A U.S. citizen infected with the Chinese coronavirus is speaking out about his experience with the disease.
Carl Goldman is one of the at least 40 U.S. citizens from the Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess that tested positive for the Wuhan virus.
Officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) transferred Goldman and his wife, who is not infected, to biocontainment center at the University of Nebraska hospital. At least 40 of the over 60 Americans who have the disease came from the Japanese cruiser.
In an essay for The Washington Post, Goldman argues that the disease is not “that bad” and that under different circumstances, he “would have gone to work as usual.”
“I am in my late 60s, and the sickest I’ve ever been was when I had bronchitis several years ago. That laid me out on my back for a few days. This has been much easier: no chills, no body aches. I breathe easily, and I don’t have a stuffy nose. My chest feels tight, and I have coughing spells. If I were at home with similar symptoms, I probably would have gone to work as usual,” Goldman writes.
Goldman was one of 3,711 passengers and crew who were quarantined on the Diamond Princess for two weeks.
As of Thursday, over 700 passengers have tested positive for the virus, five of whom died, Japan’s health ministry announced earlier this week.
“During the first few days, the hospital staff hooked me up to an IV, mostly as a precaution, and used it to administer magnesium and potassium, just to make sure I had plenty of vitamins,” Goldman wrote of his return to the U.S.
“Other than that, my treatment has consisted of what felt like gallons and gallons of Gatorade — and, when my fever rose just above 100 degrees, some ibuprofen. The nurses came to the room every four hours or so, to check my vitals, ask if I needed anything and to draw my blood.”
He continues: “I got very good at unhooking all the monitors checking my oxygen level, blood pressure and heart rate so I could go to the bathroom or just pace around the room a little, to get my blood flowing. I never quite got the hang of hooking them back up without making a tangled mess.
“After 10 days, I moved out of biocontainment and into the same facility as Jeri. Now we can video chat from our separate quarantines, in neighboring rooms.”
“It’s surreal to see everyone panic — news conferences, the stock market falling, school closures — about a disease I have. It does seem likely that coronavirus will spread in the United States, but it won’t help anybody if we all panic,” Goldman went on to write.
He concluded by advising readers to obtain a digital thermometer, “just as a comfort tool,” and said there’s no need to make the virus seem like a “horrible calamity.”