Emma Pope, a 2019 nursing graduate, shared this photo with her friends on Facebook after she lear...Emma Pope, a 2019 nursing graduate, shared this photo with her friends on Facebook after she learned she had COVID-19.COVID-19 is real. And it is serious.

That is the message that Emma Pope, a 2019 Temple College nursing graduate, is sharing with anyone who will listen.

In July, Pope posted a photo of herself on Facebook that she took right after she was told she had COVID-19.

“The look on my face in this photo was a look of terror,” Pope told her Facebook friends. “Was I going to live? Would I be put on a ventilator? Will I be admitted to the hospital and not get to see any loved ones? I had so many thoughts racing through my head because I have seen all of those scenarios first hand.”

Pope suspects she caught the virus through her job as an ER nurse in Waco. She said she had almost every symptom of COVID-19  ̶  shortness of breath, cough, headache, fatigue, rash on both of her arms, fever, chills and body aches.

Fortunately, Pope recovered from the virus – but not entirely.

“Even now, I’m not 100%,” she says. “I’m short of breath with any activity, and still wake up with migraines every day. I also do not have my taste and smell fully back yet.”

Pope says she knows some people are not taking coronavirus seriously because they know people who have it and are asymptomatic. Her message to those people is simple.

“Please start taking it more seriously before it’s you or someone you love on a ventilator (life support),” she says. “It’s real and it is serious. Just please, please stay safe.”