Founder’s Story: May 28, 2020, My COVID Journey Begins

Today is the day one year ago that I started to learn up close and personal about the SARS Coronavirus illness. My name is Dawn Christine Simmons (Khan), and on May 28, 2020 I began my journey as a COVID LONG HAUL SURVIVOR. a journey that motivated the creation of the COVID 19 Center of Excellence. I am part of the 33% of Coronavirus Survivors who suffer Long Haul Symptoms long after they test negative for the virus suggesting they had “recovered”. We have a different breed of agility, born out of necessity. Dear friends, Covid is very real, and so much bigger than flu. Not a hoax, and not something I wish on anyone. May we grow in knowledge and strength as we heal the world.

How did I get COVID?

On Thursday, May 28, 2020 in the late afternoon, I contracted the virus, while at Tracy Walmart Pharmacy, picking up medicine for my kids. I had safe social distanced, I had isolated at home. In fact this was the first and only time I went out in public in the month of May. I wore a mask. I carried hand sanitizer in my purse. However habit what it is, I pushed a cart. The store was hot, and the line was long. I did not even think about it when I put my hand on my cloth mask and pulled it out from my face, to air out my sweating face. I had picked up the virus from the shopping cart, touching my cloth mask, transferred the virus to my mask, and the heat and steam from my mask, steamed it right into my system.

How did I know I had COVID?

I did not know, in fact I did not fit the traditional COVID profile. I wasn’t reckless socially and I had none of the traditional symptoms- no fever, chills, coughing, no loss of smell or taste. I had a searing migraine without hypertension. It lasted for days, and nothing would cause it to subside.

By June 4, the symptoms escalated, nausea, numbness on my left side hands, fingers, and feet. Heaviness on my left side, dizziness, horrific migraines, difficulty breathing, blurred vision. I was a stroke alert at the hospital. There was a shuffling of doctors and nurses monitoring me, blood sugar tests, and fast talking. They are going to keep me overnight for observation. I had no damage by stroke, but all of a sudden diabetes condition, hypertension, and by 7 a.m the next morning, I learned I had COVID. I would be in the hospital for nearly a week, the stroke alert caused no brain damage, taking insulin shots. Released to home nursing with instructions to continue home metrics and what conditions to call my home care nurse and what conditions to return to the Emergency room for.

The Long Haul Recovery that prompted the Creation of a Website

Recovery was COVID Long Haul, not the “requisite 14 days” and resume regular activity for me. Many still were saying things like “Covid is Fake News”, “its just the flu“. I began with unconventional symptoms that became conventional later. Many of us continued to share notes and try to recovery in the Global Covid-19 pandemic that had no playbook and had at first 150 some symptoms, that by January 2021, became over 200. I had 185 of the symptoms during my course.

We created the Covid19 Center of Excellence as a source of trusted knowledge for Long Haul, because the internet was fraught with so much not just false information, but deadly false misinformation. We created an A-Z resource Guide for Covid Pandemic challenges and for the Myths and Misconceptions, and then more about the mysterious symptoms that did not fit the classic COVID mode, but kept us suffering.


I have survived and learned alot more medical terminology as I had about 60% of the Long Haul Symptoms. I have the fortune of several friends who are also long haulers. All of them have been on the path a few months more than me. Two are nurses. All suffer a variety of long-haul symptoms. My childhood friend and a nurse had suffered cognitive disfunction with neurological damage.

I have suffered long-term heart and kidney issues. I survived nearly a year of migraines, cognitive dysfunction, muscle spasms, muscle aches, breathing problems, weekly nausea and gastric problems in addition to:

  • 26 trips to the Hospital, 3 times by ambulance 911 with heart symptoms.
  • Hives and 3 rounds of pura pura petichiae
  • I have had 3 Emergency Room Sepsis Alerts
  • 5 otitis media infections, with one time ruptured eardrum
  • Numbness and tingling in the left arm
  • 6 bouts of vertigo, even more of routine dizziness
  • Covid onset Type 2 Diabetes
  • Liver pain
  • Kidney inflammation and Kidney stones
  • Half year of daily migraine
  • 7 Hypertensive emergencies
  • 4 bouts Angina
After my Immunizations

My first immunization was Pfizer in April. No notable symptoms except migraines and very odd muscle spasms, nausea, and GI symptoms. After that shot, some of my long-haul symptoms dissipated, Pura Pura petechiae got lighter, and only on my stomach. migraines were more manageable.

The second Pfizer immunization was definitely more painful and symptomatic. Nausea, migraines, dizziness, exhaustion, bruising, swelling, and a rash on my left arm. A few weeks later most of it is behind me. All that remains is migraines, intermittent kidney pain, and heart/blood pressure issues.

Today over half of the adults in the United States are vaccinated. But the pandemic is still large and uncontained, with thousands of new strains.


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