A Walk To The Edge

My personal showdown with Coronavirus, alone in a Midtown Manhattan hotel room

Photo courtesy of the author

With shaking hands, I updated my status on Facebook. “Well friends, I can’t believe I am writing this…but I can no longer stand in denial of my symptoms. I am experiencing difficulty breathing and overnight, I developed a raging fever that has not subsided. I will be admitting myself to the hospital shortly.”

Photo by Fernanda Caetano on Unsplash
Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash
Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

I answered the door in my underwear. They featured cartoon bananas set on a field of olive green. Maybe not my best look ever. Thankfully, Frank wasn’t there to judge or care about my skivvies. “You take good care of yourself and don’t focus on anything right now but getting better,” Frank told me as he slipped me the scarce Tylenol bottle. It later hit me that this must be something akin to what the AIDS crisis was like: although it was under different circumstances, gay men came together and helped one another as the world burned.

Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Unsplash

I emerged from my battle with Coronavirus a changed person. Six months later, I am still experiencing health complications and difficulties with my breathing and asthma. I suspect that I have sustained long-term lung damage, although thanks to our flawed and broken American healthcare system, I still have yet to receive a single X-ray to assess what the potential damage to my lungs may be. My primary care doctor has tried and failed at a series of prescriptions in an attempt to regain control of my asthma. None of it has really helped — I have gone from a healthy, active individual in complete control of his cardiovascular health to a severe asthma patient who now struggles to climb stairs.

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