Barry Mangione is a man who lives in New York state who says he had COVID-19. That’s a pretty common story at the moment, but many people still seem to be misunderstanding the severity of the illness. It’s almost like they’re not listening. But Mangione’s Facebook post about what happens after coronavirus has caught people’s attention.
“COVID19 is a continuum,” he begins. “There is a continuum of COVID19 in between ‘you die’ and ‘you get over it and return to normal.'”
Mangione says that of the time of his writing, it’s day 31 since he caught the virus. He tested negative on day 27. But then out of nowhere, the day before he was hit with fatigue and chills. While his cough is gone and he has no fever, but he is still battling the repercussions of the virus. At the time he caught it, he was healthy with no underlying medical conditions. And it has still wiped him out:
“I’m a pediatric physical therapist. I work in homecare with infants and toddlers. Prior to COVID19, I would travel to people’s homes and work with up to ten children a day for 30 minutes each. Prior to COVID19, I struggled with insomnia, but I could still get up after a nearly sleepless night and rock my day job. Now, I can get a full night’s sleep and be wiped out after doing a couple of telehealth sessions with kids via Zoom. Let me repeat that. I used to travel to different homes, play with up to ten kids a day, and now some days I’m exhausted after sitting at a desk and talking to parents via a screen.”
He says he knows he’s not the only one feeling these long-term effects:
“I talk to other COVID19 survivors who still experience symptoms after 30, even 40 days, symptoms like kidney pain, fevers, coughing, fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, circulation problems, loss of smell, loss of taste, body aches, rashes, back pain…”
He wants people to know that they’re not just risking death, they’re risking living with debilitating conditions and no one knows how long they’ll last:
“When we see the numbers of people who’ve “recovered from COVID19” posted to illustrate how it’s not that bad, those numbers don’t take the lingering health issues and symptoms into account.
Please think about this when you question social distancing. Please think about this when you question wearing a mask in public. Ask yourself, “Can I be sick for over a month or more? Can I deal with the uncertainty of when or if this sickness will go away if I get it?”
I’m not looking for sympathy or trying to scare anyone, and I don’t want to diminish the memories of those who’ve died or the pain felt by their loved ones. I grieve for them all. What I hope I’m doing is giving you another tool in addition to gloves, masks, and social distancing to keep yourselves, your loved ones, and all of us safe and healthy: knowledge that this is real, knowledge that we don’t know enough about it yet, and that the continuum of COVID19 is more complicated than dead versus “recovered.” Please stay safe, my friends.”
COVID19 is a continuum. I want to hopefully shed some light amid the confusion. There is a continuum of COVID19 in...Posted by Barry Mangione on Friday, May 1, 2020
Mangione’s story has been shared over 30 thousand times and the comments are full of similar stories from people who were in good physical condition when they caught COVID-19. They’re all now struggling with getting back into their previous shape, and discovering that the aftershocks of this virus keep hitting:
Remember that you’re not just trying to live, you’re trying to preserve your quality of living. If you’re not scared to die, be scared to live with your health forever compromised.