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'So good about things:' Dunn, out of COVID quarantine, urges business to keep pushing recovery needs

Updated: May 11, 2020

By P.C. ROBINSON Staff Writer

MENDHAM - Aura Dunn now has another title besides that of state Assemblywoman: COVID-19 survivor.

The Hardscrabble Road resident, a Republican who represents the 25th Legislative District, said in a Friday, May 8 phone interview that she learned she had the highly contagious disease in early March, after first experiencing "this awful headache."

Body aches followed the next day, prompting her to finally get to her doctor to find out what was going on.

A "daunting" trip to the COVID-19 testing center at the County College of Morris in Randolph, where she was greeted by a caring brood of medical personnel, confirmed the diagnosis, after which she promptly hunkered down in her bedroom at her Hardscrabble Road home.

Family members also isolated out of caution, and in time, her two daughters and son came down with the disease. "They had sore throats, fevers and headaches, but my husband didn't get it," she said.

Dunn said she "feels fine" now. "Everyday I feel better. I have some chest tightness, but I know the peak is over."

She wants to donate plasma, which could help those infected with the disease, but said she still has to wait for antibodies to appear in her system.

While having the disease was an anxious time, she said she was "fortunate on so many levels" because hers was a mild case.

As to where she thinks she contracted the virus?

One of the hardest parts of the illness, however, is not knowing if you're really over it and not contagious.

When her elderly father visited a few days ago, the family practiced social distancing outside while she kept indoors. "I stayed in the house because I still felt contagious," she said.

She doesn't know if that feeling of contagion will leave any time soon. "You wonder, like, will we all feel comfortable around each other again?"

She said she has no idea where she contracted the virus.

A few days prior to having symptoms, she had been at a food pantry drive in Dover, helping out but wearing face mask and gloves.

She said as much to the health department employee who called her doing contact tracing, but the employee doubted that was where she acquired it, as she had "minimal exposure" because she was wearing protective clothing.

"I was so good about things," she said.

One thing Dunn was not good at, however, was saying no when her children asked to adopt a puppy. In the end, the family adopted Reagan, an eight-week-old shepherd/hound mix from St. Hubert's.

'Nuts And Bolts'

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