
“I watched him hallucinating and crying from the headache, being taken to hospital by ambulance to be put in isolation pods and swabbed for the virus and confirmed positive.”
Fulbrook says that Alfie first became ill on the 16th of March and was later diagnosed with COVID-19. Alfie experienced shortness of breath and photophobia, which is an extreme sensitivity or intolerance to light from the sun or artificial sources like light bulbs. 
The most common symptoms of coronavirus include a dry cough, fever, tiredness, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing.  Additionally, almost half of coronavirus patients report having digestive symptoms, according to one study.  Some have even reported a loss of taste and smell as early symptoms of the virus. 
Knowing that he was very ill and fearing what would come next, Alfie asked his mother if he was going to die.
“As a mother that is heartbreaking,” Fulbrook said.
Stay home, save lives
Alfie’s mom has a message for the world, one that she hopes is heard loud and clear: stay home.
“As his mum and not being able to do anything for him has been one of the worst experiences of my life,” she wrote on Facebook. “So please, just stay in for a little while. So what if you can’t do all your normal things?”
The good news is that Alfie is on the upswing and has been slowly getting better after his ordeal. In the United Kingdom, more strict measures have gone into place to prevent congregation and to enforce social distancing. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who himself was recently diagnosed with COVID-19, has announced that people may only leave their homes for very limited purposes.  
“Coronavirus is not a joke,” Fulbrook said. “Please stop brushing it under the carpet and putting not only your own lives at risk but everyone else’s just because you want to go to the pub, or to a restaurant or think you need seven packs of 24 toilet rolls.”
“I just want people to be safe.”
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