Rebecca Drobis and her daughter on the morning of their reunion.

It was the Thursday night before Memorial Day weekend when Rebecca Drobis, a 43-year-old mother of an infant daughter in Northwest Washington was suddenly awakened by a faint feeling of chills and wondered if she might be getting sick.

Drobis, a freelance photographer (she has previously worked for The Washington Post), had done everything she could think of to avoid the coronavirus. Her experience, recounted in a recent interview, captures how even a mild case of COVID-19 can still be a harrowing ordeal — and how the myriad unknowns of the illness leave its victims without a clear sense of closure or control.

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