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By Gail M. Williams
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

When 34-year-old Raul Mata of Muleshoe found himself experiencing a sore throat and head pain, he called Muleshoe Area Medical Center and drove there for a COVID-19 test.
“They tested me in the parking lot,” he said. “A nasal swab. It’s not at all fun.”
Results came back within 24 hours, and they were not surprising. Although Mata’s symptoms were mild, he knew that he had been exposed through his wife Beverly, 32, who had already been quarantined for a week.
“The headache was not, like, throbbing. It was just kind of there, toward the front. I would compare it to seasonal allergies,” Mata said.
The symptoms lasted a day and a half, and then he was back to normal.
“Honestly, I wasn’t terribly scared,” Mata said. “I had already prepared myself. It was just the fact that I couldn’t see my colleagues or my family for two weeks. That was worse than the actual symptoms.”
The Matas were concerned for their 8-year-old son.
“Whenever it’s the flu season, he generally gets sick. When it hits, it hits him hard, so we try to keep him as healthy as possible,” Mata said. “He stayed in his room and wore a mask whenever we did interact. He never showed any kind of symptoms.”
While he was at home, Mata, who is a runner, decided to work out.
“I started exercising a lot more than usually do. I had more time,” he said.
During their quarantine, the Matas relied on friends to run errands for them.
“Multiple people offered to help,” Mata said. “I know that EMS is also helping with that.”
Near the end of their quarantine, the Texas Department of Health contacted the Matas and interviewed them. Shortly after that, they received letters releasing them from quarantine.
Mata works at a Clovis bank, and Beverly Mata works at Leal’s. Their son will attend on-campus school this fall.
“I talked to some of my friends that have caught it, and symptoms vary. Mine were mild, but some of friends’ symptoms were more intense with extreme fatigue, loss of taste and smell, all the things you read about.
“Masks do work,” Mata said. “My family is an example. We kept our son from getting it while we were in the same household.”



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