"My hamstrings were on fire," says Joe Krolick. “For three days, it felt like four hands were pulling on the muscle from behind. At that point, I had chills and fever, which rose to 103 at times. It was uncomfortable to lie down, so I stood or sat. I could only sleep by leaning on a chair and stealing an hour here or there. “
The coronavirus pandemic has shaken modern life like nothing in the last 100 years of human history. Sure, we all know people who have been sick. Some have not been confirmed due to a lack of tests. We know that people died of it and many recovered.
But did you speak to someone who had it? How about a healthy and healthy 40 year old who has survived? As Krolick is willing to tell, there is this seemingly distant disease ̵
Krolick remembers two trips where he would probably have something can sign a contract. One was on March 12, a job that turned a Staples Center meeting between the Lakers (minus LeBron) and employees of the team's official credit union. The team had released information that two of the Lakers tested positive but could not identify which players. The other excursion was a paintball excursion on March 15th with a friend who had come up with something.
Krolick's symptoms started on March 17th with a tickling in the throat. He had vacuumed the house, so he chalked it against allergies. But the next day he woke up with a coughing up mucus and a fever that was getting worse. Since he was aware of the pandemic at the time, he decided to quarantine himself on the first floor of his house, away from his wife and son. He called his doctor for a test on March 20. For days, his wife left food on the steps and he remained isolated while facing his son, who was just upstairs. Krolick had to reckon with his condition. As the taste of Lemon-Lime Gatorade waned, he learned that loss of taste and smell were common symptoms. However, the feeling that his hamstrings were on fire was still a mystery. The muscle symptom was not mentioned in anything he read about the novel virus.
"I would cough if I took a deep breath," he recalls. "My nose dried out and I had these crispy, bloody boogers. It was miserable. “
The survival rate of COVID-19 at 98-99 percent certainly sounds soothing. But with all this time in isolation, a 2 percent chance of dying begins to haunt thoughts. Krolick was alone with the noise of the media, endless briefings from the President and the world that seemed to be falling apart. After two days he had had enough.
After his first symptoms, a week passed before he could qualify for a test – and only because he met the criteria to be in touch with someone who had tested positive at the Staples Center, as a hot spot. After the unbearable feeling of leg burning subsided, on March 23, Krolick dragged himself to a passage test station that was administered with a nose swab. Then he went back alone to his bedtime routine with Netflix and coughing.
Four days later he received the call: positive results. Recommended treatment: take Tylenol.
"You basically said:" If you don't really have difficulty breathing, don't call us. We'll call you. ""
For the next 12 days, Krolick had a fever of over 100 degrees without effective treatment. There were nights when he couldn't warm up as his body temperature dropped to 97. There was no team to rush to his aid, no hospital bed to be serviced around the clock. He was on his own and anyone who helped him would have been at high risk of getting the virus. The Orange County Healthcare Agency called later, but asked only a few questions about basic disease tracking. On the 13th day he broke out in cold sweat and in the afternoon his thermometer finally dropped to 98.6.
Krolick was cautious and quarantined for another seven days without symptoms before finally being able to connect with his family again. All in all, he had spent 21 days in isolation. He had lost 12 pounds.
Now, two months after the pandemic started. We have all developed our own reasons for health versus finance, security versus life, and we are certainly exhausted from everyone else . But Krolick's perspective as a survivor has more weight on social media than empty noise.
"I have a feeling that if the number of cases and deaths continues to increase, why are you trying to open up the economy?" Krolick asks. "Look, I know people have to work again. But when people are slightly sick, they won't call – and then we'll spread it further. “
He is frustrated to see people in groups without taking it seriously.
"It's your turn social media to talk about social distancing and it's a joke," he says, "People don't wear masks. Wear a standard mask in Asia. It's just common courtesy. "
He spoke to a friend in New York who is sure that he has COVID-19 but has a need to work to keep the job – and his paycheck – going to process the bills.  "I have to work, but I'm happy that I can distance myself," he adds. “People living in poverty have to go to work. You take the risk and it's a never ending cycle. “
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