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'I Found My People': Online Support Groups Help People Isolated With Coronavirus

BOSTON (CBS) – A pair of women battling coronavirus infection are among those who turned to online groups for support while they recover.

Ashley's physical presumptive battle with coronavirus was dotted with fear and loneliness.

"My fatigue began to just take over my body. I began to have severe confusion. I had trouble completing sentences. I could not recite the alphabet," she said.

"I'm literally in my basement, my family is upstairs, and I'm scared that I'm going to die."

Left to fight extreme exhaustion and blistered toes for more than a month, the 39-year-old Boston-area woman finally found solace in a Facebook group called "Long Haul COVID Fighters."

"It's like, I found my people," she said.

Ashley, a member of a coronavirus support group through Facebook. (WBZ-TV)

Lauren Nichols had a similar experience.

"I felt lonely on a very private, deep level because I didn't have anyone to turn to. The internet had nothing that could help. And we all turn to Dr. Google. Dr. Google couldn't even help me," she said.

For Nichols, the Body Politic COVID-19 Support Group was one way to validate her bizarre gastro-intestinal issues that have now lasted three months.

"Where we could really turn to one another and say, hey, I'm experiencing this. Are you experiencing this?" she said.

More and more coronavirus patients are turning to support groups like these as they suffer the inexplicable symptoms of a new virus.

Nichols, who is now an administrator for the Body Politic group, says they have expanded to roughly 8,000 members and 20 countries.

"It is a global group for humanity. For people have had COVID symptoms," she said.

Neither woman was hospitalized and they both say their fight with coronavirus is not over. But they say it is an easier fight with a community.

"To find other people that are experiencing that and just to hear the words, you're not alone, is cathartic on so many levels," said Ashley.

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