When COVID hit so unexpectedly in March - like everyone else - we at Marcella were immediately consumed by shock, wondering first and foremost how we could avoid making the situation any worse with our own company’s actions. Then, after two weeks, we decided we would do everything we could to meet the moment for our community. We began using our platform to advocate for the appropriate health & safety guidelines and, just as we do with our minimalist garments and accessories, we passionately went to work on developing the best and most sleek non-medical face masks we could - masks that have now been recognized nationally for their quality and fit.
Just as we are sure has been the case for you, it has not been an easy or fun year for us at Marcella but we’ve come to appreciate a major silver lining. Even in the midst of so much misfortune, the true joy of this COVID journey has been how we've connected with so many more of you during the past few months. So many daily conversations with you provide us with constant motivation but, more than anything, it’s the stories we’ve been told by you about experiencing COVID and recovering from it that inspire us month to month, week to week, day to day and minute to minute.
Inspired as we are, we decided finally to formally interview several individuals within the Marcella community and, with their permission, share some of those stories here below. Get ready to read about some incredible strength and perseverance from the U.S. to South Africa.
Stephie Nics, a 23-year old COVID survivor and Youtuber (ByStephieNics).
What gave you the most hope while you were sick?
When we asked this question, we routinely got a similar answer: each survivor shared that faith, family, and spirituality played a major role in battling the virus, “because you’re not fighting the battle by yourself,” shared Adele Koolen. Even on the most difficult days battling this virus, the support of those around them seemed to be the most crucial thing. ”What kept my going was my family and faith in God,” says Stephie Nics, a 23-year old woman who caught the virus back in March. “I’m lucky that I live with my family so just having them around during that time to lean on and talk to was such a huge comfort.” Another survivor, Kendra Lawson also mentioned that “prayers and encouragement from friends and family kept me going.” Some even tested positive alongside their family members, which interestingly gave them more strength during their quarantine. “My kids and my parents also contracted COVID. So I had to make sure I was doing my part in taking care of myself to help take care of them. They kept me going,” says Dr. Bindiya Gandhi.
Family doctor, Bindiya Gandhi M.D https://www.instagram.com/drbindiyamd/
What would you like to say to other people battling COVID-19 or who have a loved one battling it?
Kendra Lawson shared some powerful advice on how to defeat this virus, both physically and mentally.
“Kick COVID’s butt! COVID will not win! Rest, stay hydrated, boost your immune system and take the time in isolation to reflect on life and come out of this virus in a better state. If you have a family member battling COVID, be supporting, loving, and encouraging. Being isolated during COVID gets lonely and being able to speak to others and have them regularly communicate their love and support means a lot.”
Other survivors echoed that you can help strengthen your body beforehand to give yourself a greater chance of fighting the virus. Kelly Matthews shared: “This too shall pass. Give your body the best shot at fighting the virus, take care of yourself.” Dr. Bindiya Gandhi similarly offered a wonderful, proactive suggestion to improve your ability to recover in case you do test positive, “Keep your immune system strong if you can. Talk to a functional medicine doctor if you're able to, before, after or during covid on how to strengthen your immune response and improve your recovery.”
Do you have any tips or advice you would like to offer?
Adele Koolen, http://instagram.com/adele_koolen
Each survivor stressed the importance of following CDC health & safety guidelines to defeating the virus together - social distancing, face masks, and handwashing included. Dr. Bindiya Gandhi made the point that it’s always better to be safe than sorry, “You can never be too careful with the virus. We were anal and careful but still not careful enough. If you follow CDC guidelines without deviating, you can be safe and virus free even in your own home.” Over the past few months, we have been constantly updated about new developments on how to best handle the virus, which Stephie Nics looked to gratefully. “The virus is still a risk, but we’re in a much better place to deal with it. We’ve learned so much over the last few months. Just continue to take the proper safety precautions: social distancing and wearing a mask when you’re in public.”
Each and every individual with whom we spoke - COVID survivors themselves - expressed the unshakable belief that this will not last forever. As all of these survivors have encouraged us, we encourage you to stay hopeful and to take care of yourselves, because (for as cliche as it may sound to some…) hope IS the best remedy for defeating COVID. Family, faith, and love can conquer any fear this pandemic may bring. For all of us at Marcella, Kendra Lawson couldn’t have said it better,
“Love yourself. Love others. Wash your hands. Wear your mask. Socially distance. Be safe. Be strong. Don’t live in fear. Continue to live life to the fullest. We will get through these uncertain times together and hopefully be in a better place than we were before.”