One Coronavirus Patient Shares His Experience

Quarantine, Gatorade and ibuprofen all play a part

Coronavirus sign
What's it like to be diagnosed with the coronavirus? One patient shares his experience.
Annikdance/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / March 1, 2020 1:31 pm

As more and more coronavirus cases are discovered around the globe, the full impact of this outbreak still remains to be seen. An article last month by James Hamblin in The Atlantic explored just why the coronavirus is so dangerous. “It is deadly, but not too deadly. It makes people sick, but not in predictable, uniquely identifiable ways,” Hamblin wrote. All of which begs the question: what’s it actually like to be infected with coronavirus?

At The Washington Post, Carl Goldman shared his experience with the virus. Goldman was traveling on the cruise ship Diamond Princess and was one of the travelers taken back to the United States when the vessel was quarantined. On the flight to the United States, Goldman began feeling symptoms, including a fever. After his arrival, he was quarantined at a facility in Nebraska.

Goldman provides a firsthand look at what quarantine and treatment looks like:

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. 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.

Goldman also notes that he’s taking part in a study to find a treatment for coronavirus. And he states that he’s relatively lucky, as coronavirus patients go: he’s younger and healthier than the groups who are most at risk. “I’d recommend that everyone get a good digital thermometer, just as a comfort tool, so they can reassure themselves if their noses start running,” he says.

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