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Diane and Gretchen are childhood friends, now 30 years later found themselves reconnected not by school or family but by something darker - the commonality of surviving COVID, more than 1200 miles apart. They like you and millions of others have very different stories -  and they wanted to harness those stories and redirect the mask wearing narrative from impeding on people freedoms to protection, containment, hope and kindness for others.

"If we can help make people become self-aware that they live surrounded by it, then maybe we can change the mindset. Maybe we can lift the NUMBNESS and make others realize how many people in their everyday lives have contracted COVID.  Then together we can change the view of masks and their place in our community."


We know because we’ve lived it. 

“My COVID carrier came in a loving and always protective package, my father.  I live in Chicago and the last place I thought I would be sideswiped by COVID would be by a family member in a tiny town of Kentucky.  My father thought he was being diligent about the virus.  He attributed his aches to getting older so he didn't mention them when we scheduled a visit.  But COVID found its way to him and to this day he does not know where he contracted it. Our family's outcome was good and we all had mild to moderate symptoms. I certainly do not want to get exposed again or have anyone else go through the pure mind rollercoaster and the devastating effects that COVID can unleash.

After I recovered, I noticed a few things that bothered me. One, I found that not all COVID survivors share experiences until you tell them you had it, but more feel embarrassed or ostracized as a 'carrier'. Two, that people continue to not know how they have been exposed, making continued mask wearing essential. Three, that many people are becoming numb to exposure. Our discussion of freedoms seem so small when measured against the value of the lives at stake. So let’s show the world where we are and how close we come to those who don’t believe. Let's make a difference, together.”     

                       -- Gretchen Drury, co-founder of CovidLivedHere project

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"I certainly do not want to get exposed again or have anyone else go through the pure mind rollercoaster and devastating effects that COVID can unleash."
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“I fell ill from COVID in March after a co-worker returned to Connecticut from overseas when little was known about the virus and protection measures were not yet in place. The faint tickle in my throat led way to what we now know as Long COVID, and I found myself bedridden for over 4 months with fatigue, muscle weakness, a racing heart and shortness of breath. I vividly recall the intense fear of the unknown as I quarantined in my bedroom, from recording children’s books in case my little ones would need to remember me to the backpack I had grab-ready for my several trips to the ER.  Nine months later I still suffers from neurological impairments and heart issues that limit my function. I wonder if a mask might have saved me?  Since the outbreak began, support groups have formed worldwide and I have listened to thousands of survivors dismayed by dismissive behavior but feeling powerless on what can be done. This is my motion to change that.”

          -- Diane Sinosky, co-founder of CovidLivedHere project

"I vividly recall the intense fear of the unknown as I quarantined in my bedroom in early March...I wonder if a mask might have saved me?"
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