What they don’t tell you about ‘recovering’ from COVID-19
Even though the coronavirus seems to be “taking a break” due to the current protests and riots in the United States, the global pandemic is still ongoing.
Over 110,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19 only in the last three months. The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population but an astounding 25% of the world’s coronavirus cases and deaths.
The shocking death toll is scary enough, but what people don’t talk about much is the people who survive the virus. Once a person’s symptoms start disappearing and they test negative two times, they are pronounced “recovered.” And many people find themselves struggling with the virus for weeks or months.
A nurse named Cherie Antoinette made a Twitter post describing how “recovered” does not mean what most of us believe it means.
“COVID 19 is the worst disease process I’ve ever worked with in my 8 years as an ICU nurse. When they say ‘recovered’ they don’t tell you that that means you may need a lung transplant. Or that you may come back after d/c with a massive heart attack or stroke bc COVID makes your blood thick as hell. Or that you may have to be on oxygen for the rest of your life. COVID is designed to kill. It is a highly intelligent virus and it attacks everything. We will run out of resources if we don’t continue to flatten the curve. I’m exhausted.”
COVID 19 is the worst disease process I’ve ever worked with in my 8 years as an ICU nurse.
When they say “recovered” they don’t tell you that that means you may need a lung transplant. Or that you may come back after d/c with a massive heart attack or stroke bc COVID makes
— Cherie Antoinette (@sheriantoinette) June 14, 2020
Another nurse talked about her own experience of falling ill with COVID and how it affected her.
“I am a nurse on a COVID floor, I caught it. I am a relatively healthy and could barely walk up a half flight of stairs. My blood pressure skyrocketed, chest pain was debilitating. I’m eight weeks out and still feeling the chest pain and shortness of breath. This is no joke,” she wrote.
Others also joined by sharing what they had gone through:
“I’m just getting over a “mild” case after over two months. There’s scarring in my lower right lung and my stomach and digestion are a mess like never before. But I’m coughing way less and can take walks again.
And, by the way, this is the third time in two months that I’ve ‘gotten better’. I’m just hoping it’s the last and it doesn’t all come back AGAIN.”
I will say COVID has made getting ready for work less challenging 😭 https://t.co/TYldAsMOgF
— Cherie Antoinette (@sheriantoinette) June 21, 2020
Many have reported long periods of fatigue that comes and goes in waves.
Other nurses talked about the scary things they’ve seen while treating patients.
And some have talked about prolonged symptoms even with cases that were said to be “moderate” or “mild.”
Ms. Antoinette replied to a person who said she’d had acute kidney failure, acquired asthma, irregular heartbeat, and chronic cough, saying that a large part of the people she treated had the same problems.
“I am traumatized working in this environment,” she wrote.
In addition, she shared a tweet she had posted back in March saying that people should be more worried about the flu.
While it is true that some people don’t feel anything or go through mild cases, none of us knows how it could affect us.
And because of the fact that recovered patients are not visited at home after they leave the hospital, we do not know what they are actually going through.
One medical worker posted:
“Without people actually seeing these scenes they honestly just don’t believe it. The public believes as a whole that this only kills old people with heart problems or big complications.”
We must all continue to be careful and do everything we can to help stop the further spread of this pandemic. And as businesses and other public places keep on opening, we need to be wearing protective equipment, wash and disinfect our hands regularly and try to social distance as much as possible.
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