As a 30-year-old strong man who cultivated a lifelong obsession with health and fitness, vulnerability and weakness are not common feelings for Chad Warren.
But when he became infected with COVID-19 and passed out on the floor at home due to an “aggressive” fever, he experienced both of these feelings.
“I was pretty shaken,” he said. “I thought that if (the fever) got worse, there was nothing I could do about it. I felt very vulnerable. ”
He was diagnosed with COVID-19 a week ago, and talks about his experience in the hope that it will encourage people of all ages – especially those who consider themselves to be healthy and without pre-existing conditions – to take the virus seriously and know it’s serious.
Collingwood resident Warren is believed to have contracted the virus through community transmission. He is 30 years old and has been an athlete all his life, practicing university sports; today he owns a training center and a gym. He weighs trains regularly and rides bikes in extreme events and competitions.
“My immune system is pretty good. I don’t remember the last day I had to be off work to get sick, “said Warren.
He followed the recommendations of health officials during the pandemic. He was physically away from others, he stayed at home. He closed his business when the province announced the closure of all non-essential businesses.
One day, he ran into someone he knew who had recovered from COVID-19. He stood outside – about six feet from the person – for a “brief” conversation.
“Just like that, I got it,” said Warren. “We did not approach each other, we did not shake hands, we did not touch the same surfaces. “
Warren said he was surprised to learn that he could contract the virus while practicing physical distance.
“This is what is important to get into people’s ears,” he said, urging people to avoid going for walks or hikes or even drinks in the backyard and thinking that keeping a distance while doing so will protect you from the transmission or transmission of the virus.
On Sunday and Monday (March 29 and 30), Warren began to experience what he described as “exceptional” fatigue and “aggressive muscle and joint pain”.
“Honestly, I felt like I was hit by a truck … my whole spine was hurting and I couldn’t get comfortable,” said Warren.
Despite the fatigue, a headache and muscle pain prevented him from sleeping.
“It was almost as if my bones were hurting,” he said. “It was really deep. “
Tuesday morning, he felt a fever go up.
“I was delirious, sweating through my clothes,” said Warren.
He passed out from the fever and woke up moments later in a puddle of sweat. He lives alone and said the severity of the fever was what shocked him the most. He couldn’t do anything about it, but I hope it will pass and he will recover.
He drove to the hospital and the emergency department personnel buffered him for a COVID-19 test. Its positive result was confirmed in 48 hours. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported the case on April 3.
He had no respiratory symptoms until about five days after the onset of his pain. It was then that he began to feel short of breath and noticed a tightness in his chest.
He is still a week away and his symptoms have mostly subsided, although he remains very tired.
He said he slept about 11 to 12 hours a night and was about 60% of his normal energy level.
“I am strong and fit and it leveled me for three to four days … I was very, very sick. It scared me, “he said. “It humiliated me … it made me realize that anyone is vulnerable.”
He said the virus had changed his perspective.
“I just want everyone to play by the rules,” said Warren. “Even if you think you are in a gray area and you meet people but you are five or six feet from each other, you are therefore safe … I see people hiking or bikes together, and they probably think it couldn’t spread that way.
“But you have no idea. I was in the same state of mind until I got very sick. This is not a joke. “
Warren thinks even more of older family members and people who are vulnerable to a respiratory virus due to existing conditions. He said his case was considered only “moderate to mild” and that this made him more worried about hospital cases and the elderly who faced the same aggressive pain and fever.
“People should take this seriously,” he said. “If someone has the idea that this only affects vulnerable populations, this is far from the case. “
As he recovers at home, Warren said his network of friends has taken good care of him, leaving groceries and books at his door. He will remain isolated from himself for at least a week to meet the 14-day quarantine requirement for people with the virus.