What people who have been diagnosed with coronavirus are saying about the respiratory illness

CBS News spoke to people who contracted COVID-19

This is what people say it’s like to have coronavirus
This is what people say it’s like to have coronavirus

From the national headlines to the breaking news stories, it’s hard to get away from the coronavirus outbreak.

Everyone has their own set of questions when it comes to the coronavirus. One of the big question people are wondering is, “What it’s like to have coronavirus?”

CBS News spoke with three individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and found out how the illness is affecting them.

A woman named A.N. preferred to use only her initials and said she’s had the virus for more than two weeks.

She said she was initially treated in a Seattle-area hospital in early March but was not offered a test for COVID-19, even though the medical staff was concerned.

"I could see them through the window and they were utterly panicked and they had no idea what they were doing. It was unnerving to be completely honest,” A.N. said.

She said she dialed into a telehealth appointment where she was told to report to a clinic where she was swabbed in her car and confirmed positive in less than 24 hours.

"Excuse me, but it feels like hell. I've had the flu before, it's not even comparable. The fever is so high you hallucinate,” she said. "I'm still having a fever, but it's coming down slowly. I'm only at 100.8 at the moment, which is a dramatic improvement."

Clay Bentley is still hospitalized in Rome, Georgia. He said you’ll know it if you get it.

Bentley said symptoms developed a day after he sang with his church choir. He was first diagnosed with pneumonia and was sent home from the hospital.

"Four days later I got to a point where I couldn’t get out of bed and I said to them ‘Ya’ll sent me home to die.’ And I said, ‘I can’t even move or breathe. Can’t catch my breath,’” Bentley said.

When Bentley returned to the hospital, he realized several other members of his church were also there. The other members also tested positive for coronavirus.

Bentley is now in recovery and looking forward to getting home to his family.

"I felt like today that I have turned third base and I’m headed for home. I felt like I’m through the hard part and ready to go home,” Bentley said.

Elizabeth Schneider believes she and a number of her friends contracted coronavirus while at a party in Seattle. She tested for COVID-19 after her symptoms had subsided.

"When I had the most severe symptoms, it literally felt like I had a different strain of the flu,” Schneider said.

Schneider has a background in microbiology, so through her experience, she does have some advice for those who are anxious.

“If we look at the long term here, I think things will improve,” Schneider said. “This is a fact, I did not have to buy any toilet paper while I was sick. I just got by with the regular stash of toilet paper that I have. It’s good to tell people out there and it’s good to smile and have a laugh.”

Schneider is now donating her blood to help with the quest to develop a coronavirus vaccine.


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