My wife Amy is an epidemiologist. The kids are 10 months and our son turned four in March. We weren’t oblivious to COVID-19. We were doing social-distancing in early March. One Saturday, I awoke feeling groggy. I deteriorated from there. By Wednesday morning, I wasn’t able to work. Really, really run down.
Is it COVID? I didn’t know at the time. You’re feeling scared. None of us were feeling well, except our son, who was asymptomatic. By Thursday, I was bedridden. Couldn’t move. I still didn’t believe it was COVID, but we FaceTimed with doctor friends who said: You look bad.
At the time, access to testing was still limited. We called an ambulance that Thursday night and the dispatch was reluctant to send an ambulance for me – I was neither delirious nor unconscious. (It was late in the night and wasn’t practical to pile the kids in the car; Amy was feeling shitty herself). At the time, they were understandably trying to keep people out of the hospitals. They said I didn’t absolutely need to come in.
I stayed home that night. At this point, I’m immobile. I called the ambulance again the next night and they came—they were masked and suited up.
Once at the hospital, the process of getting tested was unpleasant. A swab high up in the nasal cavity—a brain tickler, almost. The test took 24-hours for results to come back. As expected, it came back positive. I stayed in the hospital in isolation for four nights.
Amy was never confirmed for COVID-19, but she too had a high fever and other symptoms. Our daughter was worse. She had a fever of 40 for several nights. Not many dishes were getting washed in our house. It was a really rough week.
Once home, it took me seven to ten days of lying in bed and Tylenol to recover. Eventually, I did. It was five or six weeks I went without running. Once running again, the lungs were OK. The legs were rough. I get out 4-times-per-week now. It’s all good.
COVID-19 is a scary virus. There seems to be complacency, but the virus hasn’t gone anywhere. I had no underlying issues or complications. I’m 38 and exercise. And I was really, really sick. It could’ve been worse. Fortunately, it wasn’t. But this is a scary disease. This is real.
Listen to the recommendations of the public health officials and trust the science.
In the meantime, we soldier on.