He got COVID-19; his brothers saw him through

By Eilis O'Neill, KUOW

Nick Baldini was one of hundreds of students at the University of Washington who came down with Covid while living on Greek Row. He served as IFC Vice President last year.

He says his Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers had gotten him through tough times before, and so he again turned to them for support.

Being the first person in my family to attend a four-year college, there wasn’t really anyone that I could, like, look to for advice. So being able to lean on my brothers I think was really helpful for me. I was able to ask questions like, “You’re in this major. What are things that you like about that? You know, like, what have you done in internships?”

When I got my positive test, it was a Thursday. I had gone for runs that entire previous week; like, I had ran 18 miles in the previous week. And then I wound up being really winded over the weekend and then into that next week. So I think that really just shows how scary this virus is. I found myself sleeping 14/15 hours a day. It made it really hard to do classwork.

I didn’t leave my room for 14 days, other than to go to the bathroom, or to take a shower. The people that weren’t infected, like, they really stepped up. They would bring us food. They would text us words of encouragement. If I needed, you know, soup, or anything else, like, they would go to the store and get that for us.

I didn’t regain some of my taste until probably seven weeks after. I still don’t have hardly any smell. I am Italian, so the pasta, spaghetti, lasagna — those are all pretty bland, so I can’t taste them, but I still eat them. So I really hope I get my taste back because I’d be really sad if I couldn’t taste chicken parm or something like that.

My hope is, is to be able to come back in winter or spring, if my family and personal matters allow me to do that, ’cause I feel like it would be just a very good environment for me — for my academics, as well as just having that support network.

Voices of the Pandemic is a series of first-person accounts of the coronavirus era in and around Seattle.