A Summit man who tested positive for COVID-19 went home from the hospital Wednesday and urged people to stay home unless completely necessary.
The man, who is in his 30s, works for a cell phone company. His mother said he started feeling sick last Friday, and by the next day, after working outside the whole day, he became feverish.
“When he got home that night, that was it,” his mother said, adding that he became extremely fatigued.
His brother said the virus is serious and scary, no matter your level of age or health.
“It’s terrifying,” his brother said. “He is in fairly good health, but the virus put him on the ground.”
The man said Tuesday that his brother, who did not want to be identified, had very low oxygen levels and was at the hospital on a ventilator, but because he was feeling better Wednesday, his doctor discarged him.
The brother, who lives out of state, said it is hard being unable to come and help, but because he has a wife and child he doesn’t want to risk contracting the virus. The man’s sister has a daughter with a chronic illness, so she also said she could not risk getting the virus, leaving the patient’s mother as the primary caregiver.
The mother, who is in her 60s, said she is working under the assumption that she already has the virus. During an interview Wednesday, she said she had bronchitis as well as the cough to prove it. The man’s brother said his mother was not tested for the virus, but nurses she talked to said even without a test they are certain she has the virus.
The man’s sister posted to Facebook announcing her brother’s diagnosis, much to the patient’s disapproval, but she said she wanted to keep it up to show the severity of the virus in hopes that people will take it more seriously.
“I made the post to make my friends and family aware of the seriousness of this virus,” his sister said Tuesday. “It’s now been shared 758 times. That’s 758 people who are now more aware of the absolute seriousness of this virus.”
As of Wednesday, the post had garnered over 1,000 shares and 700 reactions.
The man’s mother had a similar sentiment, saying that she sees people shopping at Walmart in droves and asks people to just stay home.
“People are just not listening to what is really going on,” she said. “It is best for your health and other people’s health that you stay at home. It’s just too easy. It is crucial that you stay home and keep the house clean.”
The man’s brother also said it is important to stay home with or without government intervention.
“If there is one thing I want to tell everybody, please stay home,” his brother said. “This is not a joke. It doesn’t matter if the governor does a stay-at-home order.”
The man said his decision to remain anonymous is because he fears people will avoid him well after he is not contagious. His mother said there is a stigma attached to the sickness and that if one person knows he is sick, everyone may know and might see him differently.
The man’s brother has been surprised to see the community support his brother is getting. People have left gifts on his driveway, and someone in the community donated homemade cloth masks to him and his mother, utilizing coffee filters.
“It is comforting to see people pulling together,” the man’s brother said.
His brother said he feared for his brother’s financial stability being out of work for the virus. His brother said he had to send money to friends who would pay his bills for him.
“He can’t miss a paycheck,” his brother said. “That would be like a house of cards.”