"[The virus'] meaning and importance completely changes when it affects you personally," Charnas wrote on Instagram

By Benjamin VanHoose
March 18, 2020 10:23 AM
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Arielle Charnas, a fashion influencer and designer behind the lifestyle brand Something Navy, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Charnas, 31, shared the news on Instagram, writing that she received the diagnosis on Wednesday morning, after telling fans earlier this week that she was “freaking out” while awaiting results from the test. She began the health update by acknowledging the fact that many don’t have immediate medical access when they first notice symptoms.

“… Like many of you, this pandemic has me on heightened alert and I took what I believed to be the quick precautions necessary to protect the health and safety of my family and now ultimately the people around me,” read the post. “This morning, I learned that I tested positive for COVID-19.”

Since getting confirmation that she has coronavirus, she explained that she has an entirely different perspective on the outbreak.

“While this virus seems to be everywhere that you turn, it’s meaning and importance completely changes when it affects you personally,” wrote Charnas.

Per her doctors’ orders, the social media star said she will continue to quarantine and self-isolate, rest, drink fluids and contact friends and family she was in contact with the past two weeks so they can “be even more diligent in their own self-quarantine and look out for any symptoms.”

The mom of two added that her young daughters, Ruby and Esme, haven’t shown any symptoms, but that she and husband Brandon are “watching them super closely.”

With a disclaimer that she was not offering medical advice and urging people to seek doctors’ input since everyone’s body can react differently to the virus, Charnas explained her symptoms — some of which she said have been “debilitating” for her.

She explained that it began with a “very dry throat” at night, followed by a sore throat and a low-grade fever. Charnas added that she eventually experienced headaches and sinus pressure, as well as a loss of appetite.

“Finally, what I’m dealing with now which has been the worst are the HORRIBLE body aches and skin sensitivity like debilitating. Keeping me up all night,” she shared. “The only thing working for me is Tylenol extra strength but the second it wears off, the aches are back.”

Concluding the message to her 1.3 million followers, Charnas wrote that social media can help people support each other in this unusual time.

“We are truly living in an unprecedented time, but if social media has shown us anything in the past couple of days, it’s that we are all in this together,” she said. “I know that many of you are scared and anxious, but please stay calm, follow the directive of the medical and government communities and please be kind to each other.”

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Charnas posted her experience getting tested for COVID-19 earlier this week on her Instagram Story, showing herself getting swabbed at one of Manhattan’s Cure Urgent Care locations.

“Our friend owns an urgent care and he told me that they would swab me from my car near his office for both the flu and COVID-19 so Brandon is driving me there right now,” Charnas said on her Instagram Story Monday as she wore a medical face mask.

According to a representative from Cure Urgent Care, the facilities are not offering drive-by flu or COVID-19 tests to the public at this time. Anyone with symptoms can visit either location on the Upper West Side or Upper East Side to get an evaluation from a doctor and flu test first, the rep from Cure Urgent Care tells PEOPLE. If the medical professional deems the symptoms to be more serious, then a COVID-19 swab will be taken.

On Tuesday, Charnas wrote more about her health scare, writing that she was “dealing with the weirdest virus I’ve ever had since mono.” She explained: “It feels like we’re all in a bad dream right now but I’m determined to bring back some normalcy to our lives.”

Charnas went on to say that she intends to “move on to the things that make me happy” and continue her web presence in order to reach a state of normalcy among the outbreak.

“Back to regular content/programming,” she joked. “Can’t wait to post my partnerships and my outfits from inside my apt every day. I promise they will be better than this one 🤣 – love you all, stay home and stay healthy!”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.