Life in the Time of Coronavirus

The 40-Year-Old Therapist Who Is Sick With the Virus

A new series about how this pandemic affects our lives, our loved ones, our work, and our way of life

Max Ufberg
Published in
8 min readMar 19, 2020
Photo illustration. Image sources: Aleksandr Zubkov/Getty Images, 4x-image/Getty Images.

Life in the Time of Coronavirus is a new GEN series where we are interviewing people across the country who have had their lives upended or who are experiencing the stress of the unknown.

Katherine Zwick is a 40-year-old therapist from Santa Cruz, California. After attending a conference in New York earlier this month she started experiencing a sore throat and periods of fatigue. On Monday she was diagnosed with coronavirus.

II started having symptoms, not particularly publicized symptoms, of Covid on March 7. I didn’t really think about Covid at the time. I just had a runny nose and a sore throat and felt tired. But I was coming off of two weeks of conferences and professional training. It made sense that I would feel run-down.

I got back to Santa Cruz on March 8, and the next day, I was crazy tired. I would get hit with a wave of fatigue and just have to take a nap. So I got in touch with my doctor.

There was a rumor at one of the conferences that someone had left because of exposure to Covid. I told my doctor that, just to be safe. She said I couldn’t come to his office, that I had to go to urgent care and be triaged in my car. Again, at that point, I was just really tired. I thought I had a cold.

At urgent care, I didn’t have a fever, just a runny nose and inflamed sinuses. The clinician who saw me said he thought I had sinusitis. He told me to come back if I felt sicker, “but this seems like nothing in particular.”

At that point, Santa Cruz was starting to take preventative measures. I run a therapy business, so I decided to transition all of our appointments to video to be safe. My husband works at a school. When they heard there was even a rumor that someone at my conference might have had exposure, they took it seriously. They told him he couldn’t come back to work. He was told to work from home.



Max Ufberg
Writer for

Writer and editor. Previously at Medium, Pacific Standard, Wired