By: Get Georgia Well

“It was a very scary time. A COVID attack is from head to toe. It’s real, it’s terrifying. You think you may not beat it.”

Denise Godoy, a publicist for Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” is no stranger to drama, but she wasn’t prepared for the horrors of six days in the hospital wondering if she would get out alive.

“For treatment I had been taken off all my medications, and that made me feel agitated and uncomfortable,” says Denise, who lives in Gwinnett County with her family. “They told me I needed to calm down, that I could die if I didn’t. Hearing that certainly focuses your attention.”

What she remembers most is the pain. “As a mother my 1-10 scale of pain has always topped out with childbirth,” says Denise. “That has always been the 10, until COVID. I felt I was being invaded by pain. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

As she was recuperating in April, she was stunned to hear stories from mothers in carpool lines saying that COVID-19 was not real, that it was all a hoax. So many people were ignoring the evidence, but Denise’s world had been filled with COVID-19. She knew better.

She’s not unsympathetic to the skeptical.

“Until you know somebody who has it, it’s not real,” she says. People don’t get scared until it gets close or strikes someone in their family. Some think it’s a hoax until they realize it’s not. By then it’s too late.”

Denise says she believes people need to commit to doing the right thing — like wear a mask and socially distance — to beat COVID-19. “When I first got sick in March no one was wearing a mask, but by now we’ve learned what an important part of the solution they are,” she says.

Her conclusion, paid for with a lot of pain, is that if we have a solution, why shouldn’t we try it? “If it was a loved-one who had COVID symptoms, would we just ignore it? Why not do everything we can to prevent others from getting sick in the first place? We need to do what’s right.”

She sometimes gets angry at people who don’t listen, but realizes that anger won’t make a difference. “We all need to rise above a sense of selfishness that prevails today. We have to consider the common good.”

“Believe me, COVID-19 is as real as it gets. Patients aren’t just sick; they are suffering. Or worse.”