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Local COVID-19 patients share struggles overcoming virus

Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 2:48 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Local health care systems and the Brown County Health Department continued their series of briefings today called “The Faces of COVID.”

As we first reported last week, they’re designed to highlight the stories of those directly impacted by the pandemic.

This week, patients who’ve overcome COVID-19 shared their personal stories.

Last spring, early in the pandemic, local business owner Steve Meyer contracted Covid-19.

“My initial experience with COVID was a little devious, it felt like the flu, sore throat, dry cough, fever, fatigue, all that stuff that we’ve been there, done that, so I figured I knew what to do, rest and fluids right, after a few days the fever broke and I declared myself healthy,” recalls Meyer.

Until a few days later when the virus roared back.

“I got sick in way I had never been sick before, with chronic night sweats, complete loss of all taste and smell, which made eating very difficult and the most unbelievable fatigue,” says Meyer.

For 32-year-old personal trainer Dan Unright, coming down with Covid-19 didn’t cause much concern, at least initially.

“At that moment, I convinced myself that I was going to have a mild case of Covid since I was young and healthy and had no underlying conditions, so I was quarantined to my room and because of my belief I ignored my initial chest pain that I started to have and it got worse,” says Unright.

So bad, Unright was admitted to the ICU and spent ten days in the hospital.

That’s where music teacher Audrey Nowak was earlier this fall.

Today she recalls the fear and the agony of isolation.

“If you get in a car accident and people say your life flashes before your eyes, everyone understands that and it happens just for a second, but if you’re in the ICU with COVID, alone, isolated, cut off from all of your family and friends, your life flashes before your eyes minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day and there’s no end,” says Nowak.

And for those who’ve overcome COVID-19, a plea to the community to practice the CDC guidelines.

“When I’m seeing social media posts about people refusing to let fear win, it troubles my soul, wearing masks in public and avoiding crowds, keeping distance, none of that is about fear, it’s what human compassion does right now,” says Meyer.

“Please take this seriously, and maybe we can get these numbers under control before Christmas, and wouldn’t that be a gift for everyone,” adds Nowak.

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