I’m good enough at math to know that I, and probably you, have little chance of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Even if I did get infected, there’s a large chance I’d survive it.
Those odds can tend to make me, and others who don’t have underlying health issues, feel a bit bulletproof to this virulent virus. That’s not to say I’m not concerned about it or that I’m not doing my best to social distance myself. I know we can have it and be asymptomatic, thereby possibly spreading the coronavirus unsuspectingly.
I’m not walking around in fear of dying from it. But the initial message I was hearing that mainly folks over 70 years of age and those with compromised immune systems had to worry about it, well, that’s not quite accurate.
Recently, I’ve read about some patients who survived it, but will have permanent lung damage and will struggle with breathing during heavy exertion. I doubt the average Joe like me and you would like to see a hospital bill after an unexpected week’s stay there. In the past weeks, I’ve read or heard about a few, younger, healthy, male celebrities that have had or do have it, and they describe the side effects as something they wouldn’t wish upon their worst enemy.
COLTON UNDERWOOD: We all know Colton, from his football star days at Washington and ISU to his reality TV days as America’s most handsome virgin. He’s 28 and in the elite physically fitness category. Yet, that didn’t stop the COVID-19 virus from infecting him.
It’s been a couple weeks since his test came back positive, and he’s just now feeling well enough to go out on walks. He described his illness as starting with extreme night sweats and a high fever. Eventually, he became weak and his lung capacity diminished. He felt like maybe “20 percent” of his lungs were working. He was exhausted just getting up to go to the bathroom.
CHRIS CUOMO: The fit, 49-year-old, CNN prime time show host has also described extreme weakness, fever and night sweats. During one particularly bad, fever-ridden night, his teeth were chattering so hard, he chipped a tooth. He even had hallucinations.
MARK CAMPBELL: Campbell is a 45-year-old, medical company owner, after playing football on Michigan’s 1997 national title team and 10 years in the NFL. The former tight end works out 5 times a week and was still at his playing weight before losing 17 pounds over the past week or so fighting the coronavirus. His biggest worry came when his breathing became strained, saying he was like a dog panting heavily after a long walk. He could only take short breaths. If he tried to breath deeply, it would send him into a violent coughing fit. His temp was 103 went he went to the hospital the second time and finally got admitted.
These are stories from youngish men who were fit and very healthy with no pre-existing conditions. They all have the benefit of having good support systems and money to treat it or stay home if necessary. They’re survivors, but all three basically said the illness was the worst physical torture they’ve experienced. “Scary as Hell,” Campbell said.
So even if you’re young and healthy, this pandemic is not something to feel nonchalant about. If you need more proof that anyone is vulnerable, read this story about the 30-year-old New Jersey baseball coach and teacher who died recently from it. Stay the course and stay home and isolate as much as possible.
Wishing you the best in health and sanity.