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‘I got lucky’: IU sophomores recover from coronavirus after spring break trip



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Sophomore Gerrin Moore poses for a photo on the beach in Melbourne, Florida. Moore tested positive for COVID-19 after spending spring break in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Courtesy Photo

Even in paradise, the coronavirus spreads.

Gerrin Moore, 20, had all the symptoms besides a fever: a cough, chest tightness, body aches and fatigue.

The IU sophomore said he likely caught the virus from someone at the beach during the first days of his vacation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The first spring break trip his friend group took together was cut short after the beaches were closed.

Moore was faced with a choice when he started noticing symptoms: go home to Indiana or stay with his mom in Melbourne, Florida.

“He said, ‘Mom, I don’t wanna get you sick, I'm pretty sure I have coronavirus,’” Vicky Moore said. “I wanted him with me no matter what the situation was.”

Gerrin said he tested positive on March 21. His mother said doctors didn’t test her but considered her a presumptive positive case because she was in close quarters with her son. They quarantined together, passing the time playing chess and watching Netflix.

“I got pretty lucky with a pretty mild case,” Moore said. “After five days or so of having it, it was all gone.”

Sophomore Connor Reilly was on vacation with Moore in Fort Lauderdale. After spring break, he tested positive for the coronavirus after quarantining for a week in his hometown of Lake Forest, Illinois.

“We didn’t really think it was as big of a deal as it turned out to be,” Reilly, 19, said of the coronavirus outbreak and their decision to go to Florida. “We left before anything like the NBA or NHL seasons were postponed.”

His symptoms included chest congestion, a low fever and a cough.

“You could compare it to a bad sinus infection,” Reilly said.

Reilly said only three people in his friend group from spring break officially tested positive for the virus, including Gerrin and himself, though he said it’s likely it spread to other people in the group. He said he could have gotten it from someone at the beach or a friend in Bloomington who was experiencing symptoms before spring break.

Neither Moore nor Reilly were tested again for the virus, but both said their symptoms cleared up a few weeks after testing positive.

Moore was the only member of his family that was able to get tested. His sister and cousin had to return from a trip abroad due to the virus. Neither could get tested despite having contact with a roommate in Ireland who had tested positive.

Moore’s cousin Sami Teegarden said they went to an urgent care in Clark County, Indiana, but were only given flu and strep tests. They were told they had to be over 60 to be referred for coronavirus testing.

Vicky Moore said uncertainty was the most difficult thing to deal with in the family’s situation with the coronavirus.

“Even though we didn’t have anyone in the ICU or on a respirator or clinging to life, this whole thing has affected my family a lot,” Moore said. “We were just very fortunate that we didn’t have dramatic symptoms.”

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