Hospitalized coronavirus patients have been sharing their experiences with the world the best they can, ever since the pandemic first began. But one young man struggling with the virus is documenting his entire journey on TikTok in hopes of showing people just how difficult having COVID-19 is.

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23-year-old Karim Salmen had been taking precautions against catching the novel coronavirus, due to pre-existing conditions including bronchiolitis obliterans, a pulmonary condition that causes inflammation in the lungs, and pectus excavatum, aka sunken breastbone, which can also weigh on the lungs.

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Despite staying home during the pandemic, Salmen still tested positive for COVID-19 in early July.

“I believe someone close to me exposed me to the virus but I am not sure,” he told BuzzFeed. “I haven’t left my house. I have been under quarantine for four months.”

Salmen’s case was bad enough that he has been in the hospital ever since testing positive, but that hasn’t stopped him from posting regularly to TikTok.

His earlier videos have a clear emphasis on trying to keep an optimistic outlook and mining whatever fun he could out of his time in a decidedly not fun place nobody wants to end up.

But as the daily videos continue, it’s obvious that the virus is taking a toll on him, and his TikToks gradually turn into a PSA warning those who still refuse to wear a mask or take COVID-19 seriously.


I cannot stress this enough, this virus is no joke. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASKS #NicerToMe #HiddenGems #covid #wearamask

♬ Rags2Riches (feat. ATR Son Son) – Rod Wave

Salmen has also been detailing some of his symptoms, including loss of appetite, dizziness, and lack of oxygen.

He also devotes several videos to the inconveniences and indignities of life in a hospital.


I’m getting plasma treatment today so I’ll have u guys updated #NicerToMe #HiddenGems #covid #wearamask

♬ Tap In – Saweetie

Fortunately, Salmen says he’s doing better, though it’s still been a solid ten days in the hospital so far, with no word as to when he finally may get to go home.

“My doctors feel confident that I will make a full recovery. They are very nice and give me a lot of hope,” he said.

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But for now, his videos continue, as Salmen hopes to impart to others the seriousness of facing down COVID-19, whether you have pre-existing conditions or not, and even if you’re young.

“The only way to fight it is if we follow guidelines,” he said. “It really only takes one infected person to spread it to a lot of other people.”

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*First Published: July 19, 2020, 7:44 am