It was one month ago when Erin Calver received the terrifying news that she had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The 38-year-old Cochrane resident spent 13 days in the hospital, at times struggling to breathe and on oxygen.

She's been home since April 5 after testing negative for COVID three times now and says she is doing a lot better but anticipates a long road to a complete recovery.

Calver still has an oxygen saturation probe that allows Alberta Health Services to closely monitor her oxygen levels. 

She is not able to work right now because she still suffers from coughing bouts and shortness of breath and anticipates it'll be a few months for her lungs to heal.

Calver says her first couple of symptoms were pretty minor back in March. 

"My first two symptoms were chest pain and a sore throat, nothing that made me think at the time that it was COVID, and then probably five days after that was when the coughing set in and it came pretty fast and furious, the coughing and the shortness of breath kind of came over the span of about, 12 hours. It came fast."

Calver says she never had one of the tell-tale COVID symptoms.

"The one thing I did not have, at all the entire time was a fever. And I think that's kind of what threw off a lot of the medical personnel because the majority of people with COVID-19 are presenting with a fever." 

Calver who does have an underlying cardiac condition says the symptoms did and still do come in waves.

"I would have a few hours of constant coughing and not being able to catch my breath and then it might subside for a few hours, or it might do it for a few days and subside for a few days. And new symptoms kept coming on and then current symptoms kept kind of taking a backseat." 

While she was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital a Paramedic called her parents to let them know what was going on but said that there's no point in them coming to the hospital as they won't be allowed in.

"I didn't physically have them here, but we FaceTime'd multiple times a day and when we weren't on FaceTime we were texting, so I was in constant communication with my family at home, through technology."

Calver, who is a teacher says she will never forget her experience in the hospital, being in the isolation room with all of the medical personnel in their full PPE gear. 

"I didn't expect that. I don't know what I expected. Everything happened so fast that I was COVID positive in the morning when I found out and then it all progressed really quickly.  But I didn't expect to be wheeled in to pretty much a trauma room with about a dozen medical personnel and, you know, they were ready. So, that indicated to me that this was fairly urgent."

"It was difficult because literally all you can see are eyes when people are talking I actually didn't know who was talking. It was quite alarming. But, having said that I could see that I was in good hands I could see that although it was chaotic everyone knew what they were doing and in what area they were to work in." 

Calver still doesn't know where she picked the virus up from but says it was from community transmission as she hadn't traveled.

She says her family lives in BC but she has friends in Cochrane and in Calgary and they've helped to support her during her illness.

She's lived in Cochrane for a year and says she's impressed with how Cochrane businesses have done a great job offering food and grocery delivery which has been very helpful. 

Calver wants to reiterate the seriousness of this virus and for people to make sure they're listening to what our top doctors are asking of us. 

"It's definitely not your normal flu, I mean I didn't expect anything like this to be able to take me out. So, it is serious. I don't think we need to live in fear, I don't think that's the way to live. But I just think we need to be smart about our decisions and our behavior and listen to obviously what the doctors are asking us to do."