As word has spread about the current global pandemic of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, concern has centered around those that have been deemed "high risk." Those communities include those that are over 60 years old or are in other ways immunocompromised. The messaging has been that we must social isolate and stop the spread in order to protect them. And while, we should do it for them, it's not as if those who fall outside of those groups are completely safe.
On Instagram, a costume designer named Tarek Soliman — you probably know his work for having made Sasha Velour's headpiece for the RuPaul's Drag Race season 10 finale — wrote his own personal story with the virus. According to Soliman, who now lives in the USA where he moved to as an asylum seeker from Egypt, after contracting COVID-19, his symptoms led to pneumonia which sent him back to the ER.
"I don't want anyone to freak out or to take my post to just cause panic or just make it way worse than it is," Soliman said in an Instagram Story posted on Thursday after telling followers that he was feeling better. "I know that I've gone through a tough phase even though I am young and healthy but this doesn't mean it's going to happen to everyone. This might happen in some cases but hopefully not."
"I just posted this to tell everyone to please stay home, just take this seriously," he continued. "Don't think that just because you're young you can just go out and be in outings and be out with your friends. You have to wear masks, you have to be careful. This is so important."
Here, is his experience with COVID-19 as written to Instagram. There have been light edits made for clarity.
I started feeling chills and my body felt weak on March 8th, I thought it is a normal cold/flu that will heal soon.
It started hitting me when I was on the bus from DC to NYC: High temperature, severe chills, sweating, body aches, terrible headache. I stayed home for 5 days and continued to monitor my symptoms thinking that it maybe was just a bad flu.
After the fifth day I went to Urgent Care because my symptoms were getting worse, by the time the doctor started running some tests I fainted and they called the ambulance. After that, they transferred me to Mount Sinai. From the moment I got there I was kept in an isolated room by myself; they definitely didn’t know what to do. They ran some tests on me every 4 hours, with no information or telling me what I have or what’s wrong with me. I was shaking and felt like I was dying with only IVs in my arm. After they took some blood and swabbed my nose for a COVID-19 test, I waited again until 4 am in the morning. I got discharged and sent home after 12 hours in the ER and instructed to only take Tylenol.
The hospitals and USA are completely unprepared for this. I don’t recommend relying on hospitals or the healthcare system.
After 4 days I got my test result back that I am positive. I still have the same symptoms with no progress, but I started developing pneumonia and can’t breathe normally because there is NO cure. This was followed by coughing blood and now I have no fever but I still can’t breathe normally because apparently the virus has spread into my lungs.
I am still not cured from COVID-19 and I will be going to the emergency room again for my pneumonia (doctors and everyone in the ER have no idea how to deal with this virus, they are only depending on your body to fight it) .
PLEASE SHARE so more people know that this isn’t something small we are dealing with, be responsible and stay home. I don’t want anyone to go through what I am going through now. Stay safe