Eagles’ Howard talks COVID-19 experience

Georgia Southern head women's basketball coach says ordeal made her appreciate health

Eagles’ Howard talks COVID-19 experience

STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Anita Howard is ready to get back to work with her Georgia Southern women’s basketball team.

Especially after the last month of the offseason left the Eagles’ head coach with her mind on much more than basketball.

“My husband was helping my daughter wash the car,” she recalls. “I was in the house and I came outside and I was like, I have to go to the hospital. I can’t breathe.‘”

The Eagles' women's basketball coach tested positive in July.
The Eagles' women's basketball coach tested positive in July. (Source: WTOC)

That was early July. Howard would eventually test positive for COVID-19, a diagnosis that was even more concerning for her since she’s battled asthma her entire life.

Howard says her asthma hadn’t affected her much as an adult until her quarantine.

“I’m pretty sure there was some anxiety in there, because every breath you try to take in, I wasn’t feeling anything,” Howard remembers.

One night during that quarantine, an asthma attack struck. Howard worried for the worst.

“I remember when the E-M-T was here, seeing my daughter, my son, and my husband standing in the room watching her with the oxygen and thinking will I pass out?” Howard says. “Is this the last time I see my family?”

Luckily, it wasn’t.

Howard says another member of her family tested positive, so she’s remaining in quarantine nearly a month after first testing positive.

The coach says the isolation after testing positive was the most difficult part of the ordeal. But adds her already close family has grown even closer.

Now she hopes her experience will serve as a reminder for everyone to wear a mask.

“I say it to everyone: it’s a simple gesture. I know it’s uncomfortable for some. I’m asthmatic. You know you don’t like your nose and mouth covered,” Howard says, “But it’s a simple gesture, so that we won’t spread it and you also protect yourself.”

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.