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China Deploys Military to Fight Coronavirus as Confirmed Infections Approach 1,000

Goldhedge

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Dr. Michael Greger on Pandemic Prevention | Infectious Diseases, Aids, Influenza, Coronavirus

 

Goldhedge

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ChinaVirus Survived For 17 Days in Cruz Ship Cabins, 2993 ~ Still reporting

 

Goldhedge

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From a guy on FB


Michael Bane is at Rush University Medical Center.Follow
March 21 at 10:55 PM · Chicago, IL

For all those who have asked the question “Does anyone even know anybody that has gotten the coronavirus?”, if you know me, you do now. My positive test for COVID-19 has been relayed to me, and I wanted to share what my experience with this illness has been. The TL;DR version of this is: It’s brutal, and I have no doubt it can kill you. Anyone who is saying it’s just a bad cold is either had a far different personal experience than I have or is parroting stuff they found on the internet. For those offended by adult language or themes, you may way want to stop here.

I’m a 42-year-old male who is relatively healthy. I exercise regularly, and generally avoid being ill. On March 3 I went to a routine doctor’s appointment. My wife works at this medical institution, and I thought it would be nice to surprise her with random flowers. On my way, I have an exceptionally brief encounter with someone believed to test positive a short time later. I don’t see my wife, but leave the flowers in her office after being escorted to it.

Fast forward to March 12. I’m at home eating spicy Chinese food (ignore any apparent irony) and my nose starts running, very mildly. I’m assuming it’s from the hot and sour soup. I don’t have to wipe it, blow it, or anything. It goes away within an hour and wasn’t something that would have registered if not for the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday, March 13 - Nose is slightly runny in the morning. Clears up shortly, nothing else. I have no need to wipe my nose or use a tissue.

Saturday, March 14 - Slight sore throat. No sniffles at the moment, but I assume it’s from post-nasal drip or possibly due to sleeping without the humidifier, which is normally on at night. It disappears momentarily. I cough a little, but I figure this is also from post-nasal drip, possibly an allergy (although to what, I have no idea). I see a post that says if you can hold a deep breath for 10 seconds without coughing, that’s a good sign. I can, and I venture out into the increasingly difficult-to-navigate world of grocery shopping. I tell myself I’m being responsible, as I stay as far away from everyone as I can, and I don’t even cough once.

Sunday, March 15 - My cough is more persistent. The sore throat is worse, but it goes away quickly again. My nose has stopped running. My Google searches tell me it could be COVID-19, but it could be any number of other things. I am slightly worried and try to trace back to where I could have been exposed. My wife works at a hospital, and there have been confirmed cases, after false negatives. These patients were allowed to wander around the hallways of the hospital, several floors of which my wife worked on. I assume if I’ve gotten it, that’s how. She’s not showing any symptoms. I am mildly annoyed but figure I should probably consider avoiding work tomorrow. We’ve suspended all in-office operations, but senior management was scheduled to come in to try to evaluate the first day of working remotely as a firm.

I can’t sleep. For whatever reason I just cannot get comfortable. I keep tossing and turning trying to alleviate this backpain on my left side, but nothing is working. At 1 am, it occurs to me this might not be normal backpain. I’m sleeping in the guest room at this point, because I don’t want to keep my wife up. I take my temperature. It’s 100.5, a slight fever. Figuring it’s better to be cautious, I email several people I work with and let them know I will be avoiding the office on Monday. Maybe it’s COVID-19, maybe it’s the flu. Whatever it is, I shouldn’t get other people sick, so I grudgingly elect to stay home. My symptoms are now fever, pain, and legit coughing.

I call Rush’s 24-hour corona-hotline and am told to schedule a video appointment tomorrow. I download the MyChart app and attempt to do so but realize I can’t until the morning. I can’t sleep, so I pop three Advil to alleviate the fever and pain. It doesn’t work, and I toss and turn for hours. I remember seeing 5:10 am on the clock. I’m woken up at 5:30 by a text from my wife asking if I’m going to work. I tell her I’m not. She is staying home as well.

Monday, March 16 - Scheduling a video appointment is difficult, as I keep getting the “we’re at capacity, please try again later” message. I finally manage to secure one ($49, pre-paid), and find myself face to virtual face with a physician’s assistant about two hours later. She reviews my symptoms and circumstances (worsening cough, annoying fever, bad pain), and due to potential for exposure, says I should get tested. She puts a request in with the hospital and says it will be 1-5 days. I should head to the ER if I start having trouble breathing.

I participate in a conference call with my firm and manage to get an appointment scheduled for the morning of the 17th to be tested for COVID-19. My mom and dad had recently been to our house, so I call them to make sure they are okay. That may not have been the best move, as they’re now worried, possibly needlessly.

My fever continues to worsen. I’m trying to work here and there, but effectively got no sleep the night before. I’m freezing cold. I double up my blankets in an attempt to stay warm. The constant pain is wearing on me. I Google if letting fevers run helps fight germs. I find some evidence it does. I suck it up and add more blankets. Someone posts a meme on Facebook that masturbation boosts your immune system to stop COVID-19. I immediately think that either:

a) This is obviously not true
b) I’ve saved myself from certain death.

I hit 101.6 on the thermometer.

My daughter is listening to I’m a Little Teapot downstairs. A verse comes on about three little fishies. I become legitimately angry at the teapot for announcing the presence of the fish to the world. Maybe they wanted to stay hidden. Why is the teapot making these choices for them? I am in a half-conscious rage. I come to and am baffled by my own thoughts. I feel very weak.

My fever is 102.5. My left hand is tingling, my oxygen saturation is down. I tell myself this is because of an increased respiratory rate due to the fever, not because corona has attacked my lung function. I’m right, but the thought still worries me. My wife tells me to take Tylenol or Advil. I tell her no; I’m going to kill the virus off with heat. I tell the virus to buckle down, because it’s about to burn in Hell. My wife brings me an immune booster shot containing ginger, turmeric, cayenne and something else. They say the worse it tastes, the better it is for you. This is undoubtedly the healthiest stuff on the planet. I think I fall asleep again.

My wife hears me laughing at something. I don’t know what. She asks me to take my temperature. I adjust myself on the bed and an arctic blast hits my body. My skin is on fire. This doesn’t feel right at all. I run various death scenarios through my mind to see if this situation fits. I feel that bad. I check the thermometer, and my wife again presses me for the temperature. Not wanting to admit that maybe I let this go for too long, I just say “high.” She’s immediately at the door demanding to know, and I relay that it’s 104.4. The pain is excruciating, more due to the fact it will not let up than its intensity, which has also been increasing. I take four Tylenol, and my wife insists that I get in a room-temperature bath, which she draws for me. I try to get in, but it feels like ice. Clearly my wife and the virus are working together to kill me. After about 15 minutes, I submerge myself and stay for another 30. I get out and feel a lot better. My temperature is 102. I pop three Advil to attack the fever a different way. I go to bed.

I wake up at around 1:30 am with a sudden desire to use the facilities. As I’m sitting on the commode, I smell something bad. I realize I’m also soaking wet. The smell is me. I have sweat so much my shirt is drenched like I’ve just done the polar bear plunge. It’s disgusting. I strip out of my pajamas and find another pair. I return to the guest room and find half the bed also soaked. I’m so tired I move to the other side of the bed, vowing to do laundry tomorrow. On the bright side, my temperature is a perfect 98.6, and I feel great. The fever has broken, so it’s possible it’s all over. I’m not sure if I even need this test.

Tuesday, March 17 – I need this test. The fever is back, 100.8, and the cough is worse. I feel better than yesterday, but I am dreading what’s to come. I shower and get my daughter ready for daycare. I don a mask and drop her off. I have 30 minutes to make my testing, which is plenty of time to show up the required five minutes early. My wife calls me, angry, and tells me she’s been furloughed pending the outcome of my tests. She also let me know that she traced my contact to the day I brought her flowers. They were very well received, and her co-workers are jealous, but a small part of me wishes I would have just gotten a drink instead.

There is traffic on 290. We’re stopped some of the time. How is this happening? Isn’t everyone staying home due to the national emergency? Even if they weren’t, why is there this much traffic at 10:00 am on a Tuesday? Maps tells me there’s an accident up ahead, but this just seems to be a default more than an actual reason.

Ten minutes later I discover the problem. The back gate of a Ryder truck popped open, and hundreds of cases of liquor have spilled out the back. It is a fantastic catastrophe. A guy is clearly trying to salvage what he can, and there’s stacks and stacks of boxes on the side of road which clearly can’t be saved. There’s broken glass everywhere, and the ground is soaked. The earth itself has to be drunk from this one. I lament that I drove by too quickly to get a picture.

I call the testing site and let them know I’m five minutes out. I tell them a liquor truck has spilled booze everywhere, hence I’m a couple minutes slow. They do not seem impressed. They confirm what kind of car I’m driving, what I’m wearing, and tell me to pull in front of the security car into a reserved spot. I arrive and do as I’ve been instructed. The security guard outside shoots me a look, and I tell him I’m here to be tested. He nods, satisfied with my answer. I stay in my car, as I’ve been previously told to do.

A hospital employee steps out in a mask and motions for me to get out of the car. My own mask is on, and I do. He immediately instructs me to put my hands in my pocket and not to remove them. He unlocks a door, and I follow him inside. I am again told not to take my hands out, and it’s added that I shouldn’t touch anything either. This seems redundant, unless he is telling me not to touch the insides of my pockets, in which case, I am not in compliance.

The doctor at the end of the hall is dressed like she’s about to enter Chernobyl. She asks me how I’m doing. I try to think of a clever response, but whatever I mumbled is largely ignored as the doctor muses to herself she should stop asking that question. I cough violently.

I’m led into a room, and the doctor points to a chair and tells me to stand in front of it, but not to sit down. She places a paper down on an exam chair and tells me I will pick it up before I leave.

I feel bad for her, she’s undoubtedly been exposed to people with COVID-19 and has a high chance of getting it. She explains the nasal swab process and says that the probe is going to go in REAL DEEP. She repeats it for emphasis. I nod, and cough. I weigh whether knowing is worth this nasal intrusion. I lower my mask below my nose and look up. It’s mildly uncomfortable, but not nearly as bad as I was expecting.

She puts my sample in a vial and opens the door while instructing me to take the paper and put my hands in my pockets. She yells “Clear?” down the hallway and a few seconds pass before an affirmative “Clear!” is shouted back. I exit and try to look extremely cautious, avoiding everything and anything that a person could possibly come in contact with. The doors are opened for me, and I head back to my car, hearing the click of the lock to ensure it remains a secure facility. I was in there for a few minutes at the most. Now it’s 1-5 days of waiting. I take Tylenol before going to bed, having seen a statement made by a WHO spokesperson against Ibuprofen. I have a small headache.

Tuesday, March 18 – It’s been two weeks since I was exposed. I wake up drenched in sweat again and take a 5 am shower. I go back to sleep for a bit and am rudely woken up by an alert on my phone. My test results are back already. That was fast. I go to the app to find out that I am negative for Influenza A and B. Okay, not what I was expecting at all. I didn’t realize they were also doing a flu test (makes sense) and had convinced myself I had caught Flu A from a co-worker. No such luck.

I participate in a work conference call but feel weak and don’t contribute anything. My wife asks me if I can keep an eye on my daughter which she goes downstairs to cook some food. I watch her as best I can through open doors across a hallway. My wife comes back upstairs, and I close the door. I cry alone in my room for a while. I haven’t been able to interact with my daughter in four days. I am heartbroken.

My temperature is going back up, but the pain isn’t as bad as the previous days. I don’t know. The cough seems worse. I’m trying to work but keep having to rest. I keep forgetting to eat. My wife brings me some beans and rice in a bowl. I put spoonfuls of it in my mouth and mostly just swallow. I don’t have the energy to chew.

Around 6 pm I have a horrible coughing fit. Every one of my shallow breaths is met with a corresponding respiratory spasm as the air is forced back out of my lungs. It goes on and on and on. My wife asks me if I need to go the hospital. That seems like an overreaction, but my coughing doesn’t allow me to reply. I wave her off and continue hacking and wheezing. I’m fighting for air, but I believe it’s going to pass. I get enough of a break to take two types of cough medicine, Tylenol, and use an old rescue inhaler we found in the house. My wife brings me some hot tea, which helps. Within an hour I feel better than I have in days. I try to watch some Netflix but can’t concentrate. I go to bed early.

Thursday, March 19 – It’s been a week since my first possible symptoms. I wake up freezing cold, and in horrible pain. My left lat seizes up, feeling like it’s trying to rip itself in half. As I attempt to figure out how to relax it, my foot cramps painfully as well. I am massively dehydrated. I’m drinking a lot of water, but the lack of food is keeping me from retaining much. There’s water next to my bed on the floor. I need to drink, but the continued pain and lack of energy is keeping me from acting. I begin processing the movements necessary in my mind to reach down and take a sip.

Twenty minutes later I still haven’t moved. I feel broken, I don’t know how much fight is left in me. It’s like I’ve gone ten rounds with a heavyweight and he’s throwing all the punches. I can’t defend anymore, can’t do anything to lessen the blows. All I can do is get hit and hope that my natural vitality outlasts his ability to keep swinging. I eat shot after metaphorical shot. I consider the hospital again. Maybe they can put me on a morphine drip, buy me a few hours of comfort so I can fight some more. I think about all the people in Italy who may have died alone this way and begin to sob uncontrollably. Then the entirety of my arms, as well as the muscles around my eyes and lips soon begin to contract and tingle as I hyperventilate.

When am I going to turn the corner? When is this all going to end? To everyone who said it was just a bad cold or like the flu, or that people were far more likely to be asymptomatic: fuck you. You have no idea what you’re talking about. This is not the cold. This is worse than the worst flu I’ve had. This is the Grim Reaper knocking on my door. I imagine him floating outside my window and flip him the bird. There’s more fear than bravado behind it. I cry some more, until a coughing episode forces me to get it under control.

Two weeks ago, I did 13 pullups and ran a sub-seven mile. I ran 6 miles of a marathon with a partially torn tendon in my foot. I fractured my ankle and walked around on it for two weeks before bothering with the doctor. I am in shape. I am a tough guy. I tell myself these things as I gear up for my next, big challenge. I grit my teeth and roll to my side. I grab the water and take several large gulps. The icy liquid hitting my empty stomach is a shock, but I keep drinking. Okay. I did it. I have something to build on. Not dead yet.

12:00 pm – I feel great. I think I’ve turned a corner.

2:00 pm – I have not turned a corner. The drugs have worn off. I cough through some work phone conferences before realizing I’m going to have to call it a day. My fever is returning, and I find out it’s Thursday and not Wednesday. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I pile on blankets and put on a sweater. I hit 103 on the thermometer. My wife demands I get into a lukewarm bath. I object like a petulant child, but in end submerge myself for a good 40 minutes. She’s much smarter than me, and currently, probably quite a bit stronger. I spare myself the humiliation of being dragged into the bathroom by my ears, and spend my time trying to figure out when my breathing is labored enough to warrant going to the hospital. This is not a fun thought.

Friday, March 20 – I’ve kind of found my stride. When I feel a fever/pain coming on, I take Tylenol. When I start coughing, I take benzonatate and use an inhaler. I can deal with the fever to a certain extent, but the coughing has gotten to the point where if I don’t take something it’s difficult to get air. There’s a slight crackling sound happening when I’m breathing in and out. I am worried, but I’m keeping myself more comfortable than I’ve been for a while.

I get into a few arguments with people on social media regarding the term “Chinese Virus” and the inherent racism behind it. My opinion as an Asian-American is quickly and skillfully invalidated with well-crafted lines of reasoning such as “Just another snowflake” and “KISS MY ASS” (caps not mine). Clearly, the only thing I have proven is that I still haven’t learned what a waste of time arguing on social media is.

Saturday, March 21 – Breathing is getting harder. I don’t exactly feel near-death, but more like life-adjacent. My arms and neck are tingling all the time due to a decrease in oxygen. I haven’t eaten much for three days because the food is making me nauseated. Showering and shaving have become more of an optional thing due to my weakness. My wife yells at me to go to the hospital. I don’t want to; I haven’t gotten my test results. She sends me a story about a 39-year-old who died waiting for hers. Okay, that does seem scary. I concede and pack a bag to head to the ER.

I reach my exit to get onto 290 and find it blocked off by a police car. Of course it is. I’m going to have to take some backroads to get over to the next entry point. My light turns green and I press down on the accelerator. A homeless man decides to jump into the street in front of my car. I slam on the breaks and lay on the horn. Is this even reality anymore, or is it reality’s cruel joke? I find my way onto the freeway and continue my journey as my control over my hands diminishes with my oxygen level.

Some jackass is tailgating me. I’m sick you asshole. I floor it. 70. 80. 90. I am reckless. I switch to sport mode and tectonic shifting. I am out of fucks to give. Maybe if a cop sees me, I’ll get a police escort. The Tucson purrs along with more get-up-and-go than I expected it had as I weave between a couple of slow pokes to exit. I pull into the emergency receiving area and check in.

Triage is weird. I’m told to go sit in a chair in a barren, cement room. The woman across the way does not look good at all. A man I can only assume isn’t mentally stable tries to check his dog in with him. He’s screaming a lot. There’s a couple of tents set up, and an area you can go stand in (6 feet away from the desk) to complete registering.

My phone rings. The Illinois Department of Health calls to tell me I’m positive for COVID-19. I laugh and reply that I could have told them that. Thankfully I’m already at the hospital because I feel like I’m going to die. I try to think of the last time I was this sick. It was probably 40 years ago when I had meningitis. The doctors thought it was going to kill me. We’ll see what they think about this one. The hospital calls a few minutes later to give me the same report.

I text my family, a few close friends, and my boss. Everyone is very kind. My boss lets me know they’re going to have to inform the office someone tested positive, but they’ll keep my anonymous. I tell him to use my name. It’s a scary message to get, and if people have questions maybe I can help. People may take social distancing protocols more seriously if there’s a face to associate with the illness. By the way work people, expect a message sometime soon.

I get into the ER and they take a chest X-ray. I have bilateral pneumonia. This explains the crackling sounds I’ve been hearing when I breath. My fever is 102. I’m admitted, stuck with an IV, and a host of medications are prescribed to me both intravenously and otherwise. They hook me up to the heart monitor and take my blood pressure every 30 minutes. It spikes when I hear I have pneumonia. The doctor is surprised I haven’t traveled anywhere. Unfortunately, we’re beyond that now. He thinks I'm about halfway through it.

So here I am, in the hospital on the 13th floor with a lovely view of the city. Take that isolation! The coughing won’t stop, and I’m waiting for the drugs to arrive. My prognosis seems reasonably good, I don’t need oxygen yet, and the monitors will keep an eye on my levels.

The point of all this? It’s not real for some of us until it happens to us or someone we know. I appreciate the well-wishes I’ve gotten and am bound to get, and don’t want your sympathy. Please please PLEASE take this seriously. This could kill me. Practice social distancing. Our office shut down and I became homebound when the national emergency was declared. I wish it had happened weeks sooner. I wouldn’t have gotten this, and I wouldn’t have exposed countless other people to it while I was at work and other places asymptomatic. There is a high degree of guilt associated with that. I’m worried about my wife and child.

People have died. People will die. It might be people you love. Please stay inside. This is horrible, brutal, devastating and it feels l might be cashing my chips in. Protect the people you care about as best you can. I love you all.
 

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Actor Daniel Dae Kim says malaria drug was ‘secret weapon’ in coronavirus recovery
  • By New York Daily News
  • March 22, 2020

COURTESY DANIEL DAE KIM
Daniel Dae Kim in a screenshot from a video he posted on Instagram today where he revealed he has tested positive for the coronavirus.


Former “Hawaii Five-0” actor Daniel Dae Kim says a medication commonly used to treat malaria was “crucial” in his recovery from coronavirus.

Kim, 51, described the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as the “secret weapon” in his treatment as he updated his Instagram followers on his condition in a new video.

The “Lost” actor noted that he’s not a doctor or lawyer, and that his comments should not be taken as though he’s a medical professional, but he wanted to speak on his own personal experience.

Hydroxychloroquine was one of several medications that made up a “drug cocktail” of treatment that Kim used, he said.
 

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From a guy on FB


Michael Bane is at Rush University Medical Center.Follow
March 21 at 10:55 PM · Chicago, IL

For all those who have asked the question “Does anyone even know anybody that has gotten the coronavirus?”, if you know me, you do now. My positive test for COVID-19 has been relayed to me, and I wanted to share what my experience with this illness has been. The TL;DR version of this is: It’s brutal, and I have no doubt it can kill you. Anyone who is saying it’s just a bad cold is either had a far different personal experience than I have or is parroting stuff they found on the internet. For those offended by adult language or themes, you may way want to stop here.

I’m a 42-year-old male who is relatively healthy. I exercise regularly, and generally avoid being ill. On March 3 I went to a routine doctor’s appointment. My wife works at this medical institution, and I thought it would be nice to surprise her with random flowers. On my way, I have an exceptionally brief encounter with someone believed to test positive a short time later. I don’t see my wife, but leave the flowers in her office after being escorted to it.

Fast forward to March 12. I’m at home eating spicy Chinese food (ignore any apparent irony) and my nose starts running, very mildly. I’m assuming it’s from the hot and sour soup. I don’t have to wipe it, blow it, or anything. It goes away within an hour and wasn’t something that would have registered if not for the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday, March 13 - Nose is slightly runny in the morning. Clears up shortly, nothing else. I have no need to wipe my nose or use a tissue.

Saturday, March 14 - Slight sore throat. No sniffles at the moment, but I assume it’s from post-nasal drip or possibly due to sleeping without the humidifier, which is normally on at night. It disappears momentarily. I cough a little, but I figure this is also from post-nasal drip, possibly an allergy (although to what, I have no idea). I see a post that says if you can hold a deep breath for 10 seconds without coughing, that’s a good sign. I can, and I venture out into the increasingly difficult-to-navigate world of grocery shopping. I tell myself I’m being responsible, as I stay as far away from everyone as I can, and I don’t even cough once.

Sunday, March 15 - My cough is more persistent. The sore throat is worse, but it goes away quickly again. My nose has stopped running. My Google searches tell me it could be COVID-19, but it could be any number of other things. I am slightly worried and try to trace back to where I could have been exposed. My wife works at a hospital, and there have been confirmed cases, after false negatives. These patients were allowed to wander around the hallways of the hospital, several floors of which my wife worked on. I assume if I’ve gotten it, that’s how. She’s not showing any symptoms. I am mildly annoyed but figure I should probably consider avoiding work tomorrow. We’ve suspended all in-office operations, but senior management was scheduled to come in to try to evaluate the first day of working remotely as a firm.

I can’t sleep. For whatever reason I just cannot get comfortable. I keep tossing and turning trying to alleviate this backpain on my left side, but nothing is working. At 1 am, it occurs to me this might not be normal backpain. I’m sleeping in the guest room at this point, because I don’t want to keep my wife up. I take my temperature. It’s 100.5, a slight fever. Figuring it’s better to be cautious, I email several people I work with and let them know I will be avoiding the office on Monday. Maybe it’s COVID-19, maybe it’s the flu. Whatever it is, I shouldn’t get other people sick, so I grudgingly elect to stay home. My symptoms are now fever, pain, and legit coughing.

I call Rush’s 24-hour corona-hotline and am told to schedule a video appointment tomorrow. I download the MyChart app and attempt to do so but realize I can’t until the morning. I can’t sleep, so I pop three Advil to alleviate the fever and pain. It doesn’t work, and I toss and turn for hours. I remember seeing 5:10 am on the clock. I’m woken up at 5:30 by a text from my wife asking if I’m going to work. I tell her I’m not. She is staying home as well.

Monday, March 16 - Scheduling a video appointment is difficult, as I keep getting the “we’re at capacity, please try again later” message. I finally manage to secure one ($49, pre-paid), and find myself face to virtual face with a physician’s assistant about two hours later. She reviews my symptoms and circumstances (worsening cough, annoying fever, bad pain), and due to potential for exposure, says I should get tested. She puts a request in with the hospital and says it will be 1-5 days. I should head to the ER if I start having trouble breathing.

I participate in a conference call with my firm and manage to get an appointment scheduled for the morning of the 17th to be tested for COVID-19. My mom and dad had recently been to our house, so I call them to make sure they are okay. That may not have been the best move, as they’re now worried, possibly needlessly.

My fever continues to worsen. I’m trying to work here and there, but effectively got no sleep the night before. I’m freezing cold. I double up my blankets in an attempt to stay warm. The constant pain is wearing on me. I Google if letting fevers run helps fight germs. I find some evidence it does. I suck it up and add more blankets. Someone posts a meme on Facebook that masturbation boosts your immune system to stop COVID-19. I immediately think that either:

a) This is obviously not true
b) I’ve saved myself from certain death.

I hit 101.6 on the thermometer.

My daughter is listening to I’m a Little Teapot downstairs. A verse comes on about three little fishies. I become legitimately angry at the teapot for announcing the presence of the fish to the world. Maybe they wanted to stay hidden. Why is the teapot making these choices for them? I am in a half-conscious rage. I come to and am baffled by my own thoughts. I feel very weak.

My fever is 102.5. My left hand is tingling, my oxygen saturation is down. I tell myself this is because of an increased respiratory rate due to the fever, not because corona has attacked my lung function. I’m right, but the thought still worries me. My wife tells me to take Tylenol or Advil. I tell her no; I’m going to kill the virus off with heat. I tell the virus to buckle down, because it’s about to burn in Hell. My wife brings me an immune booster shot containing ginger, turmeric, cayenne and something else. They say the worse it tastes, the better it is for you. This is undoubtedly the healthiest stuff on the planet. I think I fall asleep again.

My wife hears me laughing at something. I don’t know what. She asks me to take my temperature. I adjust myself on the bed and an arctic blast hits my body. My skin is on fire. This doesn’t feel right at all. I run various death scenarios through my mind to see if this situation fits. I feel that bad. I check the thermometer, and my wife again presses me for the temperature. Not wanting to admit that maybe I let this go for too long, I just say “high.” She’s immediately at the door demanding to know, and I relay that it’s 104.4. The pain is excruciating, more due to the fact it will not let up than its intensity, which has also been increasing. I take four Tylenol, and my wife insists that I get in a room-temperature bath, which she draws for me. I try to get in, but it feels like ice. Clearly my wife and the virus are working together to kill me. After about 15 minutes, I submerge myself and stay for another 30. I get out and feel a lot better. My temperature is 102. I pop three Advil to attack the fever a different way. I go to bed.

I wake up at around 1:30 am with a sudden desire to use the facilities. As I’m sitting on the commode, I smell something bad. I realize I’m also soaking wet. The smell is me. I have sweat so much my shirt is drenched like I’ve just done the polar bear plunge. It’s disgusting. I strip out of my pajamas and find another pair. I return to the guest room and find half the bed also soaked. I’m so tired I move to the other side of the bed, vowing to do laundry tomorrow. On the bright side, my temperature is a perfect 98.6, and I feel great. The fever has broken, so it’s possible it’s all over. I’m not sure if I even need this test.

Tuesday, March 17 – I need this test. The fever is back, 100.8, and the cough is worse. I feel better than yesterday, but I am dreading what’s to come. I shower and get my daughter ready for daycare. I don a mask and drop her off. I have 30 minutes to make my testing, which is plenty of time to show up the required five minutes early. My wife calls me, angry, and tells me she’s been furloughed pending the outcome of my tests. She also let me know that she traced my contact to the day I brought her flowers. They were very well received, and her co-workers are jealous, but a small part of me wishes I would have just gotten a drink instead.

There is traffic on 290. We’re stopped some of the time. How is this happening? Isn’t everyone staying home due to the national emergency? Even if they weren’t, why is there this much traffic at 10:00 am on a Tuesday? Maps tells me there’s an accident up ahead, but this just seems to be a default more than an actual reason.

Ten minutes later I discover the problem. The back gate of a Ryder truck popped open, and hundreds of cases of liquor have spilled out the back. It is a fantastic catastrophe. A guy is clearly trying to salvage what he can, and there’s stacks and stacks of boxes on the side of road which clearly can’t be saved. There’s broken glass everywhere, and the ground is soaked. The earth itself has to be drunk from this one. I lament that I drove by too quickly to get a picture.

I call the testing site and let them know I’m five minutes out. I tell them a liquor truck has spilled booze everywhere, hence I’m a couple minutes slow. They do not seem impressed. They confirm what kind of car I’m driving, what I’m wearing, and tell me to pull in front of the security car into a reserved spot. I arrive and do as I’ve been instructed. The security guard outside shoots me a look, and I tell him I’m here to be tested. He nods, satisfied with my answer. I stay in my car, as I’ve been previously told to do.

A hospital employee steps out in a mask and motions for me to get out of the car. My own mask is on, and I do. He immediately instructs me to put my hands in my pocket and not to remove them. He unlocks a door, and I follow him inside. I am again told not to take my hands out, and it’s added that I shouldn’t touch anything either. This seems redundant, unless he is telling me not to touch the insides of my pockets, in which case, I am not in compliance.

The doctor at the end of the hall is dressed like she’s about to enter Chernobyl. She asks me how I’m doing. I try to think of a clever response, but whatever I mumbled is largely ignored as the doctor muses to herself she should stop asking that question. I cough violently.

I’m led into a room, and the doctor points to a chair and tells me to stand in front of it, but not to sit down. She places a paper down on an exam chair and tells me I will pick it up before I leave.

I feel bad for her, she’s undoubtedly been exposed to people with COVID-19 and has a high chance of getting it. She explains the nasal swab process and says that the probe is going to go in REAL DEEP. She repeats it for emphasis. I nod, and cough. I weigh whether knowing is worth this nasal intrusion. I lower my mask below my nose and look up. It’s mildly uncomfortable, but not nearly as bad as I was expecting.

She puts my sample in a vial and opens the door while instructing me to take the paper and put my hands in my pockets. She yells “Clear?” down the hallway and a few seconds pass before an affirmative “Clear!” is shouted back. I exit and try to look extremely cautious, avoiding everything and anything that a person could possibly come in contact with. The doors are opened for me, and I head back to my car, hearing the click of the lock to ensure it remains a secure facility. I was in there for a few minutes at the most. Now it’s 1-5 days of waiting. I take Tylenol before going to bed, having seen a statement made by a WHO spokesperson against Ibuprofen. I have a small headache.

Tuesday, March 18 – It’s been two weeks since I was exposed. I wake up drenched in sweat again and take a 5 am shower. I go back to sleep for a bit and am rudely woken up by an alert on my phone. My test results are back already. That was fast. I go to the app to find out that I am negative for Influenza A and B. Okay, not what I was expecting at all. I didn’t realize they were also doing a flu test (makes sense) and had convinced myself I had caught Flu A from a co-worker. No such luck.

I participate in a work conference call but feel weak and don’t contribute anything. My wife asks me if I can keep an eye on my daughter which she goes downstairs to cook some food. I watch her as best I can through open doors across a hallway. My wife comes back upstairs, and I close the door. I cry alone in my room for a while. I haven’t been able to interact with my daughter in four days. I am heartbroken.

My temperature is going back up, but the pain isn’t as bad as the previous days. I don’t know. The cough seems worse. I’m trying to work but keep having to rest. I keep forgetting to eat. My wife brings me some beans and rice in a bowl. I put spoonfuls of it in my mouth and mostly just swallow. I don’t have the energy to chew.

Around 6 pm I have a horrible coughing fit. Every one of my shallow breaths is met with a corresponding respiratory spasm as the air is forced back out of my lungs. It goes on and on and on. My wife asks me if I need to go the hospital. That seems like an overreaction, but my coughing doesn’t allow me to reply. I wave her off and continue hacking and wheezing. I’m fighting for air, but I believe it’s going to pass. I get enough of a break to take two types of cough medicine, Tylenol, and use an old rescue inhaler we found in the house. My wife brings me some hot tea, which helps. Within an hour I feel better than I have in days. I try to watch some Netflix but can’t concentrate. I go to bed early.

Thursday, March 19 – It’s been a week since my first possible symptoms. I wake up freezing cold, and in horrible pain. My left lat seizes up, feeling like it’s trying to rip itself in half. As I attempt to figure out how to relax it, my foot cramps painfully as well. I am massively dehydrated. I’m drinking a lot of water, but the lack of food is keeping me from retaining much. There’s water next to my bed on the floor. I need to drink, but the continued pain and lack of energy is keeping me from acting. I begin processing the movements necessary in my mind to reach down and take a sip.

Twenty minutes later I still haven’t moved. I feel broken, I don’t know how much fight is left in me. It’s like I’ve gone ten rounds with a heavyweight and he’s throwing all the punches. I can’t defend anymore, can’t do anything to lessen the blows. All I can do is get hit and hope that my natural vitality outlasts his ability to keep swinging. I eat shot after metaphorical shot. I consider the hospital again. Maybe they can put me on a morphine drip, buy me a few hours of comfort so I can fight some more. I think about all the people in Italy who may have died alone this way and begin to sob uncontrollably. Then the entirety of my arms, as well as the muscles around my eyes and lips soon begin to contract and tingle as I hyperventilate.

When am I going to turn the corner? When is this all going to end? To everyone who said it was just a bad cold or like the flu, or that people were far more likely to be asymptomatic: fuck you. You have no idea what you’re talking about. This is not the cold. This is worse than the worst flu I’ve had. This is the Grim Reaper knocking on my door. I imagine him floating outside my window and flip him the bird. There’s more fear than bravado behind it. I cry some more, until a coughing episode forces me to get it under control.

Two weeks ago, I did 13 pullups and ran a sub-seven mile. I ran 6 miles of a marathon with a partially torn tendon in my foot. I fractured my ankle and walked around on it for two weeks before bothering with the doctor. I am in shape. I am a tough guy. I tell myself these things as I gear up for my next, big challenge. I grit my teeth and roll to my side. I grab the water and take several large gulps. The icy liquid hitting my empty stomach is a shock, but I keep drinking. Okay. I did it. I have something to build on. Not dead yet.

12:00 pm – I feel great. I think I’ve turned a corner.

2:00 pm – I have not turned a corner. The drugs have worn off. I cough through some work phone conferences before realizing I’m going to have to call it a day. My fever is returning, and I find out it’s Thursday and not Wednesday. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I pile on blankets and put on a sweater. I hit 103 on the thermometer. My wife demands I get into a lukewarm bath. I object like a petulant child, but in end submerge myself for a good 40 minutes. She’s much smarter than me, and currently, probably quite a bit stronger. I spare myself the humiliation of being dragged into the bathroom by my ears, and spend my time trying to figure out when my breathing is labored enough to warrant going to the hospital. This is not a fun thought.

Friday, March 20 – I’ve kind of found my stride. When I feel a fever/pain coming on, I take Tylenol. When I start coughing, I take benzonatate and use an inhaler. I can deal with the fever to a certain extent, but the coughing has gotten to the point where if I don’t take something it’s difficult to get air. There’s a slight crackling sound happening when I’m breathing in and out. I am worried, but I’m keeping myself more comfortable than I’ve been for a while.

I get into a few arguments with people on social media regarding the term “Chinese Virus” and the inherent racism behind it. My opinion as an Asian-American is quickly and skillfully invalidated with well-crafted lines of reasoning such as “Just another snowflake” and “KISS MY ASS” (caps not mine). Clearly, the only thing I have proven is that I still haven’t learned what a waste of time arguing on social media is.

Saturday, March 21 – Breathing is getting harder. I don’t exactly feel near-death, but more like life-adjacent. My arms and neck are tingling all the time due to a decrease in oxygen. I haven’t eaten much for three days because the food is making me nauseated. Showering and shaving have become more of an optional thing due to my weakness. My wife yells at me to go to the hospital. I don’t want to; I haven’t gotten my test results. She sends me a story about a 39-year-old who died waiting for hers. Okay, that does seem scary. I concede and pack a bag to head to the ER.

I reach my exit to get onto 290 and find it blocked off by a police car. Of course it is. I’m going to have to take some backroads to get over to the next entry point. My light turns green and I press down on the accelerator. A homeless man decides to jump into the street in front of my car. I slam on the breaks and lay on the horn. Is this even reality anymore, or is it reality’s cruel joke? I find my way onto the freeway and continue my journey as my control over my hands diminishes with my oxygen level.

Some jackass is tailgating me. I’m sick you asshole. I floor it. 70. 80. 90. I am reckless. I switch to sport mode and tectonic shifting. I am out of fucks to give. Maybe if a cop sees me, I’ll get a police escort. The Tucson purrs along with more get-up-and-go than I expected it had as I weave between a couple of slow pokes to exit. I pull into the emergency receiving area and check in.

Triage is weird. I’m told to go sit in a chair in a barren, cement room. The woman across the way does not look good at all. A man I can only assume isn’t mentally stable tries to check his dog in with him. He’s screaming a lot. There’s a couple of tents set up, and an area you can go stand in (6 feet away from the desk) to complete registering.

My phone rings. The Illinois Department of Health calls to tell me I’m positive for COVID-19. I laugh and reply that I could have told them that. Thankfully I’m already at the hospital because I feel like I’m going to die. I try to think of the last time I was this sick. It was probably 40 years ago when I had meningitis. The doctors thought it was going to kill me. We’ll see what they think about this one. The hospital calls a few minutes later to give me the same report.

I text my family, a few close friends, and my boss. Everyone is very kind. My boss lets me know they’re going to have to inform the office someone tested positive, but they’ll keep my anonymous. I tell him to use my name. It’s a scary message to get, and if people have questions maybe I can help. People may take social distancing protocols more seriously if there’s a face to associate with the illness. By the way work people, expect a message sometime soon.

I get into the ER and they take a chest X-ray. I have bilateral pneumonia. This explains the crackling sounds I’ve been hearing when I breath. My fever is 102. I’m admitted, stuck with an IV, and a host of medications are prescribed to me both intravenously and otherwise. They hook me up to the heart monitor and take my blood pressure every 30 minutes. It spikes when I hear I have pneumonia. The doctor is surprised I haven’t traveled anywhere. Unfortunately, we’re beyond that now. He thinks I'm about halfway through it.

So here I am, in the hospital on the 13th floor with a lovely view of the city. Take that isolation! The coughing won’t stop, and I’m waiting for the drugs to arrive. My prognosis seems reasonably good, I don’t need oxygen yet, and the monitors will keep an eye on my levels.

The point of all this? It’s not real for some of us until it happens to us or someone we know. I appreciate the well-wishes I’ve gotten and am bound to get, and don’t want your sympathy. Please please PLEASE take this seriously. This could kill me. Practice social distancing. Our office shut down and I became homebound when the national emergency was declared. I wish it had happened weeks sooner. I wouldn’t have gotten this, and I wouldn’t have exposed countless other people to it while I was at work and other places asymptomatic. There is a high degree of guilt associated with that. I’m worried about my wife and child.

People have died. People will die. It might be people you love. Please stay inside. This is horrible, brutal, devastating and it feels l might be cashing my chips in. Protect the people you care about as best you can. I love you all.
I used to believe that this virus is a hoax and doesn't exist. I no longer believe that. The virus is real IMHO. That being said, there's a lot about this virus I still don't buy into.
 

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That being said, there's a lot about this virus I still don't buy into.
Agree, there are too many coincidences and you know what Q says about them....

I'm of the mind that this didn't just 'appear' out of thin air....
 

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I'm not convinced that this futuristic document, dated 10 days into the future, is accurate. It's pretty warm down south yet the virus is still spreading. The language smacks of how a 10 year old would write it.
Europe doesn't date like we do.

It's really 3/4/2020
 

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Jackson Browne Tests Positive for Coronavirus
“It’s important for us all to be pretty forthcoming about what we’re going through,” singer-songwriter says
By ANGIE MARTOCCIO


Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 9.31.30 PM.png

Jackson Browne reveals that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Taylor Hill/Getty

Jackson Browne was suspicious that something was not right when he started feeling ill in recent weeks. “As soon as I had a small cough and a temperature, I tested [for COVID-19],” he says. The Rock Hall of Fame inductee tells Rolling Stone that he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is currently recuperating at his Los Angeles home. “My symptoms are really pretty mild, so I don’t require any kind of medication and certainly not hospitalization or anything like that,” he adds.

The 71-year-old musician isn’t sure where he got it, but he suspected his recent trip to New York for the annual Love Rocks NYC benefit, which also featured Cyndi Lauper, Dave Matthews, Warren Haynes, Susan Tedeschi, and Derek Trucks, may have been the source. “So many people that have it aren’t going to be tested,” he says. “They don’t have symptoms, but they might have it and might be able to pass it on. That’s what younger readers need to understand: They need to take part in the global response to stop the spread. That means not going anywhere, not getting into contact with anybody, not seeing anybody.”
 

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Jackson Browne Tests Positive for Coronavirus
“It’s important for us all to be pretty forthcoming about what we’re going through,” singer-songwriter says
By ANGIE MARTOCCIO


View attachment 158849
Jackson Browne reveals that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Taylor Hill/Getty

Jackson Browne was suspicious that something was not right when he started feeling ill in recent weeks. “As soon as I had a small cough and a temperature, I tested [for COVID-19],” he says. The Rock Hall of Fame inductee tells Rolling Stone that he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is currently recuperating at his Los Angeles home. “My symptoms are really pretty mild, so I don’t require any kind of medication and certainly not hospitalization or anything like that,” he adds.

The 71-year-old musician isn’t sure where he got it, but he suspected his recent trip to New York for the annual Love Rocks NYC benefit, which also featured Cyndi Lauper, Dave Matthews, Warren Haynes, Susan Tedeschi, and Derek Trucks, may have been the source. “So many people that have it aren’t going to be tested,” he says. “They don’t have symptoms, but they might have it and might be able to pass it on. That’s what younger readers need to understand: They need to take part in the global response to stop the spread. That means not going anywhere, not getting into contact with anybody, not seeing anybody.”
71, pretty mild symptoms? No meds needed? Something doesn't seem right here
 

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Nevada Governor Bans HCQ for ChinaVirus , 2996-b Still reporting

 

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Germany Closes Borders to all BUT Migrants!! , 2997 ~ Still reporting

 

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How Coronavirus Tests Actually Work

By Maggie Koerth
Filed under Coronavirus



Adam Glanzman / The Washington Post via Getty Images


The coronavirus crisis is in large part a testing crisis. We are reading about tests. Arguing about tests. And, in many cases, struggling mightily to obtain tests for ourselves. But while test shortages are making headlines, there’s a lot about the technology behind these tests that isn’t as clear to the public. It’s like we’re all on one of those reality shows where you agree to marry a total stranger, entering into a high-stakes relationship with someone you couldn’t pick out of a crowd.

So let’s get a little more acquainted with the tests we can’t stop talking about. At the very least, learning a little more about the tests for COVID-19 will help you understand why it’s so hard to get one when you need it.

What happens when you get a COVID-19 test?
First, a medical professional puts a swab — an extra long, one-headed Q-tip — way, way, way up your nose. That captures viral particles, along with a bunch of other stuff that Dr. Davey Smith, a research virologist at the University of California, San Diego, referred to as “biological gunk,” like mucus and random cells. The next step, Smith said, is isolating the viral RNA — the genetic material that the virus uses to replicate itself. The RNA in a virus like the one that causes COVID-19 is similar to DNA, but instead of the twisted ladder of a double helix, it’s half that because it’s split down the middle. Some viruses carry their genetic code as DNA, but RNA viruses mutate a lot faster. That feature helps them jump species and evade both natural and medical efforts to kill them. Influenza, for instance, mutates so quickly that we need a new vaccine for it every year.

Just like DNA can identify a person, RNA can identify the virus that causes COVID-19. Isolating it requires a series of steps — adding different chemicals and repeatedly spinning the sample in a centrifuge — that aim to separate the sample into layers like a fancy cocktail shot, with the layer containing the RNA floating on the top. Then the RNA has to be further purified. There’s more than one way to separate out RNA, and companies sell kits that include the chemicals you need to make it work (called reagents, because they’re used to induce a chemical reaction).

Why The U.S. Can’t Process Coronavirus Tests As Fast As South Korea
From there, the RNA is mixed with short segments of DNA called primers. The primers and RNA get combined with loose building blocks of DNA, enzymes that work like genetic construction crews, and more reagents. Mix it all up, and your RNA turns into DNA.

Finally, the new DNA needs to be replicated until you have enough of it to actually study. That’s another chemistry kit — more primers, building blocks and reagents — doing what basically amounts to biological copy-paste, over and over. This is called a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the primers used here are especially important. These replication primers are basically fragments of the virus you’re looking for, Smith said, that will bind to the genetic material of that specific virus and nothing else If there’s no COVID-19 in the sample, then COVID-19 primers won’t replicate any DNA.

“We put in some special dyes so when it builds the right DNA we’re looking for, we can see the color light up on special machines,” Smith said. If you had COVID-19, your sample will now show up with freshly built, brightly colored DNA to prove it.

Wow, that’s a lot. Is that why people can’t get their COVID-19 test results for several days?
Well, no. This process is not particularly special or time-consuming and involves techniques used all the time in genetic research. PCR, in particular, is so crucial to the entire field that the guy who invented it won a Nobel Prize back in 1993. We use this same technique to test for all kinds of other viruses, from influenza to Zika, said Dr. Mary Jo Trepka, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Florida International University.

PCR doesn’t actually take that long to do — you can get results from an influenza PCR test in 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the chemistry set-style kits are something you can order from a website, and other needed machines can be as cheap as a used sedan. Any lab that works regularly with DNA has the ability, in theory, to do this testing.

In other words, the bottleneck slowing down test results is not a technical one. It’s about logistics and supplies, Smith said. In the earliest days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was conducting all the COVID-19 testing in-house so they could monitor quality control, and they’ve been slow to authorize new labs to use their test kits. As more labs came online, though, they began running low on everything from the swabs they stick up people’s noses to the reagents that power the PCR’s chemical reactions to the human lab techs who actually do the tests, Smith and Trepka told me. It’s like a traffic jam.

Compare that to South Korea, where people can get their results in about a day. There, the government had been stockpiling the necessary chemicals for years after COVID-19’s cousin MERS briefly hit that country in 2015. That helped the country move quickly to approve and decentralize testing as soon as COVID-19 arrived.

So, wait. Is there no difference between South Korea’s test and ours, then?
There is a difference, but that doesn’t have much to do with why ours takes so much longer, Smith said. The differences are really just about which primers are being used. Researchers choose which chunks of a virus’s genetic code to use as a primer with an eye to making sure those primers are a) unique to the specific virus they’re looking for and b) likely to get preserved in any random bit of viral RNA scraped off the back of somebody’s nasal cavity. If the primer isn’t unique enough, you can get false positives. If the sequence your primer is looking for doesn’t make it from nose to test tube, then you’ll get false negatives.

There’s not really anything wrong with the primers the CDC test uses, Smith told me. Even when the CDC test was malfunctioning, that was about an inconsistent reagent, not the unique primers. South Korea is faster than us because it can conduct the tests in more places, and could right from the start. Plus, it has more supplies to do the tests with.

Is there no other way to test for COVID-19?
For right now, nope. That’s changing fast, though there are trade-offs. PCR is a great way to test for viruses because it’s both specific (unlikely to produce false positives) and sensitive (unlikely to produce false negatives), Trepka said. There are other tools that doctors use to test for more familiar viruses. For instance, if you think you have the flu, there’s a test you can take right in your doctor’s office that looks for antigens — the substances on a virus that stimulate your immune system into action. It produces results in as little as 10 minutes, but it’s not very sensitive and might tell you that you have the flu even if you don’t. “They’re helpful in clinical care but we don’t use them to monitor outbreaks,” Trepka said.

Meanwhile, new tests — like one from Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche that the Food and Drug Administration authorized on March 13 — are under development. The Roche test is 10 times faster at producing results than the standard PCR system. But unlike the PCR test, it requires the use of a rare (and proprietary) instrument. There are only 110 of these machines in the whole country. And that test still requires reagents, Smith said. As big companies like Roche bring these kinds of testing systems online, they’re sucking up the already limited quantities of reagent that smaller labs need for PCR tests. These big companies, such as Roche, are also making more reagent, Smith said. “But it’s very much profit-driven and they can corner the market very quickly,” he told me. “That’s not the end of the world, but it’s hard in the middle of the epidemic.”

CORRECTION (March 24, 2020, 9:43 a.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated the scientific definitions of sensitive and specific. When a test is sensitive it is unlikely to produce false negatives, and when a test is specific it is unlikely to produce false positives.

Maggie Koerth is a senior science writer for FiveThirtyEight.
 

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James Dyson designed a new ventilator in 10 days and making 15,000 for the pandemic fight
The company, best known for its vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, said the ventilators would be ready by early April.
Thursday, March 26th 2020, 8:09 AM EDT by CNN Newswire


James Dyson unveils a new product in Germany.

Dyson has received an order from the UK government for 10,000 ventilators to support efforts by the country's National Health Service to treat coronavirus patients.

James Dyson, the company's billionaire founder, confirmed the order in a letter to employees shared with CNN on Wednesday.

"A ventilator supports a patient who is no longer able to maintain their own airways, but sadly there is currently a significant shortage, both in the UK and other countries around the world," Dyson wrote.

Dyson said the company had designed and built an entirely new ventilator, called the "CoVent," since he received a call 10 days ago from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume," Dyson added, saying that the new ventilator has been designed to "address the specific needs" of coronavirus patients.

A spokesperson for the company, which is best known for its vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, said the ventilators would be ready by early April. Dyson, who has wealth worth $10 billion according to Bloomberg, wrote in his letter that he would also donate 5,000 units to the international effort to tackle the pandemic.

"The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time," he added. "The race is now on to get it into production."

Healthcare workers in many parts of the world are having trouble enough critical supplies, such as masks, gloves and ventilators, to deal with the influx of patients suffering from the highly contagious virus.

In the United States, Ford has announced that it's working with 3M and GE Healthcare to produce medical equipment including ventilators and protective gear. GM and Tesla have also pledged to make ventilators.


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
 

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New York hospitals treating coronavirus patients with vitamin C

By Lorena Mongelli and Bruce Golding
March 24, 2020

Seriously sick coronavirus patients in New York state’s largest hospital system are being given massive doses of vitamin C — based on promising reports that it’s helped people in hard-hit China, The Post has learned.

Dr. Andrew G. Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist affiliated with two Northwell Health facilities on Long Island, said his intensive-care patients with the coronavirus immediately receive 1,500 milligrams of intravenous vitamin C.

Identical amounts of the powerful antioxidant are then readministered three or four times a day, he said.

Each dose is more than 16 times the National Institutes of Health’s daily recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C, which is just 90 milligrams for adult men and 75 milligrams for adult women.

The regimen is based on experimental treatments administered to people with the coronavirus in Shanghai, China, Weber said.

“The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C,” he said.
 

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Virtual reality shows what coronavirus does to your lungs

 

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UNLIMITED PRINTING: Do You Know How This Story Ends?

SGT Report

 

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Fauci Ignores WHO Boss Crimes Against Humanity

Amazing Polly
 

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Bosch develops tool to test for coronavirus in 2.5 hours

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Yahoo Finance UK
March 27, 2020


Bosch's new diagnostic device.

Germany technology giant Bosch has developed a tool that can test for Covid-19 in “under 2.5 hours.”

Bosch said on Thursday (26 March) that the fully-automated diagnostic device can simultaneously diagnose 10 respiratory pathogens and has an accuracy level of over 95%. It works by taking a swab from the patient’s nose or throat, and then putting the cartridge, which contains all reagents for the test, into the device.

It can be administered on the spot in doctors’ practices and hospitals, without the need to send samples to labs, which would go a long way to easing the burdens on testing facilities. It also means a huge reduction in wait times for patients, allowing those who have contracted the virus to be isolated more quickly before they infect others.

“Time is of the essence in the fight against coronavirus. Reliable, rapid diagnosis directly on site with no back and forth – that is the great advantage of our solution,” Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner said in a statement.

The device was developed together with Northern Ireland-based Randox Laboratories in just six weeks. It should be available from April in Germany and then in other countries. Bosch said it meets World Health Organisation standards.
 

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How Do Ventilators Work? Why Are They So Critical for the COVID-19 Pandemic?

by Patrick J. Kiger Mar 20, 2020



The COVID-19 pandemic has created a public laser focus on a piece of medical equipment most of us probably haven't given much thought to before. David Joel/Getty Images

As the U.S. and the rest of the world scramble desperately to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are faced with a critical shortage of ventilators, the bedside devices that help patients who have difficulty breathing on their own.

U.S. hospitals have about 160,000 ventilators, with another 12,700 available from the federal government's National Strategic Stockpile, the New York Times reported March 18, 2020. But it's feared that will be nowhere near enough to cope with all the people who could become seriously ill from the virus.

All this has suddenly focused attention on a piece of medical equipment that most of us probably haven't given much thought to, any more than we think about breathing itself. But for someone who can't get air into his or her lungs, the device — which ranges in price from $25,000 to $50,000, according to the Washington Post — can be a lifesaver.

How Do Ventilators Work?

Ventilators assist patients with a number of different conditions. "They can be used to help people breath during routine surgery under anesthesia or also when patients are sick and have difficulty breathing due to their illness," explains Dr. Paul F. Currier, director of the Respiratory Acute Care Unit for the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Massachusetts General Hospital, via email. A small proportion of people who become infected with COVID-19 may develop inflammation in their lungs. "An even smaller proportion of these patients can develop respiratory failure which is best treated with a ventilator."

"Think of the lungs as an elastic balloon," Kenneth Lutchen, dean of the College of Engineering and a professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University (BU), says via email. "You can expand the balloon by having the pressure at the opening (mouth) be greater than the pressure on the other side of it. Normally we breath by having our muscles expand the chest which lowers the pressure around the lungs inside the body so that the lungs expand.

"But if the lungs fill up with fluid or become highly inflamed — both of which can happen in coronavirus — then the negative pressures that occur with normal breathing are not sufficient to expand the lungs enough and insufficient O2 and CO2 exchange will result," Lutchen continues. "The alternative is then to 'push' air into the lungs using a ventilator which creates a positive pressure at the mouth — the inlet to the intubation tube — large enough to push enough fresh air in and out each breath. Hopefully, this can keep the blood O2 and CO2 levels close to normal until the inflammation and fluid buildup subsides and the person can breathe on their own again."

The boxy mechanical device with a digital display on the top typically sits on a cart next to the bed. As the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute website explains, the patient is connected to the device by a breathing tube that's inserted through his or her nose or mouth down the throat, which is held in place by tape or a strap that fits around the head. The tube in the airway can cause some discomfort, and also affects a patient's ability to talk or eat. That's why the care team may insert another tube into a vein to feed the patient nutrients, or — if the person is going to be on a ventilator for a long time — insert a nasogastric feeding tube that goes directly into the stomach or small intestine through a surgically created opening.


This diagram depicts the basic design and function of a respiratory ventilator.
Getty Images/HowStuffWorks

Having a tube down your throat isn't exactly pleasant, but it's important. "Without intubation several things can threaten the ability of the ventilator to do its job," Lutchen explains. "Perhaps the most important is that if the ventilator just blew into the mouth the delivered volume may not all go into the lung. Some of it could leak out the nose — which is connected to the mouth — or some can end up expanding the cheeks of the person rather than going into the lung."

The Role of the Respiratory Therapist

To get this all to work, hospitals depend upon the expertise of highly trained professionals called respiratory therapists. "The respiratory therapist determines the appropriate settings to match the patient's respiratory needs based on the underlying disease condition," explains Timothy R. Myers, a respiratory therapist and chief business officer of the American Association for Respiratory Care, by email. "From that point, they provide constant monitoring and assessment and modify the setting as the patient's condition improves or worsens. This would include noninvasive monitoring and measurements from blood analysis to look at oxygen and carbon dioxide levels."

This requires a lot of careful management, because lungs are pretty complicated, Myers explains. While it's useful to think of the lungs as a balloon for illustrative purposes, in reality, they're "more like a network of millions of balloons that must transfer gases between the lungs and the circulatory system. When the lungs are damaged or diseased, each lung and the millions of balloons require gas entry in and out differently than when healthy. Each patient is unique."

In recent years, there have been some advances in how ventilators are used. "Research has shown that using low breath size and low pressures improves outcomes," Currier explains. "Also, patients with severe respiratory failure may at times be turned on their stomachs while on the ventilator, a process called prone positioning, which can often improve their oxygen levels. Finally, for some patients whose oxygen levels remain low despite being on a ventilator, they may be able to receive Extra-Corporeal Membranous Oxygenation (ECMO) in some very specialized centers. This highly intensive therapy can circulate the blood outside of the body to provide additional oxygen."

Lutchen's research focuses upon developing safer mechanical ventilators. "Initially the ventilator is working to save a life by keeping proper O2 and CO2 levels," he says. "But it does this by pushing air in and exposing the lung to abnormal pressures, often larger pressures to help expand a stiffer and/or narrower lung. Also a ventilator is programmed to give the exact same breath every time where normal breathing varies a little from breath to breath and we periodically take a big breath. If you need to be on a ventilator for a very long time there is a risk of the repetitive large pressures to cause Ventilator Induced Lung Injury (VILI) which could facilitate Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Now the ventilator may no longer be able to provide enough O2 and CO2 exchange."

That's why Lutchen is working with lead investigator Bela Suki, a professor of biomedical engineering at BU, on a concept called variable ventilation, in which the ventilator delivers variable breaths similar to a natural breathing pattern, to avoid repetitive abnormal pressures in the same location when a person breathes. "There is some evidence in animals that this approach is less likely to lead to VILI and can facilitate recovery from ARDS," Lutchen says. "But the approach has not yet been tested in humans."

The Current Rampup

With the current shortage of ventilators, manufacturers are ramping up production. Medtronic, one of the world's major ventilator makers, is gearing up to double its output, by adding shifts to keep its Irish manufacturing plant running around the clock, a Medtronic company representative wrote to HowStuffWorks.

But manufacturers face a challenge in increasing production, because ventilators must be built with great care. "As these are live-saving devices, very high standard in terms of quality assurance apply," Swiss-based manufacturer Hamilton Medical AG says via email.


Now That's Interesting
Though modern ventilators have been around only since the 1950s, the concept of mechanically providing air to a patient by inserting a tube was first described by Andreas Vesalius, a Belgian who was a professor at the University of Padua, back in 1543, according to this article on the history of ventilation by Arthur S. Slutsky in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
 

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INTUBATION BOX

The Intubation box is an inexpensive temporary protection device originally devised by Dr Hsien Yung Lai in Taiwan.

We (ER doctors and designers) have taken his gracious design and altered it for the American body habitus.

The Intubation Box works by sitting over the head and shoulders of a patient as they are intubated by a provider. The box acts as a protective shield between the patient and medical staff, thereby hopefully minimizing the medical staff’s exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

After each intubation, the box can be cleaned with a bleach or alcohol solution. The Sani-Cloth wipes that most hospitals have will work perfectly.

The goal of this website is to provide you with information you need in order to make your own Intubation Box. We have very limited ability to produce and send them out but we will be doing our very best. If you can fabricate for hospitals in your area please contact us so we can help coordinate with hospitals who have already requested from us as our ability to send out is far exceeded by the number of requests we have received so far.

Make Your Own Intubation Box

Download the design, material list, and instructions on how to assemble. Your local signage/furniture/fabrication shop should be able to take the plan and make them.



Request An Intubation Box
We have a very limited ability to fabricate and ship out ready to assemble boxes. Therefore, if you and your hospital are in CA, AZ, NV, CO, UT, or NM, and would like an Intubation Box sent to you, please fill out the Request Form and we will be in touch.

These boxes are currently been made and donated by local companies in Phoenix, Urban Plough and Tuft & Needle. Each box costs approximately $200 USD (material, fabrication, labor, and shipping). You can help us get more of these boxes into hospitals by making a donation, it will also help our local businesses and make this effort more sustainable.
 

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo Admits Stockpile of Thousands of Unused Ventilators
Charlie Spiering
27 Mar 2020

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledged Friday the state did have a stockpile of unused ventilators, despite his complaints the federal government was not sending enough.

Cuomo responded to a comment from President Donald Trump on Twitter that there were thousands of ventilators in New York not being used.

“Yes, they’re in a stockpile because that’s where they are supposed to be, because we don’t need them yet,” Cuomo said. “We need them for the apex, the apex isn’t here, so we’re gathering them in a stockpile.”

Cuomo’s comments demonstrate there is not an immediate shortage in ventilators in the city, despite alarming reports.

“We don’t need them today, because we’re not at capacity today, that’s why they’re not deployed because they’re not needed,” Cuomo said.

The governor has repeatedly complained that the federal government is not sending enough ventilators to New York.

On Tuesday, Pence said that the federal government had sent 2,000 ventilators to New York and an additional 2,000 more on Wednesday.

But on Friday, Cuomo explained expert projections showed he would need up to 140,000 beds and 40,000 ventilators.

“I don’t operate here on opinion, I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections,” he said.

In an interview on Fox News on Thursday night, Trump appeared skeptical that New York would need 40,000 ventilators.

“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be,” he said.

The topic of ventilators appeared to be on the president’s mind for most of Friday, as cable news repeatedly focused on a “shortage” and suggested that the president do more by invoking the Defense Production Act.
 

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo Admits Stockpile of Thousands of Unused Ventilators
Charlie Spiering
27 Mar 2020

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledged Friday the state did have a stockpile of unused ventilators, despite his complaints the federal government was not sending enough.

Cuomo responded to a comment from President Donald Trump on Twitter that there were thousands of ventilators in New York not being used.

“Yes, they’re in a stockpile because that’s where they are supposed to be, because we don’t need them yet,” Cuomo said. “We need them for the apex, the apex isn’t here, so we’re gathering them in a stockpile.”

Cuomo’s comments demonstrate there is not an immediate shortage in ventilators in the city, despite alarming reports.

“We don’t need them today, because we’re not at capacity today, that’s why they’re not deployed because they’re not needed,” Cuomo said.

The governor has repeatedly complained that the federal government is not sending enough ventilators to New York.

On Tuesday, Pence said that the federal government had sent 2,000 ventilators to New York and an additional 2,000 more on Wednesday.

But on Friday, Cuomo explained expert projections showed he would need up to 140,000 beds and 40,000 ventilators.

“I don’t operate here on opinion, I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections,” he said.

In an interview on Fox News on Thursday night, Trump appeared skeptical that New York would need 40,000 ventilators.

“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be,” he said.

The topic of ventilators appeared to be on the president’s mind for most of Friday, as cable news repeatedly focused on a “shortage” and suggested that the president do more by invoking the Defense Production Act.
This underscores something I (and others) have said here over and over again...Trust nothing you see and hear that's posted online until you can verify it. Question everything! Nothing is as it appears! Stop being manipulated!
 

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Hmmmm

Dubonnet

Written by
Liquor.com



About Dubonnet
Founder: Joseph Dubonnet Year Founded: 1846 Distillery Location: Bardstown, Kentucky Master Distiller / Blender: Agroindustrias Casa Ramirez, S.A. de C.V.

Dubonnet Essential Facts
  • Dubonnet was created by chemist and wine merchant Joseph Dubonnet to make quinine more palatable for soldiers in the French Foreign Legion stationed in North Africa.
  • The brand commissioned famous artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec to design a series of advertising posters in the late 1800s.

How You Should Drink Dubonnet
  • With ice
  • With club soda
  • With champagne
 

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Uncensored Chinese report may have accidentally revealed millions of new COVID deaths


By Ben Marquis, The Western Journal
Published March 27, 2020 at 12:33pm

If Chinese government authorities are to be believed, the new coronavirus thought to have originated within its city of Wuhan in 2019 has largely run its course in China and, contrary to worst-case estimates, only a few thousand people died from the COVID-19 disease.

Of course, the Chinese regime can't exactly be trusted completely as virtually all "official" information coming out of the country is carefully controlled propaganda designed to promote the Communist Party's preferred narratives, with information that reflects unfavorably on the regime often being suppressed or countered.

However, it appears that one particular piece of official information slipped past the censors that might contradict the "official" death toll from the coronavirus: an unfathomable and difficult-to-explain decline by about 21 million in the number of mobile phone users in China, according to The Epoch Times.

First, The Times took a moment to explain just how ubiquitous mobile phones are among the Chinese people, given that they are needed to do just about anything in that country.

Indeed, all cellphones are registered and connected to their user's identity and are required for using everything from bank accounts to bus tickets and employment to shopping, among countless other day-to-day activities. Recently, the regime even linked health codes -- red for infected, yellow for suspected infection and green for healthy -- to every single mobile user as a means to help track the spread of the coronavirus.

Given the reported indispensable nature of mobile phones in Chinese society, consider a standard quarterly report released in mid-March by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology that documents the number of active cellphone and landline accounts in the country over the past three months.

According to the MIIT report, as compared with the previous report released in November, the number of mobile phone accounts had declined by roughly 21.03 million, from about 1.6 billion to 1.57 billion. Over the same time, landline accounts decreased by about 840,000, from 190.83 million to 189.99 million.

During a similar period a year ago, however -- December 2018 to February 2019 -- mobile phone accounts had increased by about 24 million, from 1.55 billion to 1.58 billion. Likewise, landlines had increased over that time frame by about 6.6 million, from 183.4 million to 190.1 million.

Meanwhile, China's population was estimated to have grown from the end of 2018 to the end of 2019 by roughly 4.67 million people, for an estimated total population of 1.4 billion.

To be sure, there might be some legitimate reasons for the steep decline in the numbers of active phone accounts over the past few months, particularly for landlines, given the strict lockdowns that were imposed across the country, especially in Wuhan and other cities with major outbreaks. Those lockdowns forced the closure of the vast majority of businesses, most of which use landlines that may have been canceled or deactivated.

That doesn't explain the decrease in cellphone accounts, though, and The Times dug into the data provided for the three major mobile phone providers in the country -- China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

The largest carrier, China Mobile, reported a decline of more than 8 million accounts over January and February after having gained roughly 3.7 million users in December and about 3.5 million users in the first two months of 2019.

China Telecom, the second-largest provider, reported losing slightly more than 6 million users in January and February. But the company had gained more than a million accounts in December, and had increased by more than 7 million in the early months of 2019.

The data for the third-largest carrier, China Unicom, was incomplete, but it nonetheless showed a decrease of nearly 1.2 million in January, as compared with an increase of around 5 million users in the first two months of 2019.

The communist regime has sought to explain away the steep decline in mobile phone accounts as being attributable to the shutdowns, which could have prompted migrant workers and students locked down in their home towns to get rid of extra phones linked to the place they worked or attended school.

Additionally, the sharp economic downturn that resulted from the lockdown could also prompted other citizens to ditch spare phones that must be paid for every month.

That said, even if those excuses were legitimate, it is hard to believe that at least some of the now nonexistent mobile phone accounts weren't canceled or deactivated due to the account holder having died from the coronavirus.

Even if death from the virus accounted for only 10 percent of the 21 million missing accounts, that would be about 2.1 million who died.

The communist regime has maintained that the death toll from the coronavirus is a tiny fraction of that -- about 3,300 -- but as noted before, that is difficult to believe.

We may never know for sure why roughly 21 million mobile phone accounts suddenly disappeared in January and February, but odds are, a portion of them were the result of coronavirus deaths that occurred far in excess of what the Chinese Communist Party is willing to publicly admit.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
 

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Abbott Launches Molecular Point-of-Care Test to Detect Novel Coronavirus in as Little as Five Minutes

- The Abbott ID NOW™ COVID-19 test brings rapid testing to the front lines
- Test to run on Abbott's point-of-care ID NOW platform - a portable instrument that can be deployed where testing is needed most
- ID NOW has the largest molecular point-of-care installed base in the U.S. and is available in a wide range of healthcare settings
- Abbott will be making ID NOW COVID-19 tests available next week and expects to ramp up manufacturing to deliver 50,000 tests per day
- This is the company's second test to receive Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA for COVID-19 detection; combined, Abbott expects to produce about 5 million tests per month

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., March 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), delivering positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes. The test will run on the company's ID NOW™ platform, providing rapid results in a wide range of healthcare settings such as physicians' offices, urgent care clinics and hospital emergency departments.

The ID NOW platform is small, lightweight (6.6 pounds) and portable (the size of a small toaster), and uses molecular technology, which is valued by clinicians and the scientific community for its high degree of accuracy. ID NOW is already the most widely available molecular point-of-care testing platform in the U.S. today.

"The COVID-19 pandemic will be fought on multiple fronts, and a portable molecular test that offers results in minutes adds to the broad range of diagnostic solutions needed to combat this virus," said Robert B. Ford, president and chief operating officer, Abbott. "With rapid testing on ID NOW, healthcare providers can perform molecular point-of-care testing outside the traditional four walls of a hospital in outbreak hotspots."

Abbott will be making ID NOW COVID-19 tests available next week to healthcare providers in urgent care settings in the U.S., where the majority of ID NOW instruments are in use today. The company is working with the Administration to deploy tests to areas where they can have the greatest impact.

The arrival of the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test comes a week after the company launched its Abbott m2000™ RealTime SARS-CoV-2 EUA test, which runs on the m2000™ RealTime System located in hospital and reference labs around the world. Between the two platforms, Abbott expects to produce about 5 million tests per month.
 

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From a guy on FB


Michael Bane is at Rush University Medical Center.Follow
March 21 at 10:55 PM · Chicago, IL

For all those who have asked the question “Does anyone even know anybody that has gotten the coronavirus?”, if you know me, you do now. My positive test for COVID-19 has been relayed to me, and I wanted to share what my experience with this illness has been. The TL;DR version of this is: It’s brutal, and I have no doubt it can kill you. Anyone who is saying it’s just a bad cold is either had a far different personal experience than I have or is parroting stuff they found on the internet. For those offended by adult language or themes, you may way want to stop here.

I’m a 42-year-old male who is relatively healthy. I exercise regularly, and generally avoid being ill. On March 3 I went to a routine doctor’s appointment. My wife works at this medical institution, and I thought it would be nice to surprise her with random flowers. On my way, I have an exceptionally brief encounter with someone believed to test positive a short time later. I don’t see my wife, but leave the flowers in her office after being escorted to it.

Fast forward to March 12. I’m at home eating spicy Chinese food (ignore any apparent irony) and my nose starts running, very mildly. I’m assuming it’s from the hot and sour soup. I don’t have to wipe it, blow it, or anything. It goes away within an hour and wasn’t something that would have registered if not for the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday, March 13 - Nose is slightly runny in the morning. Clears up shortly, nothing else. I have no need to wipe my nose or use a tissue.

Saturday, March 14 - Slight sore throat. No sniffles at the moment, but I assume it’s from post-nasal drip or possibly due to sleeping without the humidifier, which is normally on at night. It disappears momentarily. I cough a little, but I figure this is also from post-nasal drip, possibly an allergy (although to what, I have no idea). I see a post that says if you can hold a deep breath for 10 seconds without coughing, that’s a good sign. I can, and I venture out into the increasingly difficult-to-navigate world of grocery shopping. I tell myself I’m being responsible, as I stay as far away from everyone as I can, and I don’t even cough once.

Sunday, March 15 - My cough is more persistent. The sore throat is worse, but it goes away quickly again. My nose has stopped running. My Google searches tell me it could be COVID-19, but it could be any number of other things. I am slightly worried and try to trace back to where I could have been exposed. My wife works at a hospital, and there have been confirmed cases, after false negatives. These patients were allowed to wander around the hallways of the hospital, several floors of which my wife worked on. I assume if I’ve gotten it, that’s how. She’s not showing any symptoms. I am mildly annoyed but figure I should probably consider avoiding work tomorrow. We’ve suspended all in-office operations, but senior management was scheduled to come in to try to evaluate the first day of working remotely as a firm.

I can’t sleep. For whatever reason I just cannot get comfortable. I keep tossing and turning trying to alleviate this backpain on my left side, but nothing is working. At 1 am, it occurs to me this might not be normal backpain. I’m sleeping in the guest room at this point, because I don’t want to keep my wife up. I take my temperature. It’s 100.5, a slight fever. Figuring it’s better to be cautious, I email several people I work with and let them know I will be avoiding the office on Monday. Maybe it’s COVID-19, maybe it’s the flu. Whatever it is, I shouldn’t get other people sick, so I grudgingly elect to stay home. My symptoms are now fever, pain, and legit coughing.

I call Rush’s 24-hour corona-hotline and am told to schedule a video appointment tomorrow. I download the MyChart app and attempt to do so but realize I can’t until the morning. I can’t sleep, so I pop three Advil to alleviate the fever and pain. It doesn’t work, and I toss and turn for hours. I remember seeing 5:10 am on the clock. I’m woken up at 5:30 by a text from my wife asking if I’m going to work. I tell her I’m not. She is staying home as well.

Monday, March 16 - Scheduling a video appointment is difficult, as I keep getting the “we’re at capacity, please try again later” message. I finally manage to secure one ($49, pre-paid), and find myself face to virtual face with a physician’s assistant about two hours later. She reviews my symptoms and circumstances (worsening cough, annoying fever, bad pain), and due to potential for exposure, says I should get tested. She puts a request in with the hospital and says it will be 1-5 days. I should head to the ER if I start having trouble breathing.

I participate in a conference call with my firm and manage to get an appointment scheduled for the morning of the 17th to be tested for COVID-19. My mom and dad had recently been to our house, so I call them to make sure they are okay. That may not have been the best move, as they’re now worried, possibly needlessly.

My fever continues to worsen. I’m trying to work here and there, but effectively got no sleep the night before. I’m freezing cold. I double up my blankets in an attempt to stay warm. The constant pain is wearing on me. I Google if letting fevers run helps fight germs. I find some evidence it does. I suck it up and add more blankets. Someone posts a meme on Facebook that masturbation boosts your immune system to stop COVID-19. I immediately think that either:

a) This is obviously not true
b) I’ve saved myself from certain death.

I hit 101.6 on the thermometer.

My daughter is listening to I’m a Little Teapot downstairs. A verse comes on about three little fishies. I become legitimately angry at the teapot for announcing the presence of the fish to the world. Maybe they wanted to stay hidden. Why is the teapot making these choices for them? I am in a half-conscious rage. I come to and am baffled by my own thoughts. I feel very weak.

My fever is 102.5. My left hand is tingling, my oxygen saturation is down. I tell myself this is because of an increased respiratory rate due to the fever, not because corona has attacked my lung function. I’m right, but the thought still worries me. My wife tells me to take Tylenol or Advil. I tell her no; I’m going to kill the virus off with heat. I tell the virus to buckle down, because it’s about to burn in Hell. My wife brings me an immune booster shot containing ginger, turmeric, cayenne and something else. They say the worse it tastes, the better it is for you. This is undoubtedly the healthiest stuff on the planet. I think I fall asleep again.

My wife hears me laughing at something. I don’t know what. She asks me to take my temperature. I adjust myself on the bed and an arctic blast hits my body. My skin is on fire. This doesn’t feel right at all. I run various death scenarios through my mind to see if this situation fits. I feel that bad. I check the thermometer, and my wife again presses me for the temperature. Not wanting to admit that maybe I let this go for too long, I just say “high.” She’s immediately at the door demanding to know, and I relay that it’s 104.4. The pain is excruciating, more due to the fact it will not let up than its intensity, which has also been increasing. I take four Tylenol, and my wife insists that I get in a room-temperature bath, which she draws for me. I try to get in, but it feels like ice. Clearly my wife and the virus are working together to kill me. After about 15 minutes, I submerge myself and stay for another 30. I get out and feel a lot better. My temperature is 102. I pop three Advil to attack the fever a different way. I go to bed.

I wake up at around 1:30 am with a sudden desire to use the facilities. As I’m sitting on the commode, I smell something bad. I realize I’m also soaking wet. The smell is me. I have sweat so much my shirt is drenched like I’ve just done the polar bear plunge. It’s disgusting. I strip out of my pajamas and find another pair. I return to the guest room and find half the bed also soaked. I’m so tired I move to the other side of the bed, vowing to do laundry tomorrow. On the bright side, my temperature is a perfect 98.6, and I feel great. The fever has broken, so it’s possible it’s all over. I’m not sure if I even need this test.

Tuesday, March 17 – I need this test. The fever is back, 100.8, and the cough is worse. I feel better than yesterday, but I am dreading what’s to come. I shower and get my daughter ready for daycare. I don a mask and drop her off. I have 30 minutes to make my testing, which is plenty of time to show up the required five minutes early. My wife calls me, angry, and tells me she’s been furloughed pending the outcome of my tests. She also let me know that she traced my contact to the day I brought her flowers. They were very well received, and her co-workers are jealous, but a small part of me wishes I would have just gotten a drink instead.

There is traffic on 290. We’re stopped some of the time. How is this happening? Isn’t everyone staying home due to the national emergency? Even if they weren’t, why is there this much traffic at 10:00 am on a Tuesday? Maps tells me there’s an accident up ahead, but this just seems to be a default more than an actual reason.

Ten minutes later I discover the problem. The back gate of a Ryder truck popped open, and hundreds of cases of liquor have spilled out the back. It is a fantastic catastrophe. A guy is clearly trying to salvage what he can, and there’s stacks and stacks of boxes on the side of road which clearly can’t be saved. There’s broken glass everywhere, and the ground is soaked. The earth itself has to be drunk from this one. I lament that I drove by too quickly to get a picture.

I call the testing site and let them know I’m five minutes out. I tell them a liquor truck has spilled booze everywhere, hence I’m a couple minutes slow. They do not seem impressed. They confirm what kind of car I’m driving, what I’m wearing, and tell me to pull in front of the security car into a reserved spot. I arrive and do as I’ve been instructed. The security guard outside shoots me a look, and I tell him I’m here to be tested. He nods, satisfied with my answer. I stay in my car, as I’ve been previously told to do.

A hospital employee steps out in a mask and motions for me to get out of the car. My own mask is on, and I do. He immediately instructs me to put my hands in my pocket and not to remove them. He unlocks a door, and I follow him inside. I am again told not to take my hands out, and it’s added that I shouldn’t touch anything either. This seems redundant, unless he is telling me not to touch the insides of my pockets, in which case, I am not in compliance.

The doctor at the end of the hall is dressed like she’s about to enter Chernobyl. She asks me how I’m doing. I try to think of a clever response, but whatever I mumbled is largely ignored as the doctor muses to herself she should stop asking that question. I cough violently.

I’m led into a room, and the doctor points to a chair and tells me to stand in front of it, but not to sit down. She places a paper down on an exam chair and tells me I will pick it up before I leave.

I feel bad for her, she’s undoubtedly been exposed to people with COVID-19 and has a high chance of getting it. She explains the nasal swab process and says that the probe is going to go in REAL DEEP. She repeats it for emphasis. I nod, and cough. I weigh whether knowing is worth this nasal intrusion. I lower my mask below my nose and look up. It’s mildly uncomfortable, but not nearly as bad as I was expecting.

She puts my sample in a vial and opens the door while instructing me to take the paper and put my hands in my pockets. She yells “Clear?” down the hallway and a few seconds pass before an affirmative “Clear!” is shouted back. I exit and try to look extremely cautious, avoiding everything and anything that a person could possibly come in contact with. The doors are opened for me, and I head back to my car, hearing the click of the lock to ensure it remains a secure facility. I was in there for a few minutes at the most. Now it’s 1-5 days of waiting. I take Tylenol before going to bed, having seen a statement made by a WHO spokesperson against Ibuprofen. I have a small headache.

Tuesday, March 18 – It’s been two weeks since I was exposed. I wake up drenched in sweat again and take a 5 am shower. I go back to sleep for a bit and am rudely woken up by an alert on my phone. My test results are back already. That was fast. I go to the app to find out that I am negative for Influenza A and B. Okay, not what I was expecting at all. I didn’t realize they were also doing a flu test (makes sense) and had convinced myself I had caught Flu A from a co-worker. No such luck.

I participate in a work conference call but feel weak and don’t contribute anything. My wife asks me if I can keep an eye on my daughter which she goes downstairs to cook some food. I watch her as best I can through open doors across a hallway. My wife comes back upstairs, and I close the door. I cry alone in my room for a while. I haven’t been able to interact with my daughter in four days. I am heartbroken.

My temperature is going back up, but the pain isn’t as bad as the previous days. I don’t know. The cough seems worse. I’m trying to work but keep having to rest. I keep forgetting to eat. My wife brings me some beans and rice in a bowl. I put spoonfuls of it in my mouth and mostly just swallow. I don’t have the energy to chew.

Around 6 pm I have a horrible coughing fit. Every one of my shallow breaths is met with a corresponding respiratory spasm as the air is forced back out of my lungs. It goes on and on and on. My wife asks me if I need to go the hospital. That seems like an overreaction, but my coughing doesn’t allow me to reply. I wave her off and continue hacking and wheezing. I’m fighting for air, but I believe it’s going to pass. I get enough of a break to take two types of cough medicine, Tylenol, and use an old rescue inhaler we found in the house. My wife brings me some hot tea, which helps. Within an hour I feel better than I have in days. I try to watch some Netflix but can’t concentrate. I go to bed early.

Thursday, March 19 – It’s been a week since my first possible symptoms. I wake up freezing cold, and in horrible pain. My left lat seizes up, feeling like it’s trying to rip itself in half. As I attempt to figure out how to relax it, my foot cramps painfully as well. I am massively dehydrated. I’m drinking a lot of water, but the lack of food is keeping me from retaining much. There’s water next to my bed on the floor. I need to drink, but the continued pain and lack of energy is keeping me from acting. I begin processing the movements necessary in my mind to reach down and take a sip.

Twenty minutes later I still haven’t moved. I feel broken, I don’t know how much fight is left in me. It’s like I’ve gone ten rounds with a heavyweight and he’s throwing all the punches. I can’t defend anymore, can’t do anything to lessen the blows. All I can do is get hit and hope that my natural vitality outlasts his ability to keep swinging. I eat shot after metaphorical shot. I consider the hospital again. Maybe they can put me on a morphine drip, buy me a few hours of comfort so I can fight some more. I think about all the people in Italy who may have died alone this way and begin to sob uncontrollably. Then the entirety of my arms, as well as the muscles around my eyes and lips soon begin to contract and tingle as I hyperventilate.

When am I going to turn the corner? When is this all going to end? To everyone who said it was just a bad cold or like the flu, or that people were far more likely to be asymptomatic: fuck you. You have no idea what you’re talking about. This is not the cold. This is worse than the worst flu I’ve had. This is the Grim Reaper knocking on my door. I imagine him floating outside my window and flip him the bird. There’s more fear than bravado behind it. I cry some more, until a coughing episode forces me to get it under control.

Two weeks ago, I did 13 pullups and ran a sub-seven mile. I ran 6 miles of a marathon with a partially torn tendon in my foot. I fractured my ankle and walked around on it for two weeks before bothering with the doctor. I am in shape. I am a tough guy. I tell myself these things as I gear up for my next, big challenge. I grit my teeth and roll to my side. I grab the water and take several large gulps. The icy liquid hitting my empty stomach is a shock, but I keep drinking. Okay. I did it. I have something to build on. Not dead yet.

12:00 pm – I feel great. I think I’ve turned a corner.

2:00 pm – I have not turned a corner. The drugs have worn off. I cough through some work phone conferences before realizing I’m going to have to call it a day. My fever is returning, and I find out it’s Thursday and not Wednesday. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I pile on blankets and put on a sweater. I hit 103 on the thermometer. My wife demands I get into a lukewarm bath. I object like a petulant child, but in end submerge myself for a good 40 minutes. She’s much smarter than me, and currently, probably quite a bit stronger. I spare myself the humiliation of being dragged into the bathroom by my ears, and spend my time trying to figure out when my breathing is labored enough to warrant going to the hospital. This is not a fun thought.

Friday, March 20 – I’ve kind of found my stride. When I feel a fever/pain coming on, I take Tylenol. When I start coughing, I take benzonatate and use an inhaler. I can deal with the fever to a certain extent, but the coughing has gotten to the point where if I don’t take something it’s difficult to get air. There’s a slight crackling sound happening when I’m breathing in and out. I am worried, but I’m keeping myself more comfortable than I’ve been for a while.

I get into a few arguments with people on social media regarding the term “Chinese Virus” and the inherent racism behind it. My opinion as an Asian-American is quickly and skillfully invalidated with well-crafted lines of reasoning such as “Just another snowflake” and “KISS MY ASS” (caps not mine). Clearly, the only thing I have proven is that I still haven’t learned what a waste of time arguing on social media is.

Saturday, March 21 – Breathing is getting harder. I don’t exactly feel near-death, but more like life-adjacent. My arms and neck are tingling all the time due to a decrease in oxygen. I haven’t eaten much for three days because the food is making me nauseated. Showering and shaving have become more of an optional thing due to my weakness. My wife yells at me to go to the hospital. I don’t want to; I haven’t gotten my test results. She sends me a story about a 39-year-old who died waiting for hers. Okay, that does seem scary. I concede and pack a bag to head to the ER.

I reach my exit to get onto 290 and find it blocked off by a police car. Of course it is. I’m going to have to take some backroads to get over to the next entry point. My light turns green and I press down on the accelerator. A homeless man decides to jump into the street in front of my car. I slam on the breaks and lay on the horn. Is this even reality anymore, or is it reality’s cruel joke? I find my way onto the freeway and continue my journey as my control over my hands diminishes with my oxygen level.

Some jackass is tailgating me. I’m sick you asshole. I floor it. 70. 80. 90. I am reckless. I switch to sport mode and tectonic shifting. I am out of fucks to give. Maybe if a cop sees me, I’ll get a police escort. The Tucson purrs along with more get-up-and-go than I expected it had as I weave between a couple of slow pokes to exit. I pull into the emergency receiving area and check in.

Triage is weird. I’m told to go sit in a chair in a barren, cement room. The woman across the way does not look good at all. A man I can only assume isn’t mentally stable tries to check his dog in with him. He’s screaming a lot. There’s a couple of tents set up, and an area you can go stand in (6 feet away from the desk) to complete registering.

My phone rings. The Illinois Department of Health calls to tell me I’m positive for COVID-19. I laugh and reply that I could have told them that. Thankfully I’m already at the hospital because I feel like I’m going to die. I try to think of the last time I was this sick. It was probably 40 years ago when I had meningitis. The doctors thought it was going to kill me. We’ll see what they think about this one. The hospital calls a few minutes later to give me the same report.

I text my family, a few close friends, and my boss. Everyone is very kind. My boss lets me know they’re going to have to inform the office someone tested positive, but they’ll keep my anonymous. I tell him to use my name. It’s a scary message to get, and if people have questions maybe I can help. People may take social distancing protocols more seriously if there’s a face to associate with the illness. By the way work people, expect a message sometime soon.

I get into the ER and they take a chest X-ray. I have bilateral pneumonia. This explains the crackling sounds I’ve been hearing when I breath. My fever is 102. I’m admitted, stuck with an IV, and a host of medications are prescribed to me both intravenously and otherwise. They hook me up to the heart monitor and take my blood pressure every 30 minutes. It spikes when I hear I have pneumonia. The doctor is surprised I haven’t traveled anywhere. Unfortunately, we’re beyond that now. He thinks I'm about halfway through it.

So here I am, in the hospital on the 13th floor with a lovely view of the city. Take that isolation! The coughing won’t stop, and I’m waiting for the drugs to arrive. My prognosis seems reasonably good, I don’t need oxygen yet, and the monitors will keep an eye on my levels.

The point of all this? It’s not real for some of us until it happens to us or someone we know. I appreciate the well-wishes I’ve gotten and am bound to get, and don’t want your sympathy. Please please PLEASE take this seriously. This could kill me. Practice social distancing. Our office shut down and I became homebound when the national emergency was declared. I wish it had happened weeks sooner. I wouldn’t have gotten this, and I wouldn’t have exposed countless other people to it while I was at work and other places asymptomatic. There is a high degree of guilt associated with that. I’m worried about my wife and child.

People have died. People will die. It might be people you love. Please stay inside. This is horrible, brutal, devastating and it feels l might be cashing my chips in. Protect the people you care about as best you can. I love you all.
Total bullshit story. And stupid long