Surviving COVID-19 is far worse than you assume

"My hamstrings were on fire," says Joe Krolick. “For three days, it felt like four hands were pulling on the muscle from behind. At that point, I had chills and fever, which rose to 103 at times. It was uncomfortable to lie down, so I stood or sat. I could only sleep by leaning on a chair and stealing an hour here or there. "

The corona virus pandemic has shaken modern life like nothing in the last 100 years of human history. Sure, we all know people who have been sick. Some have not been confirmed due to a lack of tests. We know that people died of it and many recovered.

But did you speak to someone who had it? How about a healthy and healthy 40 year old who has survived? As Krolick is willing to tell, there is no picnic in the socially distant park - an apparently distant disease - one that you have heard was only a threat to the elderly or only occasionally a celebrity or athlete haunted.

Krolick is a full-time videographer who deals with action athletes and commercial customers. The filmmaker, based in Orange County, California, known in the skate world for recording “Classic Clips” and documenting the “golden era of street skateboarding,” had spent most of the months of January and February doing that US skateboard team to film for the first time at the Olympic Games (until the postponement of the 2020 games). He is the husband and father of a 5-year-old son. He has no major health problems and is still active when he can.

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Courtesy of Joe Krolick

Krolick remembers two trips on which he probably could have contracted something. One was a job on March 12, where a meet and greet was shot at the Staples Center between the Lakers (minus LeBron) and employees of the team's official credit union. The team had released information that two of the Lakers tested positive but could not identify which players. The other excursion was a paintball excursion on March 15th with a friend who had come up with something.

Krolick's symptoms started on March 17th with a tickling in the throat. He had vacuumed the house and brought it to allergies. But the next day he woke up with a coughing up mucus and a fever that was getting worse. Since he was aware of the pandemic at the time, he decided to quarantine himself on the first floor of his house, away from his wife and son. He called his doctor for a test on March 20. For days, his wife left food on the steps and he remained isolated while giving FaceTimeing to his son, who was upstairs. Krolick had to reckon with his condition. As the taste of Lemon-Lime Gatorade waned, he learned that loss of taste and smell were common symptoms. However, the feeling that his hamstrings were on fire was still a mystery. The muscle symptom was not mentioned in anything he read about the novel virus.

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Corona virusLight spring / shutterstock

"I would cough if I took a deep breath," he recalls. "My nose dried out and I had these crispy, bloody boogers. It was miserable. "

The survival rate of COVID-19 at 98-99 percent certainly sounds soothing. But with all this time in isolation, a 2 percent chance of dying begins to haunt thoughts. Krolick was alone with the noise of the media, endless briefings from the President and the world that seemed to be falling apart. After two days he had had enough.

After his first symptoms, it was a week before he could qualify for a test - and only because he met the criteria to be in touch with someone who had tested positive at the Staples Center, which was considered a hot spot. After the unbearable feeling of leg burning subsided, on March 23, Krolick dragged himself to a transit test station that was administered with a nose swab. Then he went back alone to his bedtime routine with Netflix and coughing.

He received the call four days later: positive results. Recommended treatment: take Tylenol.

"You basically said," If you don't really have breathing problems, don't call us. we will call you. & # 39; & # 39; & # 39;

For the next 12 days, Krolick had a fever of over 100 degrees without effective treatment. There were nights when he couldn't warm up as his body temperature dropped to 97. There was no team to rush to help, no hospital bed to wait around the clock. He was on his own and anyone who helped him would have been at high risk of getting the virus. The Orange County Healthcare Agency called later, but asked only a few questions about basic disease tracking. On the 13th day he broke out in cold sweat and in the afternoon his thermometer finally dropped to 98.6.

Krolick was cautious and quarantined for another seven days without symptoms before finally being able to connect with his family again. All in all, he had spent 21 days in isolation. He had lost 12 pounds.

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Krolick survivor 3A healthier job at work. Courtesy of Joe Krolick

w, two months after the pandemic started, we have all developed our own reasons for health versus finance, security versus life, and we are certainly exhausted from everyone else. But Krolick's perspective as a survivor carries more weight than empty noise on social media.

"I have a feeling that if the number of cases and deaths continues to rise, why are you trying to open up the economy?" Krolick asks. "Look, I know people have to work again. But if people are slightly sick, they won't call - and then we'll spread it further. "

He is frustrated at seeing people in groups without taking it seriously.

"They are together on social media and talk about social distancing. It's a joke," he explains. "People don't wear masks. In Asia, wear a mask in the norm. It's just common courtesy."

He spoke to a friend in New York who is sure that he has COVID-19 but has a need to work to keep the job - and his paycheck - going to process the bills.

"I have to work, but I'm happy to be able to distance myself," he adds. "People living in poverty have to go to work. They take the risk and it's a never-ending cycle."

Krolick Coronavirus EnderOn May 8, one month after recovery, Krolick was able to donate 865 ml of convalescent plasma to the San Diego Blood Bank. "It is said to be enough for four sick people," he said. "It took an hour and only plasma was extracted - all of your blood is returned through the same infusion." Courtesy of Joe Krolick

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